If you are a long-time reader of mine, you will know that one of my passions outside of antiques and collectibles is contemporary art. A couple weeks ago I flew out to Los Angeles for art week, a time when there are multiple art fairs and gallery openings packed within a four-day period.
You are never going to be able to see everything, so making a soft itinerary is a requirement if you want to have a somewhat successful trip. Some fairs focus on secondary works, others design, but for my friends and I our focus is on emerging and mid-career artists. This focus brought us to Frieze and the Felix Art Fair.
Some background contexts first, Frieze is the main attraction and largest fair which took place at the Santa Monica airport, a very cool venue. Frieze features everything from emerging early career artists to modern masters like Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, and Andy Warhol. It is where the biggest galleries in the art world show, but also tenured and reputable smaller galleries from across the world that exhibit obtainable good art. For Los Angeles, this is a relatively new event in terms of contemporary art having only been the fifth year of the show compared to the New York show which is entering its eleventh year. LA has been a rapidly growing scene, so it was time to finally go experience it firsthand. While Frieze was enjoyable, my favorite experience was at Felix.
The Felix Art Fair took place in The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel which was an incredibly fun viewing experience. Galleries were set up within hotel rooms spanning two complete floors and the ground level cabana rooms around the pool and bar. Bonus points that this was also the hotel we stayed at, making it a fun time morning and night - you never knew who you would get to talk to! The main love of Felix though is that even if you are novice collector there is art of every price point. One of my favorite works there was an installation of twelve small paintings, each priced at $500. They were all sold out by the time I saw them, otherwise one would have come home.
Traveling to LA was great, but the beauty of art is you do not need to travel across the country to see it. If you are reading this and want to spice up your collection with some contemporary art, go to an upcoming local fair. It is a great entry point into the contemporary art world - You never know what you might like and come home with!
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