Another Year, Another Armory Show Survival Guide

Here it comes, a marathon week, when the Armory Show and other art fair exhibitions descend upon New York City–some people love it, to others it is a professional duty and a physical endurance test, to be survived as best as possible.

As a freelancer, over the years, The Armory Show has turned into quite an event for me. The Armory Show is New York’s premier art fair (it welcomes over 65,000 visitors annually) and a definitive cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th and 21st century artworks. Staged on Piers 92 & 94, the fair features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions and dynamic public programs. This time of year, it is also freezing cold and windy on the piers; most years, I just pray for decent weather & endurance.

While attending the Armory Show is a great time, it also an event to mentally prepare yourself for. Here is my list of Armory Must Do’s – it will help you get the most out of your day of art overload.

  • Have a decent breakfast before you head out to the shows…don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing time of the year, but it’s long and you need to know it’s not the type of thing you do for an hour and then move on. Which brings me to my next rule…
  • Wear comfortable shoes. I know you see people fashionably arriving to the show and there is nothing wrong with looking good, but trust me, if their heels are over 3 inches, they are not serious. Chances are you are planning to visit other art fairs during the day – New York is an asphalt jungle and nothing will take you down faster than trying to traverse the art fairs in cute heels.
  • Know when to break for a meal; lack of food will cause you to forget just about anything, even if it is great. Personally, I keep granola bars and fresh pressed juice in my bag for quick power snacks.
  • Have patience. The crowds can be overwhelming. The Armory Show takes place across 250,000 square feet of exhibition space. Just remember that everyone wants to see everything – a near impossible feat. Friday is less crowded than Saturday; Sunday is a tossup. The contemporary side (Pier 94) is always the hot ticket, so expect some shoving and long lines for the coatroom.
  • Over the years, my appreciation for art has truly grown. You may not understand it or get what the artist is trying to convey, but you can still appreciate it, and in the end that’s all that matters, because art is not about understanding, but more of a feeling.
  • Most of all, know when to call it quits. If it all starts to blend, you have probably had enough for the day. Save some for tomorrow or even next year – shut it down – go have dinner & drinks and pat yourself you the back and call it a wrap. You survived.

Another Year, Another Armory Show Survival Guide

Location

Piers 92 & 94
711 12th Avenue, New York, 10019

Hours

Thursday, March 2: 12–8pm
Friday, March 3: 12–8pm
Saturday, March 4: 12–7pm
Sunday, March 5: 12–6pm

We Made It Thru Art Basel Miami 2014, And We’ve got the Pictures to Prove It

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”3″]

We are late with this article and we know it. It’s just possible that this list got held up because we were reading everyone else’s Basel lists. They were clever, entertaining and made us cringe when we realized we had not ‘in fact’ seen everything Basel had to offer.

Miami Art Basel Week is amazing. It’s a art plethora of more art than is humanly possible for your brain to process…eyeball overload. At some point – no matter what anyone else tells you – it just starts to turn into ‘stuff’. But boy do I love ‘stuff’. Stuff from other countries, simple stuff I think I could make in my garage (I could not. It’s just the Bob Ross effect talking), huge stuff that you walk around trying to imagine how it was even conceived, stuff that you’ve only seen in magazines until now. Stuff that was born from imagination and memory, from social and political pondering, from dreams and nightmares.

If that sounds remotely romantic in notion and dramatic in speech – then good – that’s how I feel after getting to immerse myself in what I love doing. And I love having the opportunity to bring it back to you.

“It is simply a consideration of the arts out of which aesthetic reflection arises, and the experience out of which the arts grow, which they clarify and which they enhance”.

But I digress, switch off the artsy fartsy and simply say…Yo, here’s our Art Basel Miami 2014 list.

If you’re still not overloaded, check out our roundup of the Miami Art Project, Pinta (Latin American Art Fair), The Rubell Collection, and Miami Scope. For the sake of time and sanity we’re gonna call it: The Best of the Rest.

*the pics belong to us, the quote to Irwin Edman.

Surviving The Armory Show Art Fair

Three years ago when my best friend asked me to go to the Armory Show with her. I, of course, not being part of the art world, had no idea what the Armory Show was. She actually begged me to go, she encouraged me to branch out and experience something new, but somehow she forgot about the time we were in Paris and I had to spend 8 hours with her in the Lourve. Now I’m not opposed to seeing some great art, for brief interludes of time, but 8 hours, “Really?”  Needless to say she finally convinced me to go. And what happened you may ask. She did it again, 6 hours of art, no eating, no breaks just hours of endless art. There were times I was just outright rude, but what do you expect, she refused to feed me. Through it all, “The Art Lover” was in her glory. In the end I did actually enjoy the show and have done it for the past three years, each year getting better and better.

The art itself varies in all aspects. You can see paintings, sculptures, performance art; some things can’t actually be defined and confined to description unless you’ve seen them. I’ve never been one to be fascinated by art per se, but it really does get interesting to see all those works of art and try to figure out what could have possibly been going on in the artist’s head. The pieces can be so dramatic sometimes and quite lighthearted on other occasions. I believe last year was the year of neon. It was everywhere.

Armory Show article

 

Then there are pieces from this  year’s show like “Let The Light Enter” by Charles White (1918-1979), drawn in 1961 that truly drew me in and made me appreciate art for all it’s worth. There was nothing overly dramatic about the drawing or its design (it was drawn with charcoal and Wolff crayon), but his subject looked at me and captured my mind. Each stroke was with purpose, every inch of the drawing consumed me and all the sudden art meant something. I remember having a similar feeling when I first saw the Mona Lisa. It was like seeing an old friend and smiling to yourself about all the fun times you had, just a flicker of memory, but a delightful one, something never to forget.

Over the years, the Armory Show has turned into quite an event for us. While I remember flashes of year one, but year two is when I really got into it. The trick is to mentally prepare yourself for a long day.  So have a decent breakfast before you head out to the shows…don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing time of the year, but it’s long and you need to know it’s not the type of thing you do for an hour and then move on. Which brings me to my next rule: wear comfortable shoes.  I know you see people fashionably arriving to the show and there’s nothing wrong with looking good, but trust me, if their heels are over 3 inches, they aren’t serious. Chances are you’re planning on visiting other art fairs during the day – New York is an asphalt jungle and nothing will take you down faster than trying to traverse the art fairs in cute heels. Know when to break for a meal, lack of food will cause you to forget just about anything, even if it is great. Personally, I keep granola bars and juice packs in my bag for quick power snacks. Most of all, know when to call it quits. If it all starts to blend together, you’ve probably had enough for the day. Save some for tomorrow or even next year – shut it down – go have dinner & drinks and pat yourself you the back and call it a wrap. You survived.

“Let The Light Enter” by Charles White (1918-1979)

“Let The Light Enter” by Charles White (1918-1979)

And while going to the Armory Show every year with my best friend is a great time, it also has been a time that I’ve learned something new about myself. My patience has definitely gotten better, but my appreciation for art has truly grown and I can honestly say I too am now an art lover. I don’t always understand it or get what the artist is trying to convey, but I can appreciate it. And in the end that’s all that matters, because art is not about understanding, but more of a feeling.

See you next year!

 

article by Dawn Williams