Last weekend during the New York art fairs, the OWS-affiliated Occupy Museums group reminded attendees of the 2012 Armory Show that having a big bank account wasn’t the only way to enjoy or obtain the artwork of others. The occupiers set up a free art exchange outside the entrance to the Armory, offering an eclectic variety of works available free of charge to anyone willing to creatively reciprocate.
One artist functioned as a mobile drawing studio and invited guests to offer their talents for a piece of liberated currency (zinc exploded pennies). Another artist had a gallery of mini-dioramas/terrariums featuring animal insect hybrids enclosed in Plexiglas.
Highlights of the event included a Merrill Lynch banking adviser who couldn’t help sympathizing and sharing his artistic prowess. Best of all, the head of the Armory Show came out to acknowledge the disturbance to his show and said, “you can ride my coattails all you want” when asking some artists to move their work away from a firetruck. A poignant remark given the protester’s grievance that artists and their work had become secondary to the profiteers.
If the pr is to be believed, this year’s March New York art fairs did rather well.