I met my best lover at an art fair 2
Photograph from Pixabay

I met my best lover at an art fair

Inside the intriguing world of art fair hookup culture: “Everyone is stressed during the day, angry by afternoon, drunk by 6pm, and scarily horny by 2am.”
Celine Lopez | Feb 24 2019

Hooking up has become as easy as ordering pizza. Charge that phone, swipe here, say hi and—boom—another notch on your bedpost.

But if you really want to hook up analog style, come to your nearest art fair. I went to Art HK a decade ago before it became the hysteria that is Art Basel HK. It was super small back then with only a few artists and dealers. You couldn’t even fill the balcony of Dragon-I. I was definitely not there to buy a Murakami. I just wanted parties! I just broke up with my then boyfriend and was ready to rock. As the years went by, I kept it real.

First let’s understand that there’s art and there’s the art business.

The sub-culture between dealers, collectors and advisors is intriguing. The artists actually become kinda tame compared to the suits. They are crazy. I swear Valtrex and Trojan should really start sponsoring these things. Everyone is stressed during the day, angry by afternoon, drunk by 6pm and scarily horny by 2am. During the day they hate each other, but by nighttime they’re soulmates.

Art fair mascot

Art Basel Miami, which happens toward the end of the year is the apotheosis of this modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.

In the past few years, the international art scene has changed. It used to be the symposium for serious art collectors and seasoned art dealers. Now, it’s a like a shopping expedition coupled with former accountants who have suddenly become art advisors and overnight billionaires. It has critters like me further disemboweling the integrity of the fair.

The new snobbery is actually not going to the fairs.  Whatever, it’s fun if you get that stick out of your ass. Pretention is my favorite form of comedy.

I speak for the lot that would attend one art fair after another as if they were following the Grateful Dead. I’ll just say it, my lot is the useless lot. My lot doesn’t buy, we hit that black VIP card hard for the UBS lounge for Champagne, I hang out in different booths, I waste people’s time by asking them about Burning Man while they’re trying to make a sale and they hate me for the 12 hours that they are working. Come cocktail hour, I’m suddenly their favorite person. I enchant during these boring art dinners with my solid knowledge of important movies of the 90s and my heartbreak over Milli Vanilli. When they ask me how what I know about art, I simply say I know not to touch it. When they ask me what I think of a particular artist, I usually answer by sharing what their favorite drink is or who they’re sleeping with as of the moment. Hey artists are people, too.

I feel like a mascot and it’s fine.

The hookup culture is strong. I’m not really an art groupie only because I know what happens in these events. Most are on the prowl for some rich bitch/dick whose daddy needs a private museum ASAP. If a friend of mine needs a wingman, I’m there. To help a brother out, I approach their objects of affection for the night, and I may cough the words “Private island” discreetly. Or I might mention about a friend who had to pay Forbes to not put him on the list, my eyeball acting as a compass directing the target to my friend, leading his beloved into his arms for five hours max.

There are guys that try to hit on me, like hard. You know like fake hard. I do not have low self-esteem, but I do know what they’re after. They see me as an exotic heiress. What I am is a girl with a taste for exotic cocktails. Let’s not confuse things.

There is a simple solution to this:

“I’m not rich, I swear google me.” And they’re off.

I’m not saying everyone is like this. But this is what I’ve seen and heard IRL. Monkey see, monkey don’t do.

I don’t partake in the Flesh Olympics mainly because the bar has been set high for me pretty early on. I was actually lucky to have had a real Art Basel fairytale; I met one of my most beloved boyfriends during a dinner hosted by a person who, like me, doesn’t know anything about art. He was beautiful, charming in his silence, eyes like sapphires and a curious copy of Leonardo DiCaprio in his 30s.

It was love at first sight.

He grew up with a family committed to art. Fairs were not a lifestyle for him. He had in his heart pure passion and an encyclopedic knowledge of artists and art movements. He never spoke about how much pieces cost. He mostly listened, but when he spoke people shut up. He’s made his name with his incredible direction for public art in England and New York. Everyone loves him, which is rare. I love him, which is rare.

Pickup artist

As he underplayed his influence, I overplayed my knowledge. “You can really tell a good Condo by how he paints the face,” I opined referring to his work Naked Lunch. He smiled sweetly knowing he was in the clear, since I was disastrously flirting with him. He won my heart by saying, “You’re wearing the most beautiful dress in the most perfect Yves Klein blue.”

Wait, was he gay?

Artboy and I had the most lighthearted and beautiful relationship. We fell in love in London and I basically became his willing student. This is the kind of love story that gallerinas dream of. It’s also a fluke. This doesn’t really happen.

I mean its fun until it becomes depressing. The ratio between the successful Frieze love affair versus the disastrous Art Rio breakups is 1:12. I used to see Artboy even after our breakup in different fairs and events all over and we stick to each other as friends like thieves. We laugh at all our friends and secretly think were the bee’s knees. He still is for me the best of the best.

My favorite story is about this ring of D-list IG influencers who got men drunk at Art Basel Miami 2014. They hookup and the next day their laptops, watches, and wallets are gone. They were nice enough not to steal the phones, because empires could crumble fast. Kinda classy. All my guy friends wore their best hangover baseball caps and bumped into each other at the Apple Store on Lincoln Road trying to buy laptops as quickly as possible with cash from their hotel safes. It was like a little reunion and run of shame. Epic moment.

I’m over it already. I’m more into fat farms and reiki healing hunting these days.

So if you’re looking for a straw to break the Camel’s back on your relationship, or looking for a rebound Art Basel HK is just a month away. If you are looking for love, just stick to Tinder.


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