This February marks the first edition of Frieze Los Angeles, the London-based fair juggernaut’s attempt to turn the world’s entertainment capital into a new stop-off on the global art market circuit. And now it will have a new satellite fair to help create an enticing critical mass for collectors: Felix LA, a quirky, 35-gallery expo that will be held in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the refurbished 1920s deco hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. Felix LA is spearheaded by television executive and art collector Dean Valentine. It will open February 13, the day before the public opening of Frieze’s L.A. fair, which will be held at Paramount Studios—just a 12-minute Uber away from the Roosevelt (well, unless you get stuck in that notorious L.A. traffic).
Valentine has been collecting art for decades, and said he was inspired to start Felix LA by fairs such as the Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair, which took place at the then-shabby Gramercy Park Hotel in May 1994, and had a West Coast iteration at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard later that year. “It had a much more fun and intimate vibe, and that felt like what was missing,” Valentine told ARTnews. “So I started thinking—I wonder if we could recreate that sensibility?”
He added that relatively low overhead will keep exhibitors’ costs to a minimum, so dealers won’t be under enormous financial pressure to sell out their booths. “The worst that will happen is you’ve had a really wonderful few days around a pool in L.A., and the best is that you’ll sell some art as well,” Valentine said. An exhibitor list boasting a global array of galleries will reportedly be announced in the coming months. Valentine stressed that he does not see Felix LA as competition for Frieze or L.A.’s older fair, Art Los Angeles Contemporary. “The adjunct fair model seems to benefit everybody,” he said.