"The Art Show hangs in the Armory on Park, while the Armory is parked in a hangar on the river," quipped Mayor Bloomberg this morning at the Park Avenue Armory just before praising both shows for their contribution to New York's vast cultural industry.
Art fair week in New York kicked off with those words as dealers put the last nails in the walls and finished installing their booths for tomorrow's opening of the Art Dealers Association of America's "Art Show" and Thursday's public unveiling of the Armory Show, as well as the various satellite fairs and shows throughout the city over the next week. The event was all-hands-on-deck — Mayor Bloomberg was joined by the executive director and the president of ADAA, Linda Blumberg and Lucy Mitchell-Innes, respectively, as well as New York City's commissioner of cultural affairs Kate Levin, the director of the Armory Show Paul Morris, and artist Sarah Sze, whose work is exhibited at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery's booth at the ADAA fair and who will represent the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
After finishing his prepared remarks (which included a second use of his quip about the two fairs and giddy praise for his speechwriter), Bloomberg stood for a few moments discussing his art purchases with dealer Richard Feigen, including a couple of paintings he had picked up for a steal at auction (ARTINFO is terribly disappointed to report being just out of earshot of hearing which works those were). Among other things, the mayor mentioned that one of his first art purchases was a $5,000 painting he bought (with a little loaned help) back when his salary was only $9,000 a year. On his way out, we found ourselves standing next to the mayor, and asked if he considered himself a collector (rumors of his affinity for Italian Old Masters, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns abound).
"I try to," he responded.
To see a preview of the ADAA Art Show, click on the slide show.