Gallery Girl Goes to Art New York
Over a delicious lunch with one of my favourite arty girls, my New York Art Week trip was plotted, planned and the countdown to take off had officially begun. Before I knew it I was walking through the doors of the newly opened 11 Howard in Soho, where Danish minimalism meets New York realism and it didn't take long to realise that art seemed to be hidden everywhere. From one of Alexander Calder's last mobiles from 1976, the year he passed, to art by Dan Attoe, Katie Yang and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Groundswell who were mentored by Jeff Koons have also created an epic mural which adorns the hotel's south wall...the perfect first photo for my Art Attack App instagram takeover.
After a quick change it was straight to the opening of Art New York presented by the team behind Art Miami, the show was fantastic with lots of great pieces being snapped up by collectors.
It was finally time to search out my plotting partners at their stand Human Reproduction, here they are in front of Marc Quinn's new limited edition work which layers contrasting urban elements over a Turner-esque sunset. We've just got works from Quinn's Fossil Record series into the gallery so it was great to see five of the works on the stand too.
I loved this Bosco Sodi work, a Mexican artist I recently started to follow, Sodi is known for his richly textured, vividly coloured paintings. There's something kind of cool about the fact that Sodi often leaves his paintings untitled, with the intention to remove any connection beyond the work's immediate existence.
After an early pancake pitstop at Sarabeth's (and they were seriously good pancakes) I headed over to Randall's Island, Frieze New York was back...and you had to watch yours as a pick pocket was on the loose, all part of the fun of course! The thief was part of one of six ‘interruptive’ artworks visitors encountered over the course of the week.
As one of the world's most influential art fairs, Frieze hosted a maze of eye-popping artworks, a giant floating baby, and this year there was even a real live donkey (that's Sir Gabriel, to you). Anthea Hamilton's Kar-A-Sutra was a sure fire instagram hit, and huge congratulations are also in order as Hamilton is named as one of the finalists in this year's Turner Prize.
A highlight for me was the culmination of Damien Hirst’s most iconic works at the Gagosian's stand - including spin paintings, pharmaceutical cabinets, butterfly canvases and formaldehyde sculptures. The stand was devoted to welcoming Hirst back after a three year 'separation'...it seemed two of the biggest names in the art market were happily loved up once again.
There's something about Tracey Emin's neons that always get me and "I keep believing in you" turned out to be a favourite. Emin's deeply heartfelt messages about love are nearly always tinged with sadness or anger, but as a hopeless romantic this was to me a beautiful work about love and life (i've got a spot in my living room for it and everything if you're listening Father Christmas...!).
And if all that wasn't enough, the city that never sleep’s is home to a vast collection of galleries and museums. No visit would be complete without a trip to the Whitney to bask in Warhol, Basquiat and Avedon.
One of my favourite things to do is stroll around and discover a city, often (more frequently than I'd like) getting lost in the process, but when you get lost I always find you come across the best surprises. I might have squealed when I saw my favourite JR on the side of a Soho building, and the heart breakingly beautiful image was even better in the flesh.
After some words of wisdom, the sun finally came out and a move uptown was made to my favourite New York hotel yet: 1 Hotel, Central Park. The concept of the socially responsible hotel simply being: the world around us is beautiful and we want to do our best to keep it that way. How can you disagree with that...I found my new office away from home and happy place.
I'm coming back to London having discovered the best burger in the city, far too many pancakes and an abnormal amount of delicious treats....to satisfy both the tummy and the imagination.
New York you were magical, see you soon xx