We sent an illustrator to Frieze New York to capture all the action—See images here


One of the main advantages of attending Frieze for the second time in the same place is knowing in advance where all the bathrooms are, a pressing question which I also addressed in my last article for clean art.

While waiting in line, I saw the women right in front of me wearing fabulous shoes. One, dressed in feathers, said to an enthusiastic onlooker who complimented her, “These are from Miu Miu, and you just made my whole day!”

Unlike 2021, when Frieze felt more lethargic than a funeral, people were visibly happy and optimistic. Everyone was chatting amiably. It was like a college reunion.

I was there to do a “What’s in your bag?” piece, but the fashion at Frieze still begs to be recorded, like the fabulous shoe game at Clearing (New York, Brussels).

Later, I spotted a bag straight out of the Venice Biennale and waved to its owner. “So you’re back from the Biennale?” I asked.

She told me her name was Cherryn and she worked for a Korean electronics company. “Unfortunately no. I was ready to leave from Seoul, then I got sick with Covid a few days before and couldn’t go. My colleague reported it to me.

I have a sixth sense that a woman nearby, carrying a huge, shiny black bag, had some interesting stuff inside. I asked her, and she immediately pulled out two giant bars of Swedish chocolate. Sure!

“I have Swedish chocolate, deodorant, this feel-good throat spray and this first aid kit. It’s in the colors of the rainbow! It’s actually super cute.

She told me her name was Kendall. It was a very Mary Poppins moment.

I spotted this person on their way to Frieze, but their tickets were scanned before I could brush them aside to speak. Fortunately, I meet them an hour later.

“My name is Di Mondo. I’m a creative person”—clearly—“but I’m not technically an artist. I don’t sell art. He works for his boyfriend’s e-commerce company .

“The bag is Eric Javits, and the hat too. I have my wallet, headphones, keys, perfume and lip balm. My perfume is that of Kilian, ‘Love, Don’t Be Shy’. He sprayed some on my wrist.

Of her outfit: “I thought it was happy! You know, it’s spring, it’s colorful. It has a certain Frank Stella vibe. I get a bunch of outfits that I like [every year before Frieze] and then I see what works.

I couldn’t help but spot a fabulous SpongeBob bag carried by Harlem-born Venus X, who told me she was “a DJ by trade, and also a musician.”

“The only interesting thing I have here is my pen case.”

I couldn’t believe she was carrying a Doraemon suitcase, a popular character in Japan but virtually unknown here.

“I was a stationery kid and collected a lot of fun things when I was growing up. He was one of the characters that appealed to me.”

From his bag: “I love SpongeBob. That’s why I got the bag. It’s by Comme des Garçons. “They took sheets and turned them into plastic bags. They are all unique. »

Just before Frieze closes for Preview Day, I stop Jordan Pieper, who works at Gallery Sterling Boos (Delancey and Greene), and ask him what’s in his bag.

He pulled out a Japanese zipper pouch. I resisted the urge to tell him that I had lived in the zipper manufacturing capital of the world, the city of Kurobe, YKK’s home base in Japan. (It’s hard to resist).

Then he pulled out an embroidered pouch from Mexico. “What is it filled with? Peso. It’s from Zonamaco, from February. You can tell how often I clean my bags.

On Friday, I finally arrived at the Gagosian distributor. On the side was written:

I don’t think it could be related to the song my family used to sing about going to “the funny farm”, but then I heard a guest say to the attendant, “I think these are the lyrics of a song! I took her aside to ask her name – Marcia Silva – and more about the song, and she sang the one I was thinking of, from Napoleon XIV, from 1966.

So ends my time at another crazy big year at Frieze New York.

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