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.