At White Columns, self-taught schizophrenic artist Derrick Alexis Coard’s portraits of floating black male faces echoed this theme of interconnectedness. As the pioneering nonprofit space’s director Matthew Higgs explained, Coard’s figures are amalgams of people he sees on the streets of New York, where he lives and works. Priced at $2,800 and $3,200, they were still available at 1 p.m., but drawing interest. The booth also hosted a series of drawings by Karen May, an artist who works out of California’s NIAD Art Center, which supports artists with disabilities. Her moving, at times humorous, pen and marker additions to Artforum ads were selling for just $200. Next door at the booth of Oakland nonprofit Creative Growth, one of the first and largest arts center for adults with disabilities, red dots were being affixed beside artworks across the booth. Two of Kim Clark's embroidered, pillow-like sculptures, which depicted the faces of her heroes David Bowie and Prince, were crowd favorites; priced at $250, both had sold by 11:30 a.m.
Down the hall, weighty figuration commanded attention at New York gallery CANADA’s installation as well. Poughkeepsie-based ’s
radical painting of President Obama pictured the soon-departing president as his dissenters might see him—smoking a cigar and decorated with a devil’s tail. The work was drawing a crowd and provoking conversation around Obama’s underrecognized accomplishments. But, priced at $14,000, it had not yet been sold by close of day, perhaps due to its raw, searingly relevant political content. ’s
gauzy canvases of faceless bathers wading in calm seas, on the other hand, had nearly sold out. They were priced between $4,500 for smaller works and $26,000 for very large ones. “There’s something existential about them, and they’re calming,” the gallery’s Adrianne Rubenstein said of their appeal. One collector stood, seemingly mesmerized, in front of Bradford’s largest painting in the booth, Night Swimmers, Maroon
(2016), depicting two figures floating in deep purple, celestial space.