Tuesday, September 27, 2011

(e)merge art fair

As promised, here are a few thoughts on D.C.'s (e)merge art fair held this past weekend at the Capital Skyline Hotel:
Bad news first? O.K.
The layout was less than ideal. Believe me, I was one of the people booing all those Debbie Downers who were complaining about the location. I mean, let's not kid ourselves into thinking that existing international art fairs are clean-handed in the commodification of art category, and it's just plain sad that our Nation's Capitol shouldn't have a piece of the pie. So I was really crossing my fingers for this one!
As it turned out though, the psychology of the space overshadowed much of the work presented in it. For one thing, it was a logistical nightmare. People were crammed into elevators, narrow hallways and hotel rooms, trying not to knock the art off the walls. Worse though was the unshakable feeling that you were checking into a poorly-decorated "boutique" hotel in the middle of a shifting neighborhood. It bled into the work. 

 The good news?
The set-up in the hotel lobby allowed a little more space for visitors to interact with the art.
This piece offered "a penny for your thoughts" or the opportunity to buy someone's "two cents" worth of an idea.
Most importantly though: The Fair provided a platform to show the work of a couple truly fantastic artists.

Jessica van Brakle  (and all of the work in the Hamiltonian Gallery's room for that matter)
I'm kicking myself for loosing this artist's card and my photograph does no justice to the quite intensity of her work. I promise to find her info and report back.
Overall, I think that the Fair can be counted as a step in the right direction. I applaud the incredible efforts of its organizers for rolling the bolder of art up the mountain that is Washington, D.C.

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