December 7, 2023

The Art Sonneteer visits @FriezeArtFair #FriezeLondon

On visiting Frieze Art Fair

To Regents Park – would John Nash have approved?

Were giant tents part of his landscap’d plan?

Each full – too full – like temporary Louvres 

With art, purported art and downright spam. 

Past Martin Soto Climent’s reused tights; 

‘The stairs are slippy, please take care’. We’re in.

A whopping Bridget Riley orange, light.

Rain beats the roof; there’s such a noisy din.

Plan out your route, or wander randomly

there’s lots and lots and lots of art to see.



Gelitin from Vienna is quite fun 

(In art world terms – it will not make you roar).

Old faves abound – Landy, Hume, Hirst, Sherman,

but to be frank there’s plenty that will bore.

A queue for contemp art is very rare 

John Rafman managed it with his VR

New tech it seems will make us stop and stare –

it doesn’t mean the work will be a star.

But introduce the kids to art here they’ll be caught 

They’ll think it’s far more popular than sport.



‘Well, we went to the Frieze dinner…’

It’s important here to talk the part.

What matters most’s to be a winner

It’s all about the selling of the art.

The cafés, bars and restaurants are full

For some ’tis a day out to point and laugh.

Because amongst the works that do seem cool

There’s plenty that have just been done by half. 

Bedlam’s been gone for years – which isn’t bad.

But now it’s artists who provide the mad. 



Of course Frieze London exceeds ‘big enough’.

Fatigue sets in, your eyes and feet rebel. 

Round every corner more exotic stuff

What starts as thrilling ends as arty hell. 

Amongst the art there’s fashion, absurd hats.

The crowds as fascinating as the works.

‘You like that? Why?!’ Enjoy the chats

you overhear – the other visitors are perks.

‘Historically, the black square…’ a man mews – 

an unwanted lecture then ensues. 



‘Tweet it,’ a gallerist says to a girl,

who snaps and taps a message on her phone.

A lot of Alex Katz is in the whirl

of images; coloured expanse, gentle tone.

Most of the staff look slightly bored

They stare across at iPhone and at Mac

An environment where Windows is abhorred –

To use PC (or Android) risks the sack. 

Great overview of art all in one hall

Wear comfy shoes, carb-up, enjoy it all.


The Art Sonneteer 


Screen Shot 2016 10 08 at 19 58 58


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