Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How to do Frieze, by
Culture Label


Whether you want to find the next big thing, or browse work from some of contemporary art's biggest names, the Shrigleys, Emins and Blakes, the annual Frieze art fair – which is on this week – is the place to be.

But in case you're not part of the London art and media clique (good for you!), you can also see – and buy – work by many of the exhibiting artists online. CultureLabel is one of my favourite online shops, as it specialises in promoting new as well as established artists and pumping its profits back into supporting their work. Below, some of the Frieze highlights that caught my eye from CultureLabel, whose collection of exhibiting Frieze 2012 artists features limited editions from Jeremy Deller, Callum Innes, Takashi Murakami, Eva Rothschild, Mark Francis and Kathy Prendergast – starting from £125. Also, their along with their expert tips on buying artwork online.


'Martha' A3 giclee print, £20, by Wild Child, aka young, London-based illustrator, Bryony Lloyd. 

I also like her Tretchikoff-ish 'Virgo' print, same size and price as before. 

'Gymnast', £180, by Eva Rothschild. Snap up affordable work by this acclaimed contemporary artist while you can.
'Museum of Everything' poster advertising Exhibition #3 by Peter Blake, A3, £250. The print is one of a limited edition of just 100, and is a piece of history – so a solid art investment. You can read a bit about the exhibition, which was on a couple of years ago and curated by Sir Peter, in this Time Out review

Untitled, Rachel Whiteread, £600. A great chance to buy work by the Turner Prize-winning artist, part of the YBA movement that also spawned Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin and Jake & Dinos Chapman. This image, part of Whiteread's series photographing dollshouses to explore space and the domestic environment, is one of a limited edition of 50, each signed and numbered. It is just £60 per month via the Own Art scheme.

Still from 'Radio Shaman', Marcus Coates, £95. 

I actually prefer the idea of a Marcus Coates performance than prints of him in action; he is known for taking audience questions and referring them to the animal world, with which he says he communicates. Eccentrically excellent. Read more about Coates' extraordinary art/act in this archive interview in the Frieze magazine and see his other, wildly different, work at the Kate McGarry gallery.

This image is taken from Coates' film documenting a Norwegian radio interview where he takes on the role of a shaman and attempts to help the people of Stavanger deal with an influx of Nigerian immigrants. But the man is so worth checking out in person:

From the 'Mumuration' series, by Rinko Kawauchi, £150. This image of flocking seagulls came about when the acclaimed Japanese photographer – who was shortlisted this year for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize – was asked to make works about Brighton for the Brighton Photo Biennial, 2010, curated by Martin Parr. One to watch.

CultureLabel's tips for buying artwork online

Explore the greatest gallery of all "With more and more artists using the online space as an alternative to gallery representation, the online world is a rapidly becoming the greatest art gallery in itself. The major advantage of art buying online is the anonymity of browsing which enables you to build up a privileged, key-holed view into galleries, artists and work before you actually commit to a conversation. Seek out the best online galleries & artist websites that appeal to your taste and join their communities to engage with their journey as an artist and their artistic process."

Let online curators do the hard work "With the online space offering so much, seeking out artists and work that you love can also sometimes be an overwhelming experience. Take advantage of expertly curated websites that do the hard work for you by picking out the best collections from leading galleries and artists from around the world; a process that would cost you serious money and time as an individual.

Use Own Art Online "Own Art Online is a brilliant scheme from The Arts Council & Creative Scotland that enables art buyers to spread payments of their art purchase over 10 months, completely interest free (0% APR Representative). The scheme is available exclusively through CultureLabel.com on works priced between £150-£2000 from leading galleries such as Whitechapel Gallery, Saatchi Gallery and Royal Scottish Academy and artists such as Martin Boyce, Marcus Coates, Pure Evil and Sir Peter Blake."

Curate your own personal collection "Every time you see something you like, use a wishlist or moodboard site to track what you've found and start to build up your collection online. This will allow you to build up a broader sense of your art preferences and spot the themes running through your pieces. It's also a great reference to share with friends and other aspiring art fans online."

Be Brave "I have fallen in love with as many pieces online, as I have in galleries and studios – if you have strong connection to the work, there is a chance that it has struck a nerve and can add a new dimension to your life. Be brave, take some risks and remember that contemporary art is by nature seeking to challenge. Trust your instincts entirely and soon you'll start to understand more about your personal artistic tastes and build a truly unique and memorable collection.


You can also find out more about what Frieze is all about in this feature by my colleague at the Independent Magazine, Charlotte Philby – which appeared in print last Saturday.

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