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Art Fair 101 – Survival Guide To An Art Fair Week When You…
How To Survive An Art Fair Week Under these Least Favourable Circumstances......
Entertainment 28 Feb 2017

How To Survive An Art Fair Week When…

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ometimes, a big, social art fair week is exactly what you’re in the mood for. You’ve got a calendar packed with openings and vernissages, a closet brimming with cool, photogenic outfits, and what feels like an endless supply of entertaining cocktail party anecdotes. But often, events like the fast-approaching New York Armory Week (see also: Fashion Week, film festivals, charity gala season, and that second week of September during which literally every gallery has a major opening) arrive during a time in your life when you aren’t exactly prepared. Or enthusiastic. Or, like, feeling the whole getting-dressed-up-and-interacting-with-other-humans thing in the slightest.

Photograph by Teddy Wolff | Courtesy of The Armory Show

What’s an art world babe to do when “the scene” just isn’t your scene at the moment? Fear not, we’ve got you covered.

You Just Got Dumped:

If he wasn’t an art worlder, an endless succession of social engagements and distractingly beautiful objects may be just what the doctor ordered. Have some champagne, take some glamorous-looking Instagram posts to show everyone (fine, him) how much fun you’re having, and try to forget that loser. If, conversely, he was one of the five men you meet in the art world, what you’ll need is an escape plan. Seriously: wherever you go, know the closest, most discreet way out. And don’t be afraid to use it. Also, consider fixtures like large sculptures, dumbwaiters, and bars as potential places to hide in the event that shit gets really hairy.

You’re On The First Day Of Your Period:


Photo from Refinery29

No teeny, tiny clutch bags or 5-inch heels for you. You’re about to be miserable and crampy regardless, so don’t be a hero. Wear comfortable shoes, stretchy garments, and bring plenty of ammunition. It simply isn’t worth burning through your two measly tampons and having to ask some impossibly glamorous woman in the bathroom if she has one to spare. She so doesn’t.

You Have Nothing To Wear:

Photo From Sex and the City

Girl, I feel you. There’s no time of the year I feel less sartorially inspired than at the very end of a long, cruel New York winter, and yet I am suddenly need a week of great outfits. The best place to turn is always Rent the Runway, where you can have a stunning designer piece on your doorstep in 24 hours for around $75.  If you’ve got the goods but can’t figure out how to put it all together, check out a blog like TheyAllHateUs for quick and easy outfit inspo. Or, you know, raid your roommate’s closet?

You’re Stressed About Work:

If you’re in PR, work for a gallery, own your own space, or help run a fair, chances are you’re running on fumes immediately before and during any major art week. Take a deep breath. Okay, now take five more. You’re only one person, and all you can do is do your best. So you don’t get those images sent on time. The world isn’t going to implode! Just keep reminding yourself of that fact. Finally, don’t succumb to the urge to blow off steam after a long day by going out if the following one is going to be equally exhausting. Head home, order takeout, and savor those few, blissful hours of rest.

You’re Stressed About Money:


Photo By Christopher Polk/BET

Believe it or not, you came to the right place, especially if you’re a VIP (or, you know, VIP-adjacent). Art fairs are full of people who have a lot of dough, and thus, paradoxically, everything there is free. Weasel your way into the top-level previews (especially ADAA) and you’ll find a world of appetizer trays beyond your wildest dreams. And don’t be afraid to pig out: everyone else sure as heck is.

You Don’t Know Anyone:

Art world noob? Stranger in a foreign land? Get a solid buzz going and find someone who looks like they know what they’re doing. PR girls tend to know pretty much everyone, so if you can get a black-clad, iPad-wielding new BFF to take you under her wing and make a couple introductions, you should be good to go for the night.

You Gave Up Drinking For Lent: We wish you the best of luck.


Photo by Enoch Bolles

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Curator – Public Programmes
Whitechapel Gallery - London, UK
Research Associate, Krasner & Pollock Exhibition
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, USA
Artist Liaison
Art Works Gallery & Advisory - Singapore
Artist Manager
Karimah Ashadu - Germany