It has a fish preserved in formaldehyde, 10 people wearing one hat, a giant dice (Gagosian Gallery) and The Smile Face Museum. Of course, it’s Frieze London time again. One of the world leading art fairs housed in Regents Park is the most important date in the calender of many galleries, collectors and art lovers alike. I have always followed what goes on, I find the whole spectacle that is Frieze fascinating. From the fashions, heals are out and polo necks in this year in case you wondered, to finding out astonishing facts about the fairs visitors and artists. Did you know 200 kilos of coffee will be consumed over the 3 day event?!
There is usually the typical piece of artwork used as a brash marketing strategy for the gallery. However, this year Cork Street gallery Helly Nahmad have captured the media’s attention with it’s unusual display showing a staged set from the louche Paris appartment from 1968, called Corrado N a k a ‘The Collector’. A massive difference to the stark white walls and minimal displays which so often disorientates when walking around the fair (it’s no wonder so many coffee breaks are needed), Helly Nahmad have hung Picasso’s and Miro’s alongside socialist posters and hung a Lucio Fontana above a fake desk.
In an attempt to distill the philosophy of what the ideal collector should be the gallery hired set designer Robin Brown to create the cluttered space. Complete with dirty dishes, keys strewn on top of a Warhol book and it’s very own unmade bed. When talking about the ideal collector the creator says he is…
Passionate, intellectual, reclusive. He’s not living to entertain people here, he’s living and breathing art.
The piece has a wonderful nostalgia which I find so refreshing to see at Frieze. It reminds me of the 2008 Frieze Project by Kling & Bang. Where an interactive Sirkus, a bar in downtown Reykjavik, was constructed within a booth. I remember walking in with my Dad for a drink and suddenly feeling like I’d actually come in from the Icelandic cold, the atmosphere was fantastic.
Corrado N a k a ‘The Collector’ is immersive and emotional and represents so many older art collectors environments, it is entirely unexpected. In it’s way it acts as an intimate diary for so many collectors in the art world and as a key performance has attracted a lot of attention throughout the world. See more images below…
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