August 18

Vernissage Melbourne Art Fair

Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you art. And artists. The Melbourne Art Fair is about living, breathing artists producing contemporary art that’s up for grabs. This years Vernissage was a celebration like no other, boss Barry Keldoulis realizing if you want to throw a vibrant party you invite artists. 300 of them.

Artist and Party go together like scampi and chips, like beer and prawns. The coiffured Artists sashayed round the impressive Exhibition Building interiors, supping on fine wines and champagne. Resembling an Easter Egg hunt, they attempted to speed date their way into a meaningful relationship with a collector or two. A few cheeky rascals were seen to be trying to blag their way onto the exclusive Collector Tour Bus. Network their way out of a Centrelink queue.

I blame the Universities for all this party crashing brown nosing mayhem. With every passing year another cohort of bright-eyed young artistic talent emerges from the safe oasis of the tertiary institution. Problem is, there’s no more galleries than there ever were.

Fashion wise, (here I refer to clothes fashion, not art fashion), all things 70’s is big. Craft and colour blocking. Dead animals and facial hair are still big news, though some individuals are bucking the trend preferring veganism. Text, in unusual fonts, echoes the design is now art trend.

If you want to meet an artist with good manners then buy some of their art. If you want to meet an artist who would do anything for you, then become their patron. Best to think of this as a monogamous relationship.

My favourite pre-opening sound bite came from HEIDE Director Jason Smith, who declared, (with just the right amount of twinkle in his eye) that the Art Fair isn’t just about the champagne, its about community.

http://melbourneartfair.com.au

Natalia lubenfeld, Inna Dashukova and Elle Zoltak

Natalia lubenfeld, Inna Dashukova and Elle Zoltak

Stuart Ringholt and Sue Dodd

Stuart Ringholt and Sue Dodd

Tony Stephens and Daniel Mudie Cunningham

Tony Stephens and Daniel Mudie Cunningham

Georgina and Rob McHaffie

Georgina and Rob McHaffie

Andrew McQualter and Catherine Plunkett

Andrew McQualter and Catherine Plunkett

Daniel Crooks and Tina Havestock Stevens

Daniel Crooks and Tina Havestock Stevens

Natasha Bullock and Blair French

Natasha Bullock and Blair French

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker

Meredith Turnbull

Meredith Turnbull

William Mora

William Mora

Erwin Wurm

Erwin Wurm

Simon MacEwan

Simon MacEwan

Lisa Fehily

Lisa Fehily

Mat Rogers ink

Mat Rogers ink

Sam Leach

Sam Leach

Anna Pappas and Anna Schwartz

Anna Pappas and Anna Schwartz

Richard Larter paints Pat

Richard Larter paints Pat

Collector Tour Bus Pick Up This Way

Collector Tour Bus Pick Up This Way

Jason Maling and Lara Thoms Exposition

Jason Maling and Lara Thoms Exposition

rate your sex appeal

rate your sex appeal

Richard Bell, Sonia Payes and Abdul Abdullah

Richard Bell, Sonia Payes and Abdul Abdullah

Pope Alice

Pope Alice

Ronnie Van Hout in a onesy

Ronnie Van Hout in a onesy

crashing the collectors lounge

crashing the collectors lounge

Heidi Yardley and Jane Burton

Heidi Yardley and Jane Burton

Jacqueline Doherty cleans up

Jacqueline Doherty cleans up

Jason Smith and Petre Andreevski

Jason Smith and Petre Andreevski

Andrew Wilson, Barry Keldoulis and Michael Zavros

Andrew Wilson, Barry Keldoulis and Michael Zavros

Kate Barber

Kate Barber

Terry Wu and Heidi Yardley

Terry Wu and Heidi Yardley

Helen Marcou, Patricia Piccinini, Alexi Glass and Sue Dodd

Helen Marcou, Patricia Piccinini, Alexi Glass and Sue Dodd

Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh

Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh

Elle Zoltak flashes her ring

Elle Zoltak flashes her ring

Amber Wallis, Michelle Newton and Brooke Andrews

Amber Wallis, Michelle Newton and Brooke Andrews

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