The Hamptons Fine Art Fair
HOT ART, COOL SHOW
From Rumored Banksys to Verified Renoirs
Something for Every Savvy Collector
Sparked A Feeding Frenzy at The Hamptons Fine Art Fair
by Lori Zelenko
You could say that everybody who was anybody in the Hamptons art world turned out for the Hamptons Fine Art Fair starting with the Bastille Day Vernissage. Once intrigued by the global allure of such fine, fine art, the Hamptons cognoscenti occupied the place, with 9500 visitors over the duration from the 14th through 17th of July. And those visitors included Warren Beatty we hear, though it’s a secret what he was shopping for.
9,500 people streamed through HFAF 2002. Everybody who was anybody in the Hamptons art scene was there, even, we hear, Warren Beatty. Pop art from the Lurie Gallery shown here. Photo Credit Adam D. Smith
HFAF opened with a bang! The glamorous, memorable opening soiree was held in the spectacular 40,0000 sq. foot Pollock Pavillion where elite guests “stormed” this art bastille armed with Pommery champagne and delicious French hors d’ oeuvres from talented onsite chefs, The Plaza Café, Flatliners, and MF Events. The Bastille Day opening gave elite collectors and other connoisseurs in attendance the chance to seize control of the esteemed Hamptons art scene and cleverly secure the most coveted works before the crowds arrived on following days. Of course, who doesn’t want to invest in fabulous fine art when liive music sets such a chic Parisian tone? Much less when it’s elevated with the emotionally charged live performance by the uber-popular French recording star, Chloe Perrier and the French Heart Jazz Band.
SOLD OUT SHOW
9,500 attendees for the run of HFAF set a record for attendance. The buzz – and the sales started early though – with Dane Fine Art, the Philadelphia Auction House and Gallery, selling out their entire booth on opening night. What was “hot”? Warhols, Lichtensteins and Mr. Brainwash, a French-born Los Angeles street artist whose work is rumored to be an elaborate prank staged by Banksy. Given such a raid, the Dane Fine Art team scrambled – successfully – to haul in more art. Overnight, long past the 11th hour, they trucked in 50 pieces to sustain them for the rest of the Fair. All in all, the Dane Gallery sales total hit the jackpot, exceeding $1 Million in works on paper.
Dane Fine Art sold out their entire booth at the HFAF 2022 opening night party prompting them to urgently replenish.
What did they truck in? Popular work by hip street artist, Mr. Brainwash, a particular favorite for his splashy take on Warhol’s 1964 flowers.
Credit: Courtesy Dane Fine Art, Philadelphia
What was “hot”? What did HFAF show us is the next big investment? What work was playful and colorful enough to top a smart collector’s must have list? Boyd Peischl, Dane Fine Art Gallery Director, tells easthampton.com exclusively,
“blue chip artists such as Warhol, Haring, Lichtenstein overall performed well. Naturally they are popular year after year being auction-proven/tracked investments; they are a solid purchase time and time again.”
He adds his observation that the fun and surprising approach that is popular pop/street artist Mr. Brainwash’s take on Andy Warhol’s 1964 Flowers was a crowd favorite. So were Julian Opie’s walking figures. Opie ‘s blend of Pop Art and Minimalism, has worked for The Royal Opera House and Irish rockers, U2, and delivered six-figure sales around the world.
Graphic, simple, boldly outlined Julian Opie’s figurative portraits were a big hit at HFAF. Their pared-back perspective on life as we know it make his silhouettes, inspired by classical portraiture, Japanese woodblock prints, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and traffic signs, immediately recognizable. Credit: Courtesy Dane Fine Art, Philadelphia
Wondering why these works sold out? Well, fame first found Mr. Brainwash when he was included in the groundbreaking documentary, Exit Through The Gift Shop, the Academy-nominated Banksy film about street art. Of course, he’s earned quite a following since with more than One Million on Instagram, album covers for Madonna among others and work featured in Molly’s Game, Billions, Shameless, and the Kardashians. Yet once a street artist, always a street artist, he aligns with Banksy in bringing art to the masses. Peischl explains, “What we saw at HFAF was that although spectators were drawn to big name investments, the decorative aspect of the work we offered – bringing splashes of color to the popular modern farmhouse style interior the Hamptons is known for – proved tremendously appealing. In fact, we had to restock before the show even officially opened.”
