It’s no easy feat getting New Yorkers to brave the cacophony of tourist-heavy Times Square, but the curators of the sixth edition of SPRING/BREAK Art Show are having no problem doing just that. By the afternoon of the art fair’s preview on Tuesday, a lengthy queue was forming at the fair’s new location, the 22nd and 23rd floors of the former Condé Nast building at 4 Times Square.
Known for its curatorially driven mission and edgy approach, SPRING/BREAK was in full swing by 3:30pm. That’s when its founders Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly introduced the 2017 show to a cluster of reporters lounging in bean bag chairs on the 22nd floor, an area that was once inhabited by Vanity Fair staffers. “We thought, ‘how do we go into this show with such a clean space?’” Kelly said of the corporate environment, which follows two years in the distinguished, nostalgia-filled halls of the former James A. Farley Post Office on 34th Street. She quickly added, “That’s where the curators came in.” And they did.
Over 150 curators, with the works of more than 400 artists, have co-opted the corner offices, copy rooms, and reception areas of the publishing conglomerate’s former headquarters—installations accented by sweeping vistas of flashing billboards, gleaming glass towers, and the Hudson River seen through the building’s windows.
The curators were asked to respond to the theme of “Black Mirror,” inspired by the mirror devices used by
painters. This directive was meant to open discussion around self-portraiture and the ways in which artists reveal and conceal their identities. Based on the most coherent and compelling responses to this theme, we share below 16 curators who you’ll want to keep tabs on.