Must-sees at The Armory

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At the Armory, seeing phrases lit in blinding neon, sipping sangria at the Artforum lounge, and pining over the beautiful offspring of loaded art collectors might leave you a bit disoriented. In order to help you navigate the hundreds of booths of this huge art fair, here is some advice.

First, time goes by quickly when you’re looking at art; pack something to snack on at the lounge so that you don’t have to pay $10 for a “panini,” which is basically sliced deli cheese melted on pita bread. Taking a break for a snack will also enable you to experience the seats and ottomans made completely out of cardboard (how green). Second, breeze over the New York galleries and spend more time at the international booths; you live here, so just put a star next to the interesting ones and move on. Lastly, Mister Estiletto has it right; debes tirarte las telas! The Armory Show is where artists, collectors, curators, actors, students, and dealers interact in one incredibly dynamic space…look good, and bring your business cards.

Here is a list of some my must-sees:

The Project: photos of prominent musicians and artists like Basquiat, Run DMC, Public Enemy, and Alan Vega taken by the artist Ari Marcopolos.

Galerie Sfeir-Semler: based in Hamburg, Germany and Beirut, Lebanon. See beautifully intelligent works by Walid Raad, Akram Zaatari, and Yto Barrada. Special attention to Barrada’s “The Smuggler’s Belt Steps,” a photography project documenting the process of how women smuggle fabrics from Spain to sell in Morocco.

Noqueras Blanchard, from Barcelona: ask about the stories behind the photography of Wilfredo Prieto, and look up or you’ll miss the surveillance piece by Leonardo Erlich.

Elisabeth Dee gallery has an odd tribute to Adrian Piper. There didn’t seem to be any information on the artist or her works, or anyone there to tell you about it…but it’s a well-deserved mini retrospective and worth seeing.

Simon Lee Gallery from London has a photo by Larry Clark of South American punk-skater kids in South Central, LA. The photo is connected to the film, “Wassup Rockers?” Ask to see the catalogue that documents a few years of Jonathan Velasquez’s life, who Clark made one of the central subjects of the film.

Sean Kelly has a selection of notable artists. Marlvel at works by Iran do Espirito Santo, Juliao Sarmento, Vik Muniz, and Cuba’s Los Carpinteros (their exhibit opened a few weeks ago).

Finally, in homage to ghetto fabulousness, take a look at Luis Gispert’s “Untitled (Dinner Girls)” at Zack Feur Gallery.

Hopefully this gives you some direction; a more in depth look at the Armory soon to come…

Images: anonymous lady; photo detail by Larry Clark, “Elizabeth Taylor” by Vik Muniz.