Since the exhibition in Jeddah with Teresa Emanuele and the charity auction for the Yoga Centre, I have been working on several private projects that I cannot go into. If I did tell you, I’d have to kill you. Which would be such a bore.
What I can tell you about though is the preparations for ArtInternational, Istanbul’s newest art fair with whom I was working as the liason for the Middle East.
When I was first approached by Dyala Nusseibeh, the fair’s director, over a year ago to join the team I jumped at the chance. Dyala is a wonderful person with a great eye, but it was still a bit of a gamble. After all, there was nothing to it yet apart from an invitation. No galleries, no venue, no team, just the idea itself. Anyway, the gamble paid off.
The fair brought together 62 international galleries, offering artwork from the highest end like a jaw-droppingly gorgeous stainless steel Tony Cragg at Andersson Sandstrom Gallery from Sweden.
Lisson brought some outstanding works by Anish Kapoor, but my favourite piece in their booth was Spencer Finch’s Morning Star. I’ve always been a fan of neon sculpture, the way the light permeates the space around it extending its form through space.
Pace brought a work by Sugimoto whose soothing blended grey tones really do evoke a sense of calm and Keith Coventry’s Junk Paintings: abstracted portraits of discarded McDonald’s wrappers that are a contemporary nod to modern British palette and geometric forms and to Britain’s current pop-culture.
Krinzinger gallery brought one of my very favourite images by Marina Abramovic, a self-portrait in which she has been meditating for hours on end. Her brain is consciously emitting Alpha Waves, the brain wave that is produced during deep meditation and somehow the tranquility of the sitter is conveyed through the medium. Whenever I was feeling a bit tired (most of the time) I would take a moment to go and stand in front of that image.
Apart from these major works, there were also pieces by up and coming artists. Rampa had a piece by Nevin Aladag that was particularly interesting. Nevin has participated in a number of biennales and museum shows and is a keen observer of social habits, her work references cross-cultural elements challenging typical assumptions of the east by the west, and visa versa. She is an important voice in contemporary art and I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about her.
Basim Magdy also participated, a young Egyptian artist based in Basel. Both a poet and an artist his works often combine the two elements. In the works that Art Sumer had on display (other works from the series were included at the Istanbul Biennial held parallel to the fair) he included disparate image and text resulting in poignant and compelling works of art at a very affordable level.
I’ve spent so long waxing lyrical about the artists and their work that I shall have to continue about the parties in another blog!