Did anyone realize Santa Monica has an airport? We didn’t either. Apparently it’s been used since 1917, thus making it one of the oldest continually operating airports in all of the United States. Fascinating. But besides it being a quirky fun fact and a part of aviation history, the tiny single-runway hub served as the backdrop for one of Los Angeles’s most eclectic events, Frieze Los Angeles.
On a dreary, overcast day, Day 1 of the art fair commenced in a windswept part of Santa Monica, a line of ubers and black cars with VIPs stretched out waiting at the entrance. From across the globe collectors, artists, curators, and the art-curious gathered in two huge tents to see what’s next in the world of contemporary art and culture. An offshoot of Frieze Magazine, Frieze was conceptualized as an international art fair by the title’s founders, with its inaugural event taking place in London in 2003. Twenty years later, the multi-day showcase is one of the premier art events of the industry, with festivals in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Seoul. This year’s Frieze fair in Los Angeles included over 120 galleries presenting their works: There was a traveling marching band with an accompanying dance line playing out “Swag Surf” (from performance artist Autumn Breon), cutesy inflatables the size of a small building (from ceramicist Alake Shilling) and bronze tortillas in a Chevy cargo van (an exhibition from artist Ruben Ochoa). And alongside these thought-provoking and memorable moments, was some great fashion.
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