Live Blogging the VIP Art Fair 2.0

9:45am: Allow me to preface this live blog by saying that I still use a flip phone, and even that is exotic and scary to me. So: any technological confusion is probably a result of me being frightened of the Internet, just generally. Also: I had to ask no less than three co-workers about “how to live blog.”

9:50 am: So here I am, in the “booth” of David Zwirner, booth being in scare quotes because this is an online fair, and it exists only in the exciting universe of the world wide web. Kind of enjoying the solitude of doing this from my apartment. At most art fairs I’d have to put on pants.

9:53 am: Gagosian is only showing Damien Hirst spot paintings. Sigh.

9:54 am: Larry Gagosian himself is not online, and so not using the fair’s chat function.

9:56 am: Zooming into a picture of a Damien Hirst spot painting, which is another thing technology allows you to do.

9:59 am: Just sent a message to James Cohan, the dealer who started the fair. Waiting on a response. Hm. I must say that I prefer doing interviews in “real life,” real life being in scare quotes because this is an online fair.

10:04 am: James Cohan telling me that collectors in Sweden and Italy are inquiring about works in his booth. I’m asking him if he is at his gallery or at home (and feeling vaguely like I’m coming on to him by asking, “are you at your gallery or at home?”).

10:07 am: He’s on his mobile phone, heading to the gallery, by the way. And he’s at an art fair. Technology!

10:13 am: Zooming in and out of a David Schnell painting.

10:16 am: Also, it appears Berlin’s Galerie Eigen + Art is listing the prices for the work in its booth. Very unorthodox! Most other places you have to ask. Maybe I will purchase this Neo Rauch sculpture, priced in the million dollar range. On second thought: I would not feel right spending that amount of money while not wearing pants. I bet you didn’t know that I still wasn’t wearing pants, dear reader. Sigh.

10:21 am: Watching Ryan McNamara video at Elizabeth Dee’s booth. Thinking about buying a burrito.

10:25 am: Thinking now that it might be too early for a burrito.

10: 33 am: Just chatted Leo Koenig. Waiting on response. Still prefer doing interviews in “real world.”

10:35 am: Still waiting.

10:37 am: Giving up on Leo Koenig. Zooming in and out of Robert Longo’s Medusa.

10:44 am: Ah ha! Chatting with Leo Koenig. Talking about “reality” vs. “digital.”

10:49 am: Asked Leo Koenig if he thought there were any limitations to doing an online-only far. He said: “not really…I guess the limitations were more in regards to how much time one wanted to spend on photoshopping works to be representative in the booth (see Tony Matelli on our booth).” Looking at Tony Matelli’s painted bronze sculpture Abandon, which is shown to-scale in Koenig’s booth. Also noting the merits of being able to use parenthetical asides in an online interview.

10:51 am: Leo Koenig breaking away because he has to make a sale.

10:57 am: Zooming in and out of William Powhida’s Griftopia.

11:00 am: Staring into the eyes of Alan Greenspan, featured at the center of William Powhida’s Griftopia.

11:01 am: strangely, the face of Alan Greenspan has me thinking again about purchasing a burrito.

11:13 am: Looking at the booth of Milan’s Brand New Gallery because it has a cute name.

11:14 am: looking up when Brand New Gallery was founded because I don’t want to feel mislead by the cute name.

11:15 am: It was founded in November 2010. Is that still “brand new”? Your thoughts, please.

11:17 am: Pants update: still not wearing them.

11:22 am: In Untitled gallery’s booth in the “Emerging” section. Looking at a David Adamo priced at $10,000 to $25,000.

11:25 am: Also: it looks like the gallery sold a Henry Taylor painting, To be titled.

11:30 am: Looking at this giant Thomas Houseago sculpture Hands & Feet III over at Hauser & Wirth, priced at $300,000 to $400,000. Unfortunately it doesn’t look so giant online.

11:35 am: Hauser & Wirth has the “biggest” booth I’ve seen so far–“biggest” being in scare quotes because this is an online fair, and things like size and dimensions only exist in a kind of symbolic way.

