The last time I ended up in a hotel room with an art dealer, I came very close to being curated. It was touch and go….
A group of young renegade galleries has broken away from the Melbourne Art Fair, opting to host their own boutique art fair at nearby landmark, the Windsor Hotel. Spread within suites over four floors, the experience was Stanley Kubrick meets your Aunty June and they share a salmon ribbon sandwich on white bread, crusts removed.
A little birdy once told us that to have a decent sized stand at the Melbourne Art Fair it’s going to cost you about 30 large. Geoff ‘the Newt’ Newton (Neon Park), Kate Barber and Vikki McInnes (Sarah Scout), and Vassili Kaliman (Station), put their entrepreneurial heads together and conceived of a new art fair model, perhaps more fitting to these fiscally austere times. Exciting. They spruiked the idea round and signed up an impressive list of 20 of the very hippest local and international galleries.
There were complimentary showbags full of free goodies. The Saturday Paper included a free copy, having clearly identified that their demographic would be turning up to the countries newest art fair:
“They are 35-49. They are image-conscious and environmentally conscious, brand-aware and socially aware. They are creative with a high disposable income … he has a Moleskine and a Netflix account … she subscribes to Vanity Fair and the New Yorker.”
By god what a startling portrait of those in attendance. I love marketing pitches to advertisers. No floss. Even the Pope has been damning in his recent assessments of the negative impacts of Capitalism on the people. There can’t be a practicing Catholic amongst us though, as the art scene fully immersed itself in a 5 day long buying orgy of art consumption. Performance art selling is the best performance of all.
Afterwards, I hung round the entrance waiting for someone to toss a TV out of a window into Spring Street. It didn’t happen.