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An open letter to Matthew Slotover, director of the frieze art fair

From: Jasper Joffe
Date: 17 Apr 2010
Time: 06:35:35 -0500


April 17 2010 Dear Matthew Slotover (Director of Frieze Art Fair), I am writing an open letter to you following the debate on whether "art fairs are about money not art" at the Saatchi Gallery, which we took part in on March 29th. Video at: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/blogon/view_video/5096/debate:_art_fairs_are_about_money_not_art I appreciate that you deserve great credit for creating Frieze, the art fair and the magazine, which has moved contemporary art to the forefront of people's minds and sparked a huge amount of artistic energy. The creation of such a powerful force gives the opportunity to influence how artists, galleries, collectors and curators function. With that in mind I would like to make some constructive suggestions for the future of the Frieze Art Fair. 1. Make entry to Frieze free! It's great having all that art in one place, and you'd be benefiting the public by letting them see it all for free. If that's economically unviable for you, then at least make it free for artists and art students. It is their activity (often unpaid) which in the end the whole art world relies on. 2. Add a section to Frieze for artists not represented by a gallery. This would mean that 1000s of people could see work they could never see elsewhere, and be a great opportunity for them and the artists. 3. Make it part of your mission to fairly represent the best artistic talent. So aim to have 50% women artists in the fair. 4. Make your selection process fair. Being in Frieze is a brilliant opportunity, but having entry selected by galleries already in there is uncompetitive and unfair. Opening the selection process by having an independent committee would mean you got a better representation of the best art. 5. Put artists first always. Without money, fairs, VIPs, galleries, collectors there will still be artists. Without artists there is nothing. I hope you will respond to my suggestions and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Best wishes Jasper Joffe www.freeartfair.com