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Dallas Art Fair: Money Matters

by Stephen Becker 13 Apr 2012 12:47 PM

The global financial mess finds its way into artists’ work at this year’s fair.


It’s impossible to make any grand pronouncements about what it all means after taking an hour’s walk through the Dallas Art Fair. There’s just too much, which is part of the appeal – if one gallery’s offerings aren’t grabbing you, there’s another one 10 feet down the hall.

But if you keep your eyes open, there are some dots you can connect if you’re into that sort of thing. During the media preview on Thursday, I noticed a number of artists who were pulling the global financial mess into their work.

For artist David Shapiro, that means an accounting of all of his financial transactions for the year 2010.

When I talked to the folks from New York’s Sue Scott Gallery, they told me Shapiro is already hard at work on a similar project featuring 2011 data.

Steve Mills brings the subject a little further into the art world with his painting Snaps Back. Mills is represented at the fair by Gallery Henoch out of New York.

And I think it’s fair to say Alex Schaefer’s Chase, Miracle Mile at L.A.’s Charlie James Gallery is pretty self-explanatory.

Other work that caught my eye (non-financial meltdown category) includes Alex Cao’s photomosaics, in which each pixel of his large photos is a related photo. So we’ve got JFK’s made up of Jakies, Mick Jaggers made up of Keith Richards, etc. Cao is represented by New York’s Center Space Gallery. He told me that he was inspired to make these large-scale photo prints after a trip to Naples, where he saw plenty of mosaics.