I might as well hand in my London art reviewer badge by saying so, but this year was my first Frieze. That giant white tent in Regent’s Park was even more huge and overwhelming than I thought it’d be; I staggered out after just under four hours, feet and shoulders aching, tote overloaded with magazines, press releases and lists of works.
The easiest thing to do in a review with such a variety of potential subjects is to pick out a show that I particularly liked from a non-obvious source. I like the easy way out, so here’s Elena Tejada-Herrera , represented by the gallery 80M2 Livia Benavides in Lima.
Her pink-walled Queen Kong show featured photography, sexy drawings and a video of happy girls in Karate outfits embracing their inner fighter, cheered on by female peers from older generations. For the show, Tejada-Herrera was inspired by French writer Virginie Despentes’ ‘King Kong Theory’, a 2009 manifesto of feminist rage which turns on the plotline of the 1930s giant gorilla movie classic - and it’s particularly helpless heroine.
Nothing helpless about these karate girls though, and there was a good crowd watching the videos even by Frieze standards.
Other, starrier, standouts from this year (pretending that I actually went any other year, but whatever): Donna Huanca strewing the walls with white sand for a beach fantasy at Simon Lee, Italian artist Lara Favaretto winning the ‘Boomerangable’ award with a working and penis shaped car wash spinner at Franco Noero, and the Haas Brothers’ unbelievably cute ceramics at Marianne Boesky.
I’ll be back next year, with a backpack and some sensible shoes.
Elena Tejada-Herrera - Queen Kong: The Girls Learn to Fight is at Frieze London. October 03 - October 06 2019