Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Frieze launches first-ever auction with Brazilian gallery


(Mariana Palma)

(Albano Afonso)

(Vania Mignone)

(Jack Pound)

Would you notice if £1,000 disappeared from your bank account? Apparently, most of us wouldn’t and this revelation, which featured in The Sun newspaper, is the inspiration behind a piece of Brazilian art to be auctioned at Frieze Art Fair in London this week – the event’s first-ever auction. Entitled Jack Pound Financial Art Project, this piece of “financial art” was created by Brazilian artist Lourival Cuquinha in partnership with Rio de Janeiro’s A Gentil Carioca, which is among the five participating Brazilian galleries at Frieze this year.

Cuquinha has sewn together a total of £1,000 in £5 or £10 bills to reproduce the St George’s Cross. But the story behind the art is even more interesting… in 2008, Cuquinha invited 42 investors to acquire shares in his art project by providing the money bills that have been used as the main material for half of the flag. The other half was made with the earnings of the artist while working as a rickshaw rider in London. I can't help thinking that the idea is also emblematic of the recent global financial crisis: investing money into, well, money.
All of the project’s shares were sold off within one month, with some resold for up to four times their original value, thus putting up the flag’s price. The Jack Pound is now up for grabs at Frieze.
Elsewhere, Galeria Luisa Strina is making its Frieze debut this year, while Casa Triângulo, Galeria Fortes Vilaca, A Gentil Carioca and Vermelho have all returned.
São Paulo gallery Casa Triângulo told me that they work with a “very coherent team of artists, a mix of emerging and young artists, always fresh, vibrating, happening and promising. They are all very contemporary and besides being connected to the world they also emanate the vigour of Brazilian art.”
Examples of their artists’ works (seen here) certainly back this up, but see for yourself at Frieze, which starts this Thursday until Sunday. And take some cash with you to bid for… more cash.

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