I visited Art Market on the last day of the four-day event. It is the second time this contemporary art fair was held, and the organizers always emphasized that it is also a social event, a meeting point for artists, galleries, collectors and art enthusiasts of any age.
The venue chosen fits the purpose of Art Market perfectly. The main element is the art fair itself, and Millenáris has a huge space to offer, the fair was set up in two pavilions on two floors. Last year more than ten-thousand people attended, and that number definitely went up this year, as there is more space, more exhibitors, artworks and programs. Dominantly, galleries from central and Eastern Europe were present, to show their emerging contemporary art. I felt this event provides a great opportunity to look at the main topics and techniques other countries’ contemporary artists favor. In my interpretation, the tension between the individual and societal pressure was captured in all Eastern- and Central-European countries, and it was interesting to see that this seems to be a universal theme to the region. Wondering through the white walls full of breathtaking and thought-provoking pieces, I realized that the three hours I had to myself until the closing is not nearly enough to take in all it has to offer. But for me, they accomplished the goal – what I saw made make wonder for hours after I left the exhibiting space, made a note of some artist who could easily be my new favorites in the contemporary scene and became a little more familiar with the situation of contemporary art, not just in my country, but in other regions throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and some more distant places too, such as Tel Aviv, Istanbul or New York. I dare to say this, because on their website, they wrote that their goal is to “increase the worldwide level of appreciation for, and interest in, contemporary art and artists of this unique geographical and historic region.”
What I couldn’t experience during my visit sounds also very intriguing. Besides the art fair, where collectors could make their purchases, Art Market offers many programs such as concerts, guided tours, round table conversations, and a fashion show. The round table conversations had surprisingly captivating and current topics. The one that especially raised my interest was on the importance of the situation of contemporary art in city marketing and tourism of cultural capitols. It captured my attention because I never thought of art that way that it helps to form the image of the city and its desirability as a touristic destination.
The organizers of Art Market also targeted the younger audiences with offering a guided tour by museum educators, for free, available to individuals and groups as well. The aim of this service is to attract the future generation of art lovers, and widen their knowledge and critical thinking about art. Another merit of the event is that all programs can be attended for free, so anyone who is not sure about it can take a look, and those who are really fascinated by the exhibition can attend all the four days.
Visiting Art Market was a great experience, and I came back with a mind full of inspiration and ideas. I recommend it to people of any generations, equally for those who are just about to encounter contemporary art in a high dose and for those too, who are naturally passionate about it. Make sure you don’t miss it next year!
For the pictures all credit goes to http://www.artmarketbudapest.hu/
by Csontos Anna-Zsófia