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An Instagram Project for @friezeartfair

Story by Dave Krugman May 11th, 2014

Banding together

Instagram is so much more than just a photo sharing app. It is a tool we use to build communities, a social space with a visual focus, a way for us to step outside the bounds of our physical location and share in the visual beauty of the world. This simple app can break down walls and give distant viewers a window into our worlds. For the first time in history, we can fluidly share one of our most precious senses- the sense of sight. For these reasons, projects like #emptyfrieze are successful in spreading awareness about cultural events such as the Frieze Art Fair. Participants were given a private tour of the show before the doors opened to the public. In exchange, they mentioned @friezeartfair to their followers, and collected their work under the hashtag #emptyfrieze.

Below is my visual take on the experience, with linked supplemental content. I recommend reading through once and then going back up to explore the links that appear throughout the write-up.

Photographer @twheat takes in the majesty of an incredible sculpture installed outside the Frieze Art Fair. Strong sun fell in long diagonals across the grass, leaving stripes of shadow.


Dancing with Art

The incredible dancer @lilbuckdalegend joined our efforts today and added his own unbelievable artistry to an already incredible experience. A true artist of movement, Lil’ Buck has found great success in the dance world. After spending a day with him, I can see why. A born natural. He has worked with Yo-Yo Ma, Madonna, Cirque du Soleil, Spike Jonez… The list goes on. I recommend you read his Wikipedia page and check out the amazing Yo-Yo Ma collaboration, The Swan.


What are these photos about?


What are these photos about?


instant gratification

This stunning bronze work by sculptor Michel François caught my attention. It seemed to simultaneously be flowing and standing utterly still- an effect I found to be very visually pleasing. Read more about this artist.


blue with wooden knives

I loved this sculpture by Farhad Moshiri- the juxtaposition of the calming, rippled blue with the stark frozen stabs of the wooden knives really resonated with me. Read more about this artist.


Two dancers

These two wonderful people, @laurenlovette and @lilbuckdalegend, are such free spirits with unrivaled talent. I can’t wait to do a full shoot with these guys. Lauren is a soloist with the New York City Ballet. Visit their website to see some great videos of her performing.


The collector

Simon de Pury (@simondepury), a world-renowned Art Collector and Auctioneer, participated in the project as well. I took this portrait of him early on in the day, standing in front of a work by Jack Whitten, entitled Flying High for Betty Carter.


perito moreno #1

Artist Frank Theil had a stunning 5-panel Chromogenic print of a glacier in Patagonia. The scale was intense, and this particular piece was certainly a favorite for many of us. I noticed the interplay of the reflected rafters and snapped a wide angle shot of the piece intermixed with the environment.


the photographer

The always inspiring @jnsilva joined in as well and contributed his excellent creative vision to the project. Here he sits, lost in thought, immersed in the reality-bending sculpture Library II-II by Lui Wei. Read more about this artist here.


Absorbing the art

Seeing so much incredible art from all over the world was beyond inspirational. We left feeling recharged and excited to apply our newfound visions. Below, @twheat takes in a painting by Sam Gillaim, entitled Spread. Read more about his work on his Wikipedia.


in conclusion

While these types of projects are incredibly effective in helping brands expand and engage with their own communities, they are also so much more. When you provide a space for artists to interact and collaborate with each other, you are no longer just encouraging and providing for the display of art- you become an active member of its creation. These symbiotic experiences result in absolutely mind blowing work- work that would never have been created without the willing participation of all involved parties. If you haven’t read about my own project that is in this same realm, take a moment to read about the #emptymet.

Footnote: Special thanks Frieze and to everyone who participated in this amazing project. There are two pages, if you are on a mobile phone please click below
Frieze New York, New York, NY, United States