Diary: Grimes hits the decks, the art of small business and Frieze hits the rocks (in a good way)

Grimes gets into the groove at the James Turrell party BFA

Party politics

There was a battle of the art bashes earlier this week when White Cube and Pace galleries hosted their Frieze Week LA parties on the same night, drawing an impressive mix of pop stars, movie icons and art world royalty (naturally). White Cube guests such as the singer Usher and the UK aristocrat Lady Victoria Hervey thronged the corridors and hallways of the historic hotel, the Chateau Marmont, marvelling at the entertainment including a marching band from Compton High School. Meanwhile, the Pace party, nestled in the San Vicente Bungalows, garnered collective laughter when the gallerys chief executive Marc Glimcher took to the mike twice, after he “fucked up” the first time, forgetting to namecheck Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery (both dealers have launched a crowdfunding campaign to support James Turrells Roden Crater in northern Arizona). Although White Cubes Marmont party was packed to the rafters, the celeb-to-pleb proportion was much higher at Pace/KGCs soiree in the San Vicente Bungalows, with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio mingling in his baseball cap, pop star Grimes playing the deck—later visited by her billionaire beau Elon Musk—and the presence of the tennis superstar Maria Sharapova. Game, set and match to Turrell.

Leilani Huggins of Pretend Plants and Flowers with a lei wrapped in tea leaves Nancy Kenney

Smells like entrepreneurial panache

An idealistic spirit reigns at Friezes new backlot artist street fair, where politics and philosophy inflect the entrepreneurial pitches of artist-run enterprises. Gyopo, a coalition of diasporic Korean art professionals, is hawking Shigenobu Twilight, tiny bottles of fragrance mixed by the conceptual artist Anicka Yi and enclosed in white resin skirts with a mushroom motif. Gyopo says the strong scent, which morphs depending on the wearer, is meant to challenge traditional notions of femininity. Artists for Democracy is selling “Dose Trump” bumper stickers, colourful “democracy mugs” and sets of ten silkscreen prints with political messages, all with the goal of getting the vote out this autumn. (“Make America Again,” Lisa Anne Auerbachs signed print implores.) And Pretend Plants and Flowers is offering a mix of fresh, dried and faux blooms, including a real flower lei in a traditional Hawaiian tea-leaf gift wrapping. “Its about the space between things that look real and things that look fake, and knowing whats what,” says the company founder Ezra Woods, who describes his venture as strictly “uncynical”.

Landon Wiggs's contribution to the fundraiser for High Desert Test Sites Nancy Kenney

Frieze really rocks

Like the inspirational Chinese objects known as scholars rocks, every stone in an offbeat display at Frieze Los Angeles has a distinctive je ne sais quoi. Each of them has been painted, adorned or otherwise manipulated by an artist, and all are for sale to online bidders, with the goal of raising money for the non-profit California arts organisation High Desert Test Sites, founded by Andrea Zittel. The auction began last weekend but gained momentum when the little rock stars made their fair debut in the backlot on Thursday. The artist Pam Lins decorated a rock to resemble what might be a schnauzers face, while Landon Wiggs attached his rock to a tiny toy car; Jim Kanters declares “NO I WONT,” with the letters outlined in yellow sand. “Im in love with this,” declared one fairgoer, Farhad Farman, admiring a rock encased in cling wrap by the artist Gerald Clarke. He let out a sigh. “Inverted pleasure.”

Would Miss Ellie approve? Vaginal Davis's makeover of Barbara Bel Geddes Courtesy of Vaginal Davis and Adams and Ollman Gallery

Bygone celebrities, all made up

Queer icon Vaginal Davis is making waves at the Felix art fair with new abstract portraits—on show with Adams and Ollman gallery—depicting forgotten Hollywood actresses. Frances Farmer and Carole Lombard are the bygone movie stars portrayed in her latest works, forming part of her signature Make up series. An earlier portrait of Barbara Bel Geddes (2012), who famously played the matriarch Miss Ellie in the soap opera Dallas, was made from (wait for it) Britney Spears eye shadow, Wet n Wild nail polish, Afro Sheen hair conditioner and Aqua Net Extra Super Hold hair spray. Cosmetics aside, Daviss pictures draw neatly on film history: who knew, for instance, that the penthouse suite of the lavish Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where Felix is held was once home to 1940s Hollywood power couple Clark Gable and Lombard?

An early-morning cycle class is the key to Frieze success Wikimedia

Gallerists get in a spin

Long days of stand-tending and late-night parties can make Frieze feel like a physical battle, but the art worlds gluttons for punishment are kicking their fair training into high gear this year. West Hollywoods newly opened Aarmy pop-up—a boot camp-style fitness studio designed to let clients feel “as if they are students in an elite athletic academy”, as its co-founder Trey Laird told the Los Angeles Times—has been raking in the fairs clientele. Representatives from galleries like Pace and Lehmann Maupin have been spotted at the studios early-morning cycling classes along with the singer Usher, who squeezed in a workout before heading to Friezes VIP preview on Thursday.

Hangover 3-in-1 spray Courtesy of Gareth Harris

Donning cosmetic armour

What does every hard-working dealer, standing hours on end at Frieze Los Angeles, need to keep their complexion looking youthful and unblemished while they face query after query from hungry collectors desperate to secure the latest trophy works? None other than the Hangover 3-in-1 spray from Too Faced cosmetics, which promises to “prime, set, refresh”. The anonymous dealer who covers herself in this elixir of youth told us that “under these lights, this spray is essential, goddamn.” We love the tag line also: “We love your skin even when you dont!” Gallerists everywhere must be buying it by the gallon…

Courtesy of the artist and Fort Gansevoort Zoya Cherkassky, A First Grade Teacher (2019)

A Soviet childhood, manga style

Last year the artist Zoya Cherkassky was stunned by the reaction to her New York show Soviet Childhood, which attracted a stream of foreign-born visitors who picked apart her memories of growing up among quintessential household objects in Kiev. Now she and the gallery Fort Gansevoort are wondering what kind of audience a Los Angeles sequel opening Saturday will attract. Among her favorite works in the LA iteration is Le Déjeuner Sur LHerbe, a bucolic family gathering on the banks of a lake that she says was inspired by the works of André Derain. More surprising is A First Grade Teacher, in which the title figure sits at a table writing lesson plans while largely naked. “Its an erotic fantasy of schoolchildren,” Cherkassky explained while giving a tour of her paintings blending Socialist Realist, early Modernist and manga styles. “Communicating is important to me,” adds the Israel-based artist, who blogs in Russian, Hebrew and English about her work. “I want to get through barriers.”

Strolling pooches galore

There are plenty of pooches dotted around the aisles of Frieze Los Angeles this year, but not all of them are finding favour with fair officials. The lovely Luca, who has an Abstract Expressionist-style black dot on his head, was happy to stroll and sit at easRead More – Source

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