Interviews

Who Goes to NY Art Fairs? Emerging Collectors at The Dependent

by Hrag Vartanian on March 5, 2011

The entrance to The Dependent art fair.

This is the second in our Emerging Collectors at the Fairs series, sponsored by 20×200, which travels to various art fairs and asks visitors why they attend the New York art fairs, if they collect art, and how they know if they like a work of art.

In this post were travel to the shortest art fair of New York art fair week, The Dependent, which hosted 16 galleries on two floors of the Four Points Sheraton hotel on Chelsea’s West 25th Street.

The crowd at this fair was more artist heavy than most of other fairs but I sought out the best cross-section I could to profile.

Here is who and what I found on a Friday night in Chelsea.

* * *

The Emerging Collectors at the Fairs series is supported by 20×200, the place to buy art online. 20×200 offers limited-edition fine art prints at ridiculously affordable prices. Learn more about 20×200 here.

* * *

David Hutchinson, collector/artist, Part-time New Yorker

“I just got here … I’m browsing … I look forward to to the fair each year … I’m been coming to the fair for thirty years, since the first Armory fair in the hotel on the East Side … [the fairs now] are much more commercial, much bigger and this fair reminds me a little of the earlier fairs.”

* * *

Joanne Greenbaum, painter/sometimes collector, New York

“I’ve been in New York a long time so I’ve been going to the fairs since the original Gramercy fair … I come to see what people are doing … this is the first fair I’ve been to [this year] … [how do I know if it’s a work I want to own?] Well, I have to like it and it has to be cheap.”

* * *

Aida W., nonprofit worker/art appreciator, New York / Susan Boswell, gallery worker, New York

“I don’t normally go to the other fair events, as I find them quite boring, but this felt obviously off the beaten track, so to speak. I came to check out the gallery of a friend … I just love the whole set-up here in the hotel, so intimate, it’s fun, you feel like you’re exploring and it doesn’t have the commercial edge you find in the others … [my husband and I] don’t consider ourselves collectors because we will never sell it but we accumulate, we’re pack rats … aesthetics plays a role [in what art I like] but also if it’s intellectually stimulating and challenging … it’s a gut feeling, somehow if I’m blown away by it and it somehow speaks to me then I like it.” — Susan

“I have art but it is very low-key, cheap, from the streets … for me, art is about personally relating to it. I like it when I don’t feel intimidated by it. The fact that this fair was in a hotel, it was something different that I can explore not necessarily as art but a whole experience, coming here, how it’s set up, it provides an entry point rather than going to a museum where there is so much history that you almost feel overwhelmed by things you don’t know. Here provides a nice cozy atmosphere.” — Aida

* * *

Sophia Rasenas, crafter in my own spare time, New York

” … [I come to the fairs] to get a whole new perspective on what’s going on and what’s new and where people are heading. A couple of years ago it was more photography and people are changing to collages and new stuff and new products … in terms of the art I own or live with, it’s something you keep thinking about and then you leave and come back and you realize you can’t stop thinking about it, then that’s something I can live with. If it’s something that I keeps bringing me back, then that’s something I would purchase and take home with me.” — Donna

* * *

Ava Diaz, art historian/critic, New York

“As a critic, I have to see as much work as possible, so that’s why I’m here. When I say I don’t collect, it is because I don’t have the money to buy things, but people do give me things or trade so [I do have some art] … for most people, home is the first place you can think about art as something you can live with, so there are certain types of work you wouldn’t be able to collect because of space constraints or money … [what do I like to own?] it’s hard to say because I do change things in my space and new things come in, so it’s really all about being able to work things together. You need to curate your own avenues of new work.”

* * *

 

The Emerging Collectors at the Fairs series is supported by 20×200, the place to buy art online. 20×200 offers limited-edition fine art prints at ridiculously affordable prices. Learn more about 20×200 here.

  • Subscribe to the Hyperallergic email newsletter!

Hyperallergic welcomes comments and a lively discussion, but comments are moderated after being posted. For more details please read our comment policy.

Previous post:

Next post: