Every year during Armory Fair week, a refreshing breeze traipses down the avenues, blowing past the piers from its irreverent, unsanctimonious perch. This breath of fresh air originates at Spring/Break Art Show, where emerging gallerists, independent curators and contemporary artists present installations and exhibitions centered around a proposed theme. This year’s theme, FACT AND FICTION, goes as far as to feature artist residencies and nonprofits – expanding the platform to emerging artistic voices from their “Suites” section to other presentations amassing considerably larger square footage. Situated for 2019 at 866 UN Plaza, floor 2, the fair – on view through Monday, March 11 – presents a thoughtful re-contextualization of societal constructs by channeling and filtering them through a subversive, and at times perverse, lens. Best of all, there is plenty of space for exhibits to sprawl, taking on meanings in relation to one another that were unintended even by the curators themselves!
For this year’s iteration, standout presentations center around revealing and concealing information, allowing fairgoers access to alternative viewpoints to their own, and imagining a world differing vastly from our current version.
For starters, Lulu Meng and Naomi Okubo‘s “Real Fairy Tale”(S8) provides a poignant and tech-loaded exploration of femininity as prescribed by the Walt Disney world princess trope. Placing identity within – and in direct contrast to – fairy tale figures such as Snow White and Cinderella allows the artists to examine their own identities while provoking visitors to reconsider theirs. Particularly rooted in a deeper exploration of feminism, ethnicity and privilege, this clever and touching re-imagination of Disney princesses touches a deep cultural nerve.
In “Spiritual Art Advisory”(E25), contemporary culture’s penchant for tarot is taken all the way to its logical conclusion in the form of an art exhibit in which each piece represents one of the 22 Major Arcana cards in the tarot deck. Curated by Sarah Potter and Caroline Larsen, the exhibit displays a wide array of artists – Roxanne Jackson‘s sculpture stuns – and proposes a reconsideration of the intersection existing between spirituality and art.
Artist and curator Vanessa Albury’s Coral Projects (E33) is presented with Albury and Tamara Weg leading the booth’s curation. Featuring artwork reflecting the diminishing state of our ocean due to climate change, works of art include a fish bowl sculpture (including fish upon purchase!) by Albury, which is on view along with sculptures reminiscent of coral. The presentation also introduces a public art project, to be installed off the coast of Jamaica: consisting of sculptures placed underwater near the shore, the project will hopefully lead to more coral growth in this tourist-prone area.
There is much to see – don’t miss the last two days, March 10&11, to check out Spring/Break’s multitude of artistic offerings at 866 UN Plaza! Tickets at the Spring/Break Art Show website.