These days it seems that a certain set will only make a voyage to go see art if they’re escorted there via boat (just kidding). Certainly, though, a considerable chunk of the tanned and preened faces on HMS Frieze (a.k.a. the New York Water Taxi) en route from midtown Manhattan to Randall’s Island, where the contemporary art event has once again staked its tent, were fresh off Venetian vaporetto. And with the curatorial and mercantile art extravaganzas back to back, surely it’s no surprise the American iteration of the European fair emitted more than a whiff of Biennale buzz.
Frieze New York
opened on Wednesday not to a market made weary by Campari Spritz, as some swanky sailors pondered en route. Rather, once docked and inside, a packed maze of the international art set—gallerists, collectors, artists, and Leonardo DiCaprio—whizzed about, picking favorites and pondering purchases. Transactions were robust and plentiful, though not exorbitant—perhaps a shell-shock scoff at the $179 Picasso sold at Christie’s
two nights before. Nearly every gallery, whether blue-chip or fresh-faced, had placed works into collectors’ hands by the time the Pommery popped, marking the witching hour of the evening’s vernissage, when less deep pockets are permitted to spill into the aisles.