For a short while in the middle of October it became de rigueur in Regents Park to wear odd shoes, speak predominantly French, and sip pinot grigio from just after eleven in the morning. The internationally-revered, annual Frieze Art Fair had arrived in London with natural fanfare. The four day event displayed over 1000 modern works, to be seen by several thousand visitors. Stylish visitors at that. Chic French thirty-somethings, trendy London art students and carefully disheveled industry types had all nonchalantly fashioned themselves to the brim. Chief purveyors of a certain kind of taste also made appearances – a shy Tracey Emin and a rather loud, if loveable, Mark-Francis Vandelli were the artistic somebodies to be spied.
It was a contemporary art-lover’s paradise. However, what filled the inside of the space ship-like terminal of a gallery, could not have juxtaposed more with the traditional Georgian location. The Frieze cherishes everything young, minimal and particularly unusual. It has no time for the common perception about modern art: well…is it really even art? On arrival I, too, shared this belief. Is it actually that hard to take good photography with a really expensive camera or paint a canvas all one colour? I also viewed the art world as that little bit too exclusive. and obsessed with its own taste. How wrong I was. The Frieze was full of wonderfully thought-provoking images and beautifully provocative art. In fact, a lot of London’s charm chimed through in the rebellious nature of the whole exhibition.
The Frieze was not without its fair share of art snobs, and those who were simply there to pose and be seen. However, if you look past the big blow drys, deliberately clashing pleather and print, and pointy brogues of the fellow visitors, you will see a lot that is pleasing to the eye. And some that isn’t. Who would have thought that a stained mattress could look appealing, or two women covered in slime might look good? Indeed, in the modern art world, odd socks simply will not do when you can have odd shoes.