Rózsa Farkas, the founder and director of London’s Arcadia Missa, pointed out another difference between Paris Internationale and most other fairs that require an application and submission. Paris Internationale’s pricing stays the same regardless of how many artists a gallery brings, so dealers aren’t wedded to one presentation or a solo show.
“It means you can be a little more free and make decisions more at the last minute about what you’re taking,” said Farkas, who was participating for the second time. She had brought a mix of works by Arcadia Missa’s artists, but with a focus on new drawings by Penny Goring. On one wall, she had hung a whole medley of works, in the style of a salon.
“It’s being honest about what a fair is,” she said, gesturing to the wall—in other words, a chance to display the artists you represent and hopefully sell enough work to keep the lights on. To that end, Farkas said she was experimenting with bringing works at a lower price point, ranging from £1,000 to £4,000.
Of course, as so many dealers pointed out, Paris Internationale this year felt like more than just a typical fair. Rather, it seemed like an opportunity for the Davids of the art world to gather and fortify themselves for what could be another grueling year for galleries of their size, age, and spirit.
“They’re creating a community of like-minded galleries and this is very powerful now,” said Alain Servais, a Belgian collector who supports emerging artists and young galleries. “This is a way to counter the big machine. And this is a reason to be here—not because it’s the same price as Frieze Focus, but because you’re part of a community.”