[May 14 2014]
Frieze has made me acutely aware of one thing: I am absolutely not the right person to be writing about art. Regardless of my formal art education I basically know nothing. I don’t know who anyone is, or where anything is and what anyone has done or whom they show with or whom they are related to or whose dick they have sucked. I don’t know. I think Frieze is less shitty than Basel because maybe there is more actual art and less like EDM parties, but at the same time it’s inescapable on a level that Basel isn’t, there’s no beach full of sand to hide your head it. At the end of one day I was looking at a piece in a gallery in Bushwick and realized I genuinely could not tell if I liked it or not because I was so numbed out and had essentially developed a selective blind spot for art.
Deep down below China town, in a neighborhood I think real estate brokers call ‘Two Bridges’, in a building I had somehow never seen before, was NADA. I guess it was a sports complex because there were score boards everywhere, which actually may have been one of my favorite things there. I have no intention of this being graphic design a critique but let me just say NADA has some of the most consistently solid stuff going on, like literally the map/calendar thing was maybe one of my favorite things I saw all weekend. There was an American apparel booth, I don’t know why. I got really frustrated by seeing a lot of art I didn’t like, the opportunities for artistic cop-outs seem to be pretty vast at this point. Maybe in opposition to this I found myself being really drawn to very detailed labor-intensive sort expensive behaving art. I was sort of obsessed with these kinetic sculptures at Rod Bianco that smoked and knit and made music, maybe because I really enjoy doing all of those things. I really loved Jose Martos, as a person, and his stickers, and the Martos Booth, and the Shoot the Lobster ‘booth’. I liked the Magic Carpet guys, they knew what was up.
The next day we went out to LIC to see Cole Mohr’s first solo show, FREE FOOD at Marianne Vitale’s studio near PS1. Anyone who knows Cole knows he has been obsessively working for maybe a year now on the huge collection of incredibly detailed paintings for his show, and maybe I’m biased but it paid off. After that I got literally consumed by anxiety and went home and baked three batches of cookies and went to sleep. Maybe I’m just not cut out for this life. Text and Photo Kay Goldberg