It's Armory Arts Week once again here in NYC, meaning there are a slew of art fairs around town, including the massive Armory Show at Piers 92 and 94. All attracting hordes of dealers, gallerists, artists, collectors, rich people, random eccentrics, people looking for shit to Instagram, and plenty of just regular folks who enjoy getting a large side of spectacle with their art viewing.
As has become the custom, the reliably great Spring/Break kicked things off with a lively, well-attended opening on Tuesday evening. New this year is the event's location: the aggressively un-charming 22nd and 23rd floors of the 4 Times Square (the old Condé Nast Building). Each curator has been given an empty space, and they can fill the space however they choose. It's a little weird, and perhaps perfectly so, but it should be interesting to see how these narrow office corridors handle the large Spring/Break crowds.
The theme of this year's fair is "Black Mirror," for which curators were asked to explore the many ways "autobiographical artworks [may] engage, defy or uphold the idea that art should 'hide the artist.'" There are hundreds of pieces spread out over the two floors, nearly all of them engaging or surprising or provocative on some level, but a few of my favorites would include:
• Jonathan Rosen's "I'll Be Happy When" room, highlighted by a collage made from sheets of smily-face blotter acid and a selfie-mirror which rapidly, randomly generates the viewer's secret desire, timed to the shutter speed on your phone (you can't see what you "want" until you look at the photograph).
• Erin Ko's virtual reality booth, which I thought felt like being dead and soaring through the heavens, but that just made the artist chuckle.
• Maciej Toporowicz's 42 portraits of serial killers created using only the artist's fingerprints, and all finished during the course of a single, frenzied night.
• Sean Fader's "365 Profile Pics," the culmination of his year-long project on Instagram and Facebook, and gathered together here for a highly amusing, somewhat overwhelming experience.
• Melissa Godoy Neito's Dream Journal, which she'll be creating all weekend, drawing and painting the dreams of everyone who submits a brief description.
• Jason Peters's "Extrospection," a snaking, internally illuminated, confusingly mirrored sculpture made entirely of buckets.
Spring/Break runs from March 1 to March 6, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15. The address is 4 Times Square, and the entrance is on 43rd Street just east of Broadway.