I have asked Jen from our office to share her thoughts on the New York art fair Scope. Scope is a smart addition to the art fair world with its alternative approach. You can check out more at Scope New York.
With EIGHT important art fairs (Art Show, The Armory Show, Scope, Pulse, DiVA, LA Art in New York, Red Dot, Fountain) and countless accompanying events to choose from, the last weekend in February was both an arthead's dream come true and a true waffler's worst nightmare!
Promising the work of up and coming and emerging artists, I was most tempted by the underground appeal of Scope. As soon as I entered however, it was clear that in its 6th year, the fair now attracts a wide range of careers and galleries. Here are three of the artists whom at some point, emerged and caught my eye:
Shannon Lucy's darling paintings carry a particular wit, but her sense of color and delicate illustrative style is what made my heart flutter most. Her quiet political statements feel like a thoughtful reccommendations to the UN, a refreshing respite from the more abrasive messages that typically turn up in political art. In others, she takes on less worldly topics making quick remarks about american symbols, enjoying the simple fun of graphic drawing along the way. Somehow throwing me back to storytime as a kid at the same time, I can't help but mention that her work ever so slightly reminds me of Eric Chase Anderson's drawings on the wall of Richie Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums (brilliant, by the way). Check out some of Lucy's other work at Cynthia Broan to get the full picture.
Esko Mannikko of Yancey Richardson was one of the more established artists and galleries that I came across, at least for me anyway. I first noticed his work a few years ago, when he was showing mind-blowing animal portraits and their details, some of which I saw again at the fair. His treatment of human portraiture is equally striking and I particularly like his pics of people absorbed into their home environments. What I love most and is consistent through every subject he tackles, is a stillness that immediately calms upon facing his photographs.
Tomas Rivas' take on the accessible medium of drywall panels was both hilarious and ingenius to me. Using every single layer from the surface paper to the durable board behind it and the plaster itself, Rivas turned one of the most generic building materials (and leading waste products) into high design with ultimate efficiency. See more of his postmodern relief at Douz and Mille.
Pip Culbert and Tucker Nichols of Lincart and Cat Clifford and Jenny Heishman of Howard House Contemporary Art were among other standouts.