Artissima 2017 has it all: the good, the tough and the perfect. At the exhibition’s grand opening, and especially between 6-9pm the Oval Lingotto in Torino sunk. Seas of people came to celebrate a wind of artistic change. Young people, thirsty to see, explore, taste and ready to buy, anything – from sculptures to paintings, to innovative and more classical pieces, to virtually any form of art you can think of.
Artissima 2017 has it all: the good, the tough and the perfect. At the exhibition’s grand opening, and especially between 6-9pm the Oval Lingotto in Torino sunk. Seas of people came to celebrate a wind of artistic change. Young people, thirsty to see, explore, taste and ready to buy, anything – from sculptures to paintings, to innovative and more classical pieces, to virtually any form of art you can think of. New understandings, broader anxieties, broader interests – a wider market. There is supply of everything and demand for it – music, video, experimental pieces. They are all there, and they all have their audience and prospective buyers.
Back to the Future Section - Artissima 2017, Oval Turin - Photo Silvia Mangosio
One meets new and established galleries, mainly exhibiting their young stars, up and coming artists from their early 30s to late 40s. The art? Bittersweet. A generation in need of statements, but less pompous than the art of the age of ‘excess’, of the art that we hated and loved in the 90s and the 00s. Happy and skeptical ‘teddy-bears’ with ambiguous suns; dark web poetry expressed through avant-garde mixed media; powerful themes and techniques from Latin America; skulls with drums and massive installations of varying degrees of creativity and ambition; an incredible mix of (mainly European) hope and despair born out of uncertainty and pessimism; and, a new wave of hard-working, deeply philosophized and particularly strong artists ready to experiment but with solid foundations and great mentors in the art arena. What more can one hope for in such an occasion? The food is good, the lighting great, the set up smart, the themes brilliant, the organizing team solid, the galleries creative, the prices competitive and the collectors ample. The crowd is mixed, dynamic; mostly young, but experienced in art; the collectors are there to see, meet, greet, think and buy. And they do all this on the spot. It is quite the spectacle, for everyone. Even staff and members of the press are tempted to buy – after all, it is a fair full of gift, potential and opportunity.
Photo credit: Pavlos Efthymiou
In Artissima we have a powerful return of the future, and a promise of the return of elements of the wrongly neglected past. Both ingredients are a much-needed constituent of the emerging new era. In other words, Artissima brings us the future, through a creative marriage of gems of the past and some of the most promising talent of the contemporary global art scene.
What people will see and experience in Torino until Sunday is bold and beautiful; 99% of it is also affordable, tempting – it engages all the senses powerfully. And, it is within reach.
According to comparative estimates, over 12.000 people passed from yesterday’s opening. Most of them left with purchases in their arms – from rare books, prints and posters, to countless well-wrapped works that the people were literally hand-carrying on their way home. Some juggled with as many as five works, proudly purchased within hours. The ‘barrier to entry’ in Artissima is quite flexible, with some excellent original paintings starting at a few hundred euros, with the majority of works being sold for under €10000, and the general ceiling or ‘upper range’, being between €20000 and €60000.
The visitor will be overwhelmed by both the quantity and the quality of the works, with over 200 galleries exhibiting over 700 artists. For some, five days might not be enough.
Photo Credit: Pavlos Efthymiou
The collectors and the artists; the gallerists and the VIPs; the new jet-set of European collectors, the Italian haut monde – they are all there, and the make quite the atmosphere. The fair masterfully combines the sweetness of a well-established leading European fair and the excitement of an American-Asian buyer’s fair.
If you can make it to Torino by this Sunday, do it!
It is a game-changer and a pleasure. It brings you the promise of the future along with the return of the ever-present/disarming past. Don’t miss it, unless you really have to.
Photo Credit: Pavlos Efthymiou
Sofia Evangelou, Pavlos Efthymiou
Pavlos Efthymiou is contributing reporting from Torino. He is a London-based business and policy consultant, who has collaborated with several European artists and gallerists.
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