Founder and HFAF producer, Rick Frieidman notes,
“Because of the immense wealth and staggering purchasing power of our guests, this year’s Hampton Fine Art Fair demonstrated that being part of HFAF can literally change the lives of exhibitors, as it did for many this weekend. How? Immediate closings on sales, top flight works reserved for a day or two and then purchased, and as a result, substantial commissions earned by our exhibitors.”
Eager and affluent art buyers streamed through the aisles all four days, Friedman notes.
“Perhaps driven by pent-up demand, we saw more vim and vigor than ever. Tens of millions of dollars in sales were generated. Red dots appeared everywhere! There was no shortage of six figure sales although naturally, it’s fair to say the majority of sales were in the $10k to $50k range.”
As a renowned producer of art fairs, Friedman has produced 28 fairs across the US, yet HFAF 2022 well-exceeded even his professional expectations.
“I have never seen an attendee feeding frenzy like this in my entire career. It was truly something amazing and rewarding to witness!” Collectors found the work they craved and Gallery owners were gratified to be able to feed their hunger.
Bill Rau, CEO and Owner of M.S. Rau, New Orleans, shared his thoughts, “we were thrilled with the quality and response to the Hamptons Fine Art Fair.” What captured knowledgeable collectors attention? The Rau Gallery’s newest acquisition, Picasso’s stunningly titled Buste d’Homme Barbu (Bust of a Bearded Man). “Visitors were lining up to get a closer look at the portrait, which was painted in 1965 and is one of the finest works by the artist that I’ve ever seen,” Rau noted. Ah but one masterwork is not enough. Another piece that intrigued was a 3-D work of The Scottish Museum of Modern by Patrick Hughes. This piece, Rau explains, “seems to break free from the wall and appears to shift as one moves in front of it.”
But though these were standouts, they were not alone among the remarkable works presented at HFAF. Rau continues,
“Blackstone Cigars by iconic American artist Norman Rockwell garnered a great deal of attention. So did a painting titled Serpent Vert by modern late 20th-century artist Alexander Calder, featuring a circus scene that displays the same graceful whimsy as his hanging sculptural mobiles. “
Serious collectors and casual visitors alike found works they had to take home at HFAF.
Tens of millions of dollars worth of art was sold at exhibiting galleries from all over the world and all over the US, notably including M.S. Rau, New Orleans.
Photo credit: Courtesy M.S. Rau, New Orleans
Serpent Vert, a whimsical painting by Alexander Calder, was a crowd-pleaser at M.S. Rau at HFAF. Unexpected and engaging, this joyful work attracted much attention. Photo credit: Courtesy M.S. Rau, New Orleans
Of course, HFAF being a Fine Art Fair was focused on art and sculpture but Rau Gallery showed dazzling pieces of jewelry from Van Cleef & Arpels as well as Tiffany & Co. and Cartier. Their sparkle caught many an eye among the sophisticated ladies – and gentlemen – in attendance. What’s a show without a showstopper? The jewelry star then of the HFAF was the stunning, one of a kind 38-carat diamond necklace by Harry Winston, once owned by Christina Onassis.
FROM RENOIR TO MR. BRAINWASH
HFAF 2022 brought to the East End a wide, curated and deep selection of high caliber 20th and 21st century art for acquisition – ranging from Renoir to Mr. Brainwash. Filled to the brim with fine art treasures from all over the world, HFAF 2022 was the art buying event of the summer, and the largest in the nation – the ultimate place to “see and be seen,” for cool collectors there to take home a sizzler or two, “hot” works of art that may be trending now but are sure to stand the test of time.
HFAF 2022 was a standout success. Certainly the bright shades of Pop Art were enjoyed by all and collected by many, but classical work by artists like Renoir (Apres Le Bain shown here) were successfully received as well. Photo Courtesy M.S. Rau, New Orleans