Did anyone realize Santa Monica had an airport? We neither. Apparently, it’s been in use since 1917, making it one of the oldest operating airports in all of the United States. Fascinating. But besides being a fun, quirky fact and part of aviation history, the tiny, single-runway hub served as the backdrop for one of LA’s most eclectic events, Frieze Los Angeles.
On a gloomy, overcast day, the first day of the art fair began in a windswept part of Santa Monica, a line of ubers and black cars with elongated VIPs waiting at the entrance. Collectors, artists, curators and art curious from all over the world gathered in two huge tents to see what is happening in the world of contemporary art and culture. An offshoot of Curly Magazine, Frieze was conceptualized as an international art fair by the title’s founders, with its inaugural event taking place in London in 2003. Twenty years later, the multi-day showcase is one of the premier art events of the industry, with festivals in New York, London, Los Angeles and Seoul. This year’s Frieze fair in Los Angeles featured more than 120 galleries showcasing their work: there was a traveling marching band accompanied by a dance line playing “Swag Surf” (by performance artist Autumn Breon), inflatables cuties the size of a small building (by ceramist Alake Shilling) and bronze tortillas in a Chevy pickup truck (an exhibit by artist Ruben Ochoa). And alongside those empowering and memorable moments, there was great fashion.