This past weekend, the Seattle Art Fair welcomed thousands of eager visitors to view the works of notable artists from all over the world in the city’s first fair of this scale.
Seattle, a city that is commonly known for its rain and coffee, oh and a few “Ma and Pa” type companies: Microsoft (I think they make high-end pet clothes?), Amazon, Boeing, etc. – presented a well-constructed fair, showcasing both local artists and some bigger names from the international art world. Seattle Art Fair is the newest edition of fairs hosted by Art Market Productions (Art on Paper NY, Texas Contemporary, etc).
Given the city’s overwhelming presence of tech-companies, it’s no surprise that the fair decided on an overarching theme that mixed art and technology. Although Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wasn’t present, the drones that he is ever so fond of, most certainly were. The Seattle Art Fair provided its viewers with a large array of artists and unique pieces to browse. The following are five of the 62 galleries that stood out as I made my way through the WaMu Theater.
This gallery, which was founded in Seoul, South Korea in 1983 (and as of 2008, has a gallery in NYC’s Chelsea as well) gave fair-goer’s the chance to see numerous perplexing and visually stimulating pieces. Two of these pieces, which were displayed next to one another, were a collage by Tom Lee from his “Arcanum Series,” and an eye-bending sculpture by Yi Hwan-Kwon (the sculpture intentionally makes the structure look like a stretched photo).
Adelson Galleries (New York) brought the work of Colombian artist Frederico Uribe to the fair. Having been described as “resisting classification,” Uribe combines paint and sculpture with common everyday objects to create pieces that stick out, in both a figurative and literal sense. One of his techniques, “Pencilism” was in full force at the fair through a series of portraits all created from, you guessed it, pencils.
This Japanese gallery hailing from Tokyo showed a handful of exciting pieces. Much of the art displayed by the gallery was by Japanese-based artist Akiko Mashima. I spoke with Koki Arts director, Koki Ishibashi, who said people at the fair were responding very well to Mashima’s work, and it’s no surprise given how aesthetically pleasing her sleek and elegantly simplistic pieces are.
The gallery from San Francisco only displayed work by Vancouver B.C. artist Graham Gillmore, known for using text as his art. In addition to his painting “Your Proportions Are Not That Exquisite,” Gallery 16 displayed numerous Gillmore pieces that showcased the artists unique imagery, leaving viewers (or at least me and the Clay Aiken look-alike I was standing next to) wanting to know more about Gillmore and his personal style.
Seattle’s own James Harris Gallery displayed Brazilian born artist Vik Muniz’s “Sigmund Freud” from his 1997 series “Pictures of Chocolate.” Muniz, who is perhaps best known for his unique style that involves photographing his subjects and then recreating the photographs by layering different objects to mimic the outline of the original image. His work was the subject of the popular documentary “Waste Land,” which was released in 2010. Muniz’s portrait of Sigmund Freud, which was created from chocolate syrup is impressive to say the least, and was truly a treat to see in person.