An Autumn's trip to Frieze


Last week, a knock at the door, with an invitation to go watch Bath play Exeter on Friday night, “sorry, can’t, I’m off to an art fair, it’s work”.

It’s work. Actually it is. But, a trip to Regent’s Park during first week of October for Frieze is one of life’s better gigs.

I’m going to put it out there, I love Frieze. A working lifetime of trade shows for clothing, watches, cars and the like has in the main immunised me against the charms of booths and the collective showing of wares, but Frieze for some reason gets to me. 

There is a charm to the idea of walking round perusing pieces of art, working out where you would put them in the house, knowing full well that you have not bought a Euromillions ticket in quite some time. And, it’s hot, far too busy and thoroughly disorientating, like nightclubs you thought you’d left behind.

Essentially the collective modern experience squashed and distilled into two or three hours. Sensory overload on too much sugar. 

A sub note, the people watching, wow. No preening, no posing, no subterfuge, it’s all out on the table. This is us, we don’t care, neither should you. It’s no wonder that for many of London’s chicest retail establishment Frieze week is approaching Christmas. 

Then you leave, cross the park and head to Frieze Masters and it’s the chicest house warming you’ve ever been to. Pale grey walls, that expensive municipal carpet that you know you couldn’t afford a metre of, and some of the choicest pieces of art you’ll ever see. Auerbach’s Primrose Hill sat a mere 15 yards from a Picasso you have never, nor will ever, see again.