If selfies are a genre—“the most prevalent popular genre,” according to critic Jerry Saltz—then art selfies must be a subgenre, where populist impulses rub up against elitist ambitions, and where insta-documentation meets a yearning for a future self, less be here now and more Sotheby’s here later.
More so than Nada or the Armory, Frieze is an art fair for collectors, the fragment of the one percent who invest in ingenuity even during a recession—you know the expression, when the going gets tough, the rich get Gagosian. But collectors, along with their dealers and consultants, saw the fair early on Thursday, before the unwashed masses, and by the time the weekend rolled around, Randall’s Island was full of the aspirational class and people taking what’s known as an #artselfie.
Mirrored and other highly reflective surfaces make the best art selfies. An added bonus is if the piece of art has a distorting fun house mirror effect. Anish Kapoor’s stainless steel sculptures, presented by Lisson Gallery, were a selfie favorite for the fairgoers who found them, but they were hidden away in a labyrinthian corner while other works, like the massive egg-shaped stainless steel and PVD coated Head, by the artist known as Not Vital, was more optimally placed near a busy thruway.