August 08


It might be bigger than Ben Hur but the only thing that distinguishes the opening of the Melbourne Art Fair from your ordinary everyday opening is that it costs $175 to get in. This means there is quite a lot of pressure on quite a lot of punters to put away $175 worth of champers in 3 just under hours. A hard ask even for the most hardened. There are many networking opportunities of course but by closing time (which looks a bit like ye olde 6 o’clock swill) it appears that very few people would have any idea who they had been organising collaborative projects with … then it kicked on with an after party at Melbourne’s cavernous Sofitel where needless to say one of the revellers became entangled in an exhibition of  Yirrkala burial poles. Perhaps he thought it was a bowling alley …. while this unfortunate incident raised a few (yes only a few) eyebrows one does have to wonder at the wisdom of showing burial poles in a bar.  It was a very long, but, very fun night which ended up at the friendly Meyers bar until their incredibly patient staff sent everyone home at 3am. And not a moment too soon!

(PAPARAZZI BIASED) ART FAIR HIGHLIGHTS: Richard Lewer, Orexart Auckland: Daniel Crooks,  Anna Schwartz Gallery Melbourne: Samuel Tupou, MARS Melbourne Art Rooms : Danie Mellor, Michael Reid Gallery Sydney : Everyone at TCB Gallery Melbourne: Brendan Huntley, Hell Gallery Melbourne : Juan Ford, Dianne Tanzer Gallery Melbourne. And the winner is clearly Melbourne …

Kerryn and Richard Lewer (Orexart Auckland)

Jess Johnson and Brendan Huntley (Hell Gallery Melbourne)

Kirsten Paisley (Shepparton Gallery) Claire Lambe (Death be Kind Melbourne)

Patricia Piccinini, Peter Hennessey and Anna Schwartz (Anna Schwartz Gallery Melbourne)

Richard Bell proppaNOW and Elvis Richardson (Death be Kind Melbourne)

Simon Wright (Queensland College of Art Gallery) and Nicholas Chambers (Queensland Art Gallery)

Robyn Daw, Leah Emery and Arryn Snowball