Monday, 1 August 2011

Art Fair by Hudson Zuma

In light of the current arrests of two known Street Artists that I know,
Revok, and Chor Boogie, Banksy’s: Exit Through the Gift Shop, being nominated by Hollywood in it’s documentary form, MOCA exhibiting ‘Art in The Streets’ (though some claim it is in attempts to chain Art into the Museum hmm?) and what we know as Street Art rapidly gaining recognition by the Academy and the general public viewers, it appears as though the stage has been set in more ways than one. The museums are pawing and prying into every slab of concrete to get a fix on the styles and the freshness of Street Art. All of which brings me to my current question. Art Fair. Is it? or is it not? and what is fair in the realms of commercialism and/or publicity? Where do we draw the line and is it more important now than ever to keep our art IN the streets, in it’s rare, free, raw form?

I’ve had the great opportunity to attend four amazing Fairs,
Berlin Biennale, Art Basel Miami, and in New york, The Armory Show and Volta NY, perusing the booths, collecting information careening the press rooms, and attending the open forum panels as well as meeting some amazing new artists and curators from all walks of life and every corner of the world, and trust me new art forms are being created in rapidity as we speak. The one constant occurrence I seemed to notice was that there was an absence of «color» in the arena. So being the Roving Reporter that I am and in attempts to better understand the» vibe» I conducted a little experiment.

At the beginning of every day I would walk about the Fair without my press badge and not much to my surprise, being black and female, I did encounter some strange looks, some altered behavior, completely ignored by curators in the booths and by museum representatives, and much to my surprise by several of the artists. So i decided to take it a bit further and enter into the panels where my questions were ignored, I was refused seating at times and was even asked for my credentials in a public forum, meaning open to the public. I remained unaffected by it on the outside but, on the inside I could only imagine how it must feel for an artist of color to enter into the not so welcome, intimidating world of the
Art Fair.


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