Tony Matelli

verge + volta + armory: slow death by art fair

Yesterday I went to the verge, volta, and armory art fairs. Interestingly it seemed that the smaller the art fair, the better the work, or perhaps it was just that there was enough time for my eyes to rest between booths. Art fairs can be a peculiar way to look at art as it is just a bombardment of visual stimulation packed so tightly together with tons of people and a dizzying maze-like configuration. Overall I would say the experience was disappointing. So much mediocre work, so much stuff, so much hype. It was a beautiful day to walk around and to be with friends, but I could’ve done without seeing the armory. I’m going to describe each fair by itself.

The VERGE Art Fair :
Suzanne Stroebe sculpture
Suzanne Stroebe Sculpture

Greg Lindquist sculpture
Greg Lindquist Sculpture


Marc-Anthony Polizzi made this great installation that crept up the walls and stairs.


Stephen Mallon

Photographs of the plane that landed in the Hudson. Beautiful works.

Verge PROS:
-creative use of art in the hotel open spaces, bedrooms, bathrooms
-galleries and people were friendly: not so much the greeting table
-some really great pieces/installations

Verge CONS:
-greeting table
-disorganized listing of artists/galleries

VOLTA:

Mike Andrews
“Gentlemen, to your battle stations”
tapestry
2010
-absolutely loved this work which was right at the entry way of Volta. Gorgeous use of fiber and color.

Charley Friedman
Charley Friedman
-I think the image says it all. This was a felt soft sculpture. love love love. This and the previous work I probably really like because of the similar colors/materials I like to work with.

Tamara Kostianovsky
Tamara Kostianovsky

Tamara Kostianovsky
Tamara Kostianovsky
-More soft sculpture!!! these pieces are called Roadkill and she made them from articles of clothing from her own wardore. I love how they were hung like real meat pieces.

Volta Pros:
-Really nice hotel entrance and set-up.
-Lots of wonderful fiber sculpture.
-A good amount of work/booth/people ratio without wanting to go insane.
-It had a good mix of types of work: sculpture, video, sound, and photo.

Volta Con:
-the overcrowded ready-to-spill out on broadway shuttle to the armory.

The ARMORY:
Shinique Smith
Shinique Smith
-I really like her work and this piece in particular was very nice.

Damien Hirst
Delicous Damien Hirst.
I don’t care what people say, there are just some spectacular pieces that this artist (factory) makes. I’ll leave it at that.

Tony Matelli

Tony Matelli
Tony Matelli
“Sleepwalker”
epoxy, paint, hair and steel
2008

This was my favorite work at the armory. I thought it was a person ready to move and animate, but it was a sculpture. It wasn’t just the fascination of the line between reality/fake that interested me, but also the pose, the evocative and emotive stance of being awake and asleep. The piece was a great way to live on the tension of the line between real/artificial, alive/dead. There was so much subtlety in her bruises, tattoos, scars, and face. wow.

Armory Pros:
-Matelli sculpture

Armory Cons:
-feeling like a zombie like the Matelli sculpture after an hour in there.
-the logistics of getting in and out of the fair that were unclear.
-the mass of mediocre, mindnumbing art.
-the crowds of people and normal snots of gallery attendants.

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