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A Night at the Fair from a fly on the wall

Perspective of Clio’s 15th edition Art Fair from a curious Assistant Curator

The first I ever learned about Clio Art Fair was from my first interview with Founder Alessandro Berni. Setting a spotlight for independent artists to showcase their artworks and stories in the heart of Chelsea, New York City’s Art District. Filled with Galleries and venues all around, Clio Art Fair stood out from the rest, making it one of the art events to attend that night.

I knew the gravity of this fair would be a lot heavier when the paintings became heavier. As an assistant curator I would help set up and hang some of the art pieces, move in equipment, and build relations with the artists and guests. The walls were quickly filled with paintings, collages, and even a textile piece by Francesca Schwartz. As for the ground, Turkish Artist, Erol Gunduz, filled his army of what he calls Lux Pups, 6 inch tall cement creatures, crawled around. Accompanied by Domenico Belli’s towering 6 foot metallic statues depicting sway and motion.

Every artist, sectioned off with their respected work, which was beautifully curated by the fair’s staff. One section lead the viewers eye to the next, not letting any artwork left unseen, and causing almost shock and awe at every turn. Greeted by Carlo Sampierto’s installation, which displayed a range of objects repurposed that could’ve stood alone on display. Including a fire hose that snaked above to shine light on a bed with traffic barriers as the foot and headboard. Not to forget his ambient lamp that doubles as an aquarium, and yes it did indeed include dozens of goldfish. If that wasn’t hard enough to pass by without wanting to take a nap on the rainy day, directly across, crawling up the walls, was artist Rachel Goldsmith connecting a web of color using a 3D printer pen. Forming an almost spiderlike dream catcher using local grown vines, to play on the show’s theme of “Confess your Dreams”.

On opening night, the exact reaction I had to seeing the works were replicated repeatedly. One by one I saw guests slowly admire the paintings in front of them. Looked closely and from distance. This unified feeling struck conversations. All throughout the gallery space. Artist speaking to artist, guest speaking to collectors, even those who walked in by chance stopped to examine and pick at the artists process and works. I must’ve walked miles in that gallery, back and forth and in circles, welcoming guest and starting a few conversations of my own. With Marcus Glitterous as DJ for the night, and performers such Chanette Manso, who walked around projecting images onto people, or Kym Bernazky, who liberated herself from the Black Veil, the gallery expelled energy. Catching myself taking a couple breaks outside, and even then would continue the conversation.

This fair was not subject to age, gender, or any form of discrimination. With many artist of all ages and stages in their respected career sharing a space under one roof. The only time of separation was when choosing from Prosecco or Lambrusco, complimentary from the fair.


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