Wandering through the mazes of booths at SCOPE Art Fair was at first overwhelming. So much to see! Located one block from the Armory Show Piers, there are 60 international gallerists packed into two floors with works ranging from realism and pop art to a gold sculpture of the poop emoji. Here are the highlights from the opening night.
Borochov’s pieces from his recent Chastity Collection are at once conventionally lavish (think 24 kt gold plated brass bows) and alarming, such as a baby pink powder coated “face cage.” This booth struck me because it was fairly unusual in the otherwise painting, sculpture, and photography heavy exhibition. Borochov’s pieces are simultaneously at home amidst the flashy pop art inspired pieces that dotted the exhibition and alien, while offering visitors the distinct opportunity of interacting directly with the pieces. The gallerists and Borochov himself were adorned in shimmering gold pieces, and invited us to try on various tiaras, mesh veils, and, yes, the Hannibal Barbie Face Cage.
“People wear these pieces everywhere, from the supermarket to the Grammys,” said Borochov when I asked him about his intention for these works. “I want people to feel empowered.”
The Castle Fitzjohns booth featured works by Sam Tufnell, who strives to “find new ways to convey traditional subject matter as well as [his own] childish motives.” Subversion of childhood was certainly a theme in his photo series, mug shots of multi colored gummy bears. Faux acid tabs with gummy bear illustrations littered the floor of the gallery, as well as a dish of gummy bears furtively nestled between two sculptures. “Can we take a gummy bear?” I asked exhibitor Vincent Harrison. He nodded, and I asked him what he thought of Tufnell’s work. “It’s striking. It’s all about the loss of innocence,” he explained.
Hiroko Shiina’s work was a refreshing break from the many loud neon pieces that marked the show. The artist uses subtle materials such as ink, crayon, and coffee on wooden panel to convey her message. Her intricate style is stunning, especially paired with her pallet of basic raw materials. A Kyas Art Salon exhibitor pointed us to apiece called “Broken Flowers,” a series of 12 small woodblocks featuring close up floral patterns. He explained that her work plays between traditional Japanese art techniques and current day imagery, such as portraits of women clad in modern day lingerie.
Like this article? Check out PULSE New York Art Fair, A Conversation Between Artists and other global art news.