Thursday, September 10, 2015

My big fat art fair

Funnier than a sitcom and with more twists and turns than a soap opera, art fairs in Australia deserve their own reality show. As Sydney Contemporary aka 'Australasia's International Art Fair' opens, the company that runs it and the Melbourne Art Fair Single Market Events has just announced it will no longer be involved with the city down South. That didn’t last long. Single Market Events only managed one outing in Melbourne and that was last year. Melbourne Art Fair chairwoman and gallery owner Anna Pappas told reporters, 'We found our objectives were different.' Whoops that meant breaking a 20-year contract with Single Market Events with only one year on the clock. 

So now SME really needs to deliver a big success with Sydney Contemporary at Carriageworks in Redfern this year. Creative NZ certainly believes in them shelling out $117,000 to get nine NZ dealer galleries into Sydney Contemporary booths. 

Across town in the CBD a bunch of NZ galleries (Hamish McKay, Michael Lett, Robert Heald, Ivan Anthony and Hopkinson Mossman) have opted to show in the breakaway fair Spring 1883 at the Establishment (#deeplyironicname) Hotel. They get to hot-bed in their ‘galleries’ keeping costs down while at Carriageworks booths go from $10,000 to $50,000 a pop plus shipping etc. Even on 50 percent commission you’re talking around $100,000 worth of sales to go home smiling. 

But win or lose, the cocktail specially designed by artist Fiona Lowry for Sydney Art Week will offer comfort. The Pink Frost involves Hendrick's gin, blood orange liqueur, rose water and (the art bit) an orchid sealed in an over-sized ice cube. Cheers