Written by Michael Goldstein for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Michael Goldstein
5 out of 5 stars
CLIO ART FAIR 2016
NEW YORK, NY (March 7, 2016) The Clio Art Fair (March 3 – 6, 2016), or in this case, “anti-fair,” takes its name from the Grecian Muse of history, whose name is derived from the Greek verb for “to make famous” or “celebrate.” In this regard, the art fair, located at 508 West 26th Street lives up to its title, showcasing a magnificent display of paintings, sculptures, and the like from underrepresented independent artists who have no NYC gallery representation. In doing so, it changes the concept of the artist’s booth and instead leaves a wide space for independent artists from the world over to bring out their wide-range of work without constraints. Here’s my take on yesterday’s Closing Day presentations:
Erin Ko’s BLACK STAR I was one of the day’s showstoppers. The large vinyl mural depicting a multitude of cave-painting-like stick figures looking above at what appears to be a pixelating star is described by Ko as, “Cave paintings and a digital portal. Another place is revealed along with a stranger. Who’s scanning who….” What we have here is, in my mind, actually more like sun worship rather than a portal. Or maybe it is, the sun-like sphere being a subtle representation of our current obsession with technology and the current topic of total outside surveillance. It’s mystifying and creepy, and is clearly a much better representation of our current affairs than any millennial study.
Jamie Martinez’s Deal With It is a perfect reflection of our current state of affairs. It doesn’t really do anything significantly mind-bending, but maybe that’s the whole point. What Martinez seems to be going for here is that just a single face (I won’t name names), is enough to generate an emotional response, and it truly packs a punch.
Nicholas Arbatsky’s 2014 Timberline Series was ambivalent and innocent. The series showcases nine images, each one completely blurred, muddling with our natural reactions to a scene from nature. Maybe you’re not supposed to understand nature and instead come up with your own design. Maybe we just need to take them as they are. But this demonstrates the reason for the Clio Art Fair’s existence; to create a gateway for new contemporary forms.
Finally, Sunil Garg‘s No One Leaves Home was the icing on the cake. A visual, not to mention emotional, imagining of Warsan Shire’s poem, Home, is an extremely loud take on the fate of war victims. A pair of sharks going after the body of a dead child is an assertive expression of death and memory that dominates its space.
There were no walls to separate any of the fair’s selections, no artist placing their displays in any rooms. Putting everybody’s display in a single area heightens imagination. Here, no one is really an independent artist, but rather a swarm of social butterflies.
For more information about Clio Art Fair, visit: clioartfair.com