Last night I attended the preview parties for Art Chicago and NEXT, where artists, gallery owners, and art dealers from around the world presented pieces from their collections as part of Artropolis at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. I can't fathom the square footage these two shows occupied - each had its own floor of the sprawling Mart. NEXT featured up-and-coming artists and smaller galleries, newer to the art scene, whereas Art Chicago featured world-renowned galleries and artists already established among collectors and dealers.
It was funny how the art mirrored the crowd. The NEXT crowd was definitely younger, more casual, loud, with a good amount of hipster thrown in the mix, whereas the crowd upstairs donned pinstripe suits, one-inch heels, and small quilted purses. I made myself quite comfortable in both spaces, thank you very much! Of course next time I am standing and walking around on concrete for three hours, I will leave the heels at home no matter how cute they are.
I took the two shots above at the beginning of the night. This part of the NEXT gallery was packed later on in the evening.
Moving right along...
One of my favorite parts of the evening was that I got to meet another blogger, David Dailey from The Dailey Dish! Think The Sartorialist meets Elle style columnist meets Chicago. Highly recommend checking out his blog. Of course, what are the odds two folks who blog about fashion trends both show up wearing horizontal stripes with blazers? Embarrassingly good, apparently.
And the reason we were able to attend this fabulous event was courtesy of these two folks, Oliver and Eleanor, Nathan's cousin and wife from San Francisco who had a booth in the NEXT exhibit. They run what I think is one of the most brilliant ideas I've heard of: an art subscription. Their company, The Present Group, sends you a new work of art four times a year for the cost of an annual subscription. O and E choose the art based on submissions from local artists in California.
Genius if you ask me.
Look how pensive I can be.
And here are a collection of some pieces I liked for no particular rhyme or reason, because hey, it's art. You don't have to have a reason for liking it.
Nate was so impressed I could identify both cities without looking at the nameplates.
Can you tell where they are? (minus the big white glare in the top one)