“Where is she?” asked Anthony.  A little boy walked out of the pub and we all shrieked “Rocco!!”  We all went on a field trip to Guy Richie’s pub “Punchbowl” in Mayfair, London this past week and, yes, we are camp!  By all means this was not the highlight of my visit back in London.  It was funny though and we did have a laugh.

The highlight of my trip was not the art fairs either.  Thanks to my friend Seda I had a VIP, I repeat, VIP pass to Frieze and Zoo art fairs.  The day I arrived I dragged my trolley directly to Frieze and had my share of free champagne.  Seda who took a cab with me to the fair got a call on the way and had to jump off the cab and go back to her office to take care of business.  People often ask me if I miss being a lawyer.  Uhm, no!  Frieze art fair was good.  I have been to the fair four times so far and I think this was one was probably the prettiest.  People, art… Pretty all the way!  We have noted the abundance of paintings and drawings which made it all the more interesting for me.  I think I now look at art from a pragmatic viewpoint; meaning I look for answers to the questions I have in mind about art.  I treat it as a learning experience and tend to focus on art that delivers answers; to me that is.  If I must mention a few artists Sam Windett would be one.  The intimacy of scale, choice of colour, compositions that borderline abstraction and the lusciousness of paint, unlike mine I am afraid, made his paintings infinitely sexy to me.  So now do I start painting like him or abandon my efforts to paint for he has already painted the paintings I want to paint?  Not quite.  Alejandra Freymann’s paintings on the other hand were interesting for another reason.  The tiny figures she placed in the dreamy spaces suggested on the canvas struck a chord with me.  I guess I have been thinking of inhabiting the abstract ‘worlds’ I tend to paint with figures.  For example, the other day I imaged introducing seemingly animate objects, machines if you will, into my paintings.  Perhaps the pictures I paint should no longer be empty.  Perhaps there should be an actor, a character who should prowl the imagined space.  Perhaps, maybe, soon…  So, here is a couple of more names only for the sake of namedropping…  I was with a friend at the fair who collects Jules de Balincourt and another friend who said hello to Andreas Gursky.  Ooooo!

Zoo art fair was good too although I think I was art-ed out by that time.  The really beautiful pseudo-furniture objects of Alexej Meschtschanow (ten consonants altogether) were my favorites.  Sometimes I think I should be a furniture designer or a carpenter or something.  Ok, there is no need for alarm people.  I am mighty happy being an artist.

At ‘the’ Zoo I also stopped by Rodeo, an Istanbul gallery run by a Greek lady, to say hello.  I enjoyed the presentation of the work which obviously took a lot of effort to set up.  I also appreciated Sylvia’s introduction of the work to me, a mere passerby who happens to be a nobody so far as buyers go.  I admire her focus.

Finally, since when birds have become a popular medium?

While in London I also had a chance to visit the Francis Bacon retrospective at the Tate.  I didn’t quite make it to the bacon breakfast which was served only to privileged art lovers but I did enjoy the show very much.  I think Bacon’s brilliant use of space, love of poetry, obsession with flesh and his triptychs will keep my mind busy for sometime.  Bacon explains his love of triptychs through his fascination with ‘juxtapositions’.  Seemingly unrelated imagery come side by side to create a certain mystery in Bacon’s paintings, but what’s more intriguing is the unique aesthetics of his triplet pictures.  I feel like I shouldn’t idolize Bacon’s work as I am pretty sure my viewing of his retrospective came at the right time as I was already thinking about some of the ideas he tackled.  Enough Bacon then.  Highlight?  Nnnnope…

To be continued…