A week of art, parties and big fun at Frieze LA

Mel Bochner’s installation outside Frieze Los Angeles. Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze

THE FACE took to LA to get involved in all the arty happenings last week. Here’s what went down.

Frieze, sucka. For the first time, THE FACE hit the world-famous art fair in Los Angeles for a week of top-notch fun. Setting up shop in the middle of fancy Beverly Hills, this year’s Frieze brought together 100 local and international galleries, and an electric paint-bomb of stellar work from contemporary artists. A Tracey Emin sold for £60k, five NFTs were flogged for 2.0 ETH (if you’re still scratching your head over what that actually means, read up on NFTs and ethereum (ETH) with our handy guides), and a Jeff Koons was sold for a modest £3m. Just a pop to the shops for some, eh?

Among the 30,000 art mad attendees, LA’s big shots came out in droves. Kendall Jenner pointed at paintings, Frank Ocean found a deeper meaning in a canvas with a dot painted in the centre and Leonardo DiCaprio was on the hunt for a piece for his downstairs loo. Or so we hear. Oh, and Pierce Brosnan was also there, being, well, Pierce Brosnan.

Perhaps it was the golden Cali sun, the palm trees or the Maestro Dobel tequila bar in the far corner, but there was an undeniable buzz in the air. After a year-long hiatus following the pandemic, Frieze was well and truly back, baby. And with a little help from our friends at Ray-Ban, we popped on our Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses, switched on the front-facing camera and saw Frieze through a different lens altogether.

6.30pm, February 18th
6.30pm February 18th
Moses Sumney hosts screening for Blackalachia

In December, Ghanaian-American musician and artist Moses Sumney premiered his feature-length performance filmat Miami Basel. At Frieze, he performed it all over again, to a room packed full of friends like Chloe Wise, Nick Robinson and Samantha Urbani at the West Hollywood EDITION’s screening room. Shot in one take on the top of Blue Ride Mountains in North Carolina, the film shows the musician perform his entire LP, Live from Blackalachia, in the most serene of landscapes. Obviously, the film was met with a standing ovation.

10.00pm, February 18th
10.00pm February 18th
At home with Prada Mode

To coincide with Frieze, we were treated to a two-day affair of talks, parties, snacks and booze, courtesy of Prada Mode. Having previously set up shop in London and Miami, the travelling social club” partnered with artist Martine Syms (whose gritty, conceptual work often works as social commentary) to transform the Genghis Cohen, the restaurant and music venue on Fairfax Avenue. With futuristic fish tanks in the walls and red lanterns lining the ceiling, the space became a buzzy crowd-pleaser in no time. On the last night, London-based DJ Vegyn played an electric set, as bottles of champers were passed from crowd to crowd.

9.00pm, February 18th
9.00pm February 18th
Jerry Gogosian hosts post-Frieze shin-dig

Over the past year or so, art critic and professional meme-maker Jerry Gogosian has offered hot take reviews on the art world, attempting to knock down the elite barriers that guard against others coming in. It felt only right, then, that Gogosian would close Frieze with a glittering party at the West Hollywood EDITION, with guests like Dylan Brosnan, Moses Sumney and Ronan Day-Lewis dancing under approximately 400 disco balls. It was also a big moment for Gagosian, as she revealed her sculpture, Rabbit 02, bringing her hilarious, thought-provoking memes to life, while taking on the art world’s obsession with money, sex and power. Right on.

6.00pm, February 17th
6.00pm February 17th
Chloe Wise celebrates the launch of Second Nature

Known for her on-point, satirical humour, NYC-based artist Chloe Wise hosted a sexy champagne night for her new book, Second Nature, over at the West Hollywood EDITION. With friends like artists Eric Wareheim, Aria Dean and Issy Wood, actor Jordan Firstman and photographer Michael Bailey-Gates in tow, Wise toasted to her wonderfully OTT paintings, sculptures and film work that have, over time, questioned desire, consumption and, crucially, politics.

12.00pm, February 16th
12.00pm February 16th
Frieze Los Angeles, 2022

Among the 100 gallery booths lining the tent, stand-outs included some of our favourite spaces here in London, with galleries Sadie Coles, David Zwirner and Marian Goodman showing provocative, subversive works by the likes of Nan Goldin, Rineke Dijkstra and Kenny Scharf. There was a giant Gilbert and George on show too, as well as a spotty Damien Hirst and polaroids by Andy Warhol.

Importantly, this year also saw the return of Focus LA, a part of the fair that provides a platform for emerging LA art spaces. Curated by the director of public programs and creative practice at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art Amanda Hunt, Parker Gallery and Charlie James Gallery were able to present and sell works by Jay Lynn Gomez, Amia Yokoyama and Timo Fahler. A big win, we’d say.

Best of all, with the Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses, we could see Frieze in all its shining glory, handsfree. Plenty of time to stare, point and nod our heads at art, then.

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