In yet another series by Andy Freeberg focusing on gallery life, we see people standing next to artwork. As opposed to previous work, Sentry and Guardians, which spotlight people sitting next to artwork. Thrilling.
Art Fare presents photographs of dealers, gallery girls, managers, artists, and collectors in the space of the art. None of the people are actually looking at the work, instead absorbed by cellphones, laptops, each other, and their own personal daydreams. Freeberg’s work may make you realize that often visiting galleries isn’t about observing the artwork itself (which may be soon forgotten), but the act of making an appearance in the gallery.
There is no denying that Freeberg has an eye for a well-staged scene, however. The subjects interact perfectly with the composition of the photo, with colors beautifully mimicking the artwork, perfect gallery lighting, and body language. The photographs are a reminder of a similar series by Louise Lawler (seen in Musée Issue 9), which also focuses on artwork placed in a space. However Lawler leaves the living subjects out of the photo, giving the viewer more leeway in determining the meaning behind her work.
With Freeberg’s Art Fare, we see gallery culture blatantly placed before us on display. Peering at the images, you may nervously glance around, because you too are the subject of his work. You are a gallery visitor. You are part of said gallery culture. Are you paying attention?
See Art Fare on display in the Andrea Meislin Gallery until August 8. It may feel like Inception.
Photographs by Chad Smith