BOOK OF THE MONTH (3): Mise en scenes from the art world

I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one to find art fairs and gallery openings rather funny and confusing. I know I should be looking at the paintings on the wall, but I always get distracted and start to observe the art loving crowd even more. That’s why Art fairs – Mise en scenes from the art world by Dutch photographer Dolph Kessler just had to be my book of the month. It’s a collection of photo’s taken at art fairs around the world. More of Kessler’s pictures after the jump.

We are a funny bunch, aren’t we? Putting on our fancy clothes to go from opening to opening. Just to look and be looked at. Dolph Kessler was intrigued too by that rather theatrical setting, so he decided to travel the world, for three years, and take pictures at important art fairs.

He visited Frieze Art London, Art Cologne, Paris Photo, Art Dubai, Art Basel Miami Beach and even Art Brussels. He was aiming for pictures that would have a little bit more than just a documentary aspect to them. He really wanted them to have a theatrical feeling: as if the tableaux were ‘staged’, with actors instead of just people accidentally walking by. Kessler likes to draw parallels with religion and churchgoers too. I’m not really following him on that one, but his pictures sure are fun to look at. The book is in Dutch and English and comes with a couple of essays and an interview with Mathew Slotover (Frieze Art London).

More on Dolph Kessler, here, more on his book ‘Art fairs’ (published by d’Jonge Hond), here.


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