Grayson Perry, Russell Tovey, Jeff Koons and emo art: Frieze London 2013

By Mark Sheerin | 16 October 2013

Review: Frieze London, Regent’s Park, London, October 17-20 2013

A photo of a sculpture of a cat
Jeff Koons puts the cat among the petals at Frieze© Courtesy Frieze
The show begins in the elevator from Regent’s Park tube. Instead of teeth whitening and dodgy MBAs, the ads on all side are for Lisson Gallery. Above ground it is raining, and most of the tube riders are heading for an outdoor tent.

But the Frieze marquee is more than equal to the elements – warm, dry, cavernous and before too long heaving with journalists and VIPs.  

Grayson Perry is holding court at the Victoria Miro stand. Actor Russell Tovey is prowling the aisles, all business. Anonymous old friends greet one another and ask: “Are you on the hunt?”

An extensive Jeff Koons display from Gagosian draws photographers and cameramen like a magnet. This, of course, is the perfect environment for the New York artist. He is among his many patrons.

But he doesn’t have a monopoly on impact. Gavin Brown Enterprises are representing Rob Pruitt with a crowd of anthropomorphic traffic cones. It looks like the most lucrative student prank of all time.

Salon 94 have a stack of bass drums by Terry Adkins and are literally drumming up business. Except these drums are muffled, leaving Adkins one step ahead.

A transparent Dan Graham pavilion, dubbed Groovy Spiral, offers one way in and no way out. It is impossible not to read half the artworks here as comments on the very situation in which they find themselves.

Pierre Huyghe (Marion Goodman) catches the eye with two aquatic tanks populated with horseshoe and arrow crabs. They await destined owners with the apparent despair felt by lobsters in an upscale seafood joint.

Meanwhile, Galerie Chantal Crousel wins a prize for selling the maddest dream. Abraham Cruzvillegas calls one of his mixed media installations: I Wish I Was Chaste Neat and Voluptuous (Or At Least My Butt Looked Like Those Painted By Rubens) But I’m Just A Horny Intergalactic Indigenous Emo.

Suffice to say, not many Emo kids were seen queuing to buy it. But plenty of folk who may as well be intergalactic abound at Frieze this year, as ever.

  • Open 12pm-7pm (6pm Sunday). Tickets £20-£52 (free for under-12s). Book online and follow Frieze London on Twitter @FriezeLondon.

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