Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.
May 15, 2015

The international and contemporary art fair Frieze New York opened this Thursday to the public. (We heard Richard Gere and Uma Thurman were there on Wednesday, at the private preview.) The five-day long event, which was first launched in 2012, is now held out on Randall’s island under a great white, winding canopy—it’s a recent British import that has quickly become a sign that summer has officially arrived.

The trip out can feel like a haul for most New Yorkers, but there’s a delightful ferry ride you can grab from the eastern end of 34th Street with a glorious view of the city, and there’s something about feeling the breeze on your face as you stand at the northern entrance of the fair that makes it all worth it. That, and the art, of course.

Come hungry, because the fair has done an excellent job, once again, of providing a foodie worthy line-up of vendors, from the wood-burning pizza ovens by Roberta’s outside on the deck to the new cool kids Dimes, whose quinoa bowls and spritzes of rose water feel as of the moment as the work of Elad Lassry (Gallery 303). Here, a look at what not to miss.

Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.

↑ You must catch the performance piece installation by Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu. She’s crafted an enormous tortoise shell, decorated it with large faux jewels, and remains on a half-filled waterbed all day long. When I first saw her, she was being interviewed, and all you could hear was a slight murmuring of her voice from inside the shell. At the end of the day, she had crawled inside.

Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.

↑ There’s also an interactive “Tribute to Flux-Labyrinth” (1976/2015) curated by Frieze Projects curator Cecilia Alemani. Inspired by the original designs of the seventies Fluxus movement members, Alemani reached out to contemporary artists (Amalia Pica, John Bock, to name a few) asking them to create a puzzling obstacle course that is as delightful as it is strange. I’ll say no more, except that I kept finding garbanzo beans in between my toes the rest of the day.

Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.

↑ Come early to snag art you can take home by Mexico-City based artist Pia Camil. She calls them “habitable paintings” but I think your dry-cleaner will call it poncho or a cape.

Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.

↑ If you enter from the south entrance, you won’t miss Ian Cheng’s awesome and enormous LED screen entitled “Emissary in the Squat of Gods” (2015). Technology is quickly becoming an important theme in the contemporary space, and Cheng’s ambition is impressive to behold. It’s a computer application narrative, based on a 1976 book by psychologist Julian Jaynes, and set on an active volcano. Whoa.

Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze.

↑ The ceramics of Spanish artist and musician Milena Muzquiz of Los Super Elegantes are absolutely captivating, full of explosive color and a delightful element of surprise. That the gallery has also filled them with spring flowers (which you can also purchase) is all the more charming.

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