11:40 am: But seriously folks, they do have a lot of art for sale, and a lot of it is pricey! For instance: there’s a Michael Raedecker canvas in the $150,000 to $200,000 range and a suite of seven black and white photographs by Rodney Graham for $250,000 to $300,000. They also have an edition of Rashid Johnson’s awesome video “The New Black Yoga,” which is also in their gallery in the real world. Well, let’s not say “real world” because that hardly feels accurate. Let’s just call it the “Upper East Side.”

11:50 am: Zooming in and out of a Warhol.

11:55 am: Paul Kasmin has an impressive spread. Looking at this Walton Ford painting of a monkey attacking a bird.

11:58 am: Now I am zooming in and out of the aforementioned painting of the monkey attacking the bird. I could have it for $300,000 to $400,000.

12:00 pm: Contemplating that price.

12:01 pm: Now I’m remembering who I am and what my life is like. Probably going to spend the money on a burrito instead.

12:05 pm: Not to, like, talk about Damien Hirst or anything, but over at Gagosian the spot paintings are all prints and the most expensive one is $7,000. I guess that’s not surprising, but…you know. Damien Hirst! The Internet!

12:18 pm: Hey now! Damien Hirst makes a non-spot related appearance over at White Cube’s booth. It’s True Faith, one of the artist’s butterfly paintings. This is one is a little pricier than one of those spot prints, closer to the million dollar range.

12:25 pm: Roommate asking if she can “follow” my “live blog.” I offer an enthusiastic “sure!” She says “on second thought, nevermind.”

12:30 pm: This thing (“thing” being an online art fair and not my “live blog”) is kind of ideal for video art, which just gets washed out at a normal fair. Watching a really nice video by Eija-Liisa Ahtila at Marian Goodman’s booth. Very serene. It’s basically just the wind blowing through trees. If I hadn’t set aside all of my money to buy that burrito, I would maybe shell out the hundred thousand bucks (give or take) for it.

12:35 pm: On the other hand, sculpture doesn’t fare so well. In the same booth, William Kentridge’s Shadow Quartet looks kind of pixelated and not as exciting as the “real world.”

12:40 pm: Beginning to think of my “live blog” as like a short novel that’s kind of a book within a book that collects the short diary entries of some crazy guy while he’s stranded on an island or in the desert or on a cliff face somewhere.

12:50 pm: Lisa Cooley suggesting–via the VIP chat function–that I buy that “painting of the monkey attacking the bird.”

12:55 pm: Looking around Leo Castelli, taking in some Richard Pettibones. Thinking about inquiring about how much the Roy Lichtenstein Study for Forms in Space costs, but I’m kind of nervous to “chat” Barbara Bertozzi Castelli out of the blue.

1:00 pm: Just chatted her.

1:05 pm: And no response. Can’t win ’em all!

1:15 pm: I guess the one thing this fair is really missing is that cordoned off VIP corner where you can get free glasses of cheap champagne. Or very expensive glasses of fancy champagne. Daytime drinking just isn’t the same when you’re alone and in your apartment and it’s Thursday and you’re not wearing any pants (Ah ha! I bet you had forgotten, or assumed I had put pants on, but you are incorrect, dear reader!)

1:30 pm: Barbara Bertozzi Castelli chatting me back, saying I can call her if I prefer. I feel so connected with all of these various ways of communication.

1:40 pm: Calling Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, talking to her in the “real world.”

1:45 pm: Barbara Bertozzi Castelli on the horn, telling me that the gallery picked works “that would look powerful on the screen.” She says a lot of people have got in touch asking about work, and they were mostly collectors the gallery didn’t know before.

2:00 pm: Woah, just clicked on the map for the first time, then organized the galleries by price. Having selected the price range that’s right for me–over $500,000 (duh)–I am so heavily contemplating Richard Pousette-Dart’s 59th Street Ramp for between $700,000 and $800,000.

2:03 pm: Oh wait, now my reality is setting back in.

2:20 pm: Eating a literal, “real world” burrito, zooming in and out of a Joan Mitchell.


Live Blogging the VIP Art Fair 2.0