Frieze New York

The Party Guests and Stellar Works Snapped at the World-Renowned Art Fair's NY Debut

Photographer Jessica Craig-Martin roamed among the international art set Thursday afternoon as they descended on Randall’s Island for the VIP preview of the inaugural Frieze Art Fair New York. Founders Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover lured the likes of new Incredible Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo, Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the out-of-the-way island off Manhattan for the first edition of the agenda-setting event outside of London. Housed in a $1.5m tent by architectural firm SO-IL, designed to allow natural light and breeze to billow through, the glamorous carnival features installations from 180 of the world’s most prestigious dealers, including London’s White Cube and New York’s David Zwirner. Pop-up cafes by Roberta’s, The Fat Radish, Sant Ambroeus and the Standard Biergarten fueled the art cognoscenti as they appraised the multitude of works on show. While Tracey Emin, Liz Cohen and Paul Graham attracted plaudits, for Craig-Martin the best art was on two legs. “I’m a hunter,” explains the photographer. “There was some extreme fashion happening.” Here the fair’s partygoers shared their highlights.

Mark Ruffalo, actor
This is relationship aesthetics at play. And I’m Gavin Brown’s doppelganger—I get mistaken for him all the time.

Chef Ben Towill, 20 feet from Jennifer Rubell’s nutcracker sculpture, “Lea I”
Food is obviously such a central thing to the art community. It’s a reason to gather… Did you see the sausages?!

Christopher Bollen, Interview Magazine Editor at Large
In the short-term, Frieze will change the landscape of the New York art world; it injects excitement and interest and a sense of fresh spectacle––which art audiences need––and reaffirms the gallery/social hierarchy. It also offers the blessed opportunity for a backlash by artists, non-participating galleries and critics that will lead to original, anti-market-driven exhibitions, articles and venues. 

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, on the venue
It’s good for New Yorkers to come out here and see this—it’s New York.

Humberto Leon, co-founder of Opening Ceremony
I’m glad to be here on Randall’s Island. I’ve never been here. Everything looks really enticing. I’m excited to explore.

Solveig Fernlund, architect
Getting here is nice; the ferry is nice. This is a very elegant display. There is daylight! The tent is curved just enough to make it organic-feeling, not military, and not a blob, which we hate.

Chuck Close, artist
Frieze is clearly the best of the fairs. In general I don’t like art fairs all that much, but I love Frieze.

David Zwirner, gallerist
This fair is special because it is taking place in our hometown. And we had a Roberta’s pizza today. That’s reason enough to come back next year.

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