Balloon Dog by Paul McCarthy Image:

Balloon Dog by Paul McCarthy

Fresh off of Frieze New York 2013, there are many dissenting opinions about the fair this year. Some oohed and aahed, while others asked questions like, “Really? You call this art?!”

Art has a long history of getting strong reactions out of people, for better or for worse. It is, by definition, an expression of imagination using skill and (usually) visual forms. So, unfortunately for those naysayers, that means even their least favorite works are indeed “art.”

That being said, they may not be effective or even “good” art. Like any art fair, there were favorites and flops. Here are a few of the best tastes from the show:


One statue of many in Jeff Koons' Gazing Ball exhibition. Image: NY Times

One statue of many in Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball exhibition.
Image: Suzanne Dechillo / NY Times


  • Balloon Dog by Paul McCarthy. Who doesn’t love an 80-foot-tall inflatable balloon dog? Of course, this puppy was located outside on the lawn.
  • Rain Room from Random International was presented by the Museum of Modern Art. Participants could walk “through” a man-made storm without getting soaked.
  • Underthere by Pae White featured hundreds of upward-facing mirrors with brightly colored geometric patterning on the backs. The result was a beautiful and shimmering mobile.
  • Irreversible by Los Carpinteros was shown at Sean Kelly (offsite). Cachita and Emelino were powder coated aluminum portraits lit with LED lights, creating incredibly unique pieces.
  • Gazing Ball by Jeff Koons was shown at David Zwirner Gallery (offsite), and featured proud white plaster sculptures equipped with blue glass gazing balls. The sculptures are classically designed, looking straight out of the Greco-Roman era—but with a few modern additions (like mailboxes).
  • Unique Forms of Continuity in High Heels by Francesco Vezzoli was certainly an eye-catcher. A commemoration of Boccioni’s original 1913 sculpture (Unique Forms of Continuity in Space), this new version expresses the same masculinity but in high heels. Talk about bringing gender identity to the forefront.
  • Anonymous, Bakersfield, CA by Katy Grannan used complete strangers for subjects. Grannan took photos from people she found along California’s Highway 99 from Mexico to the top of California. Each face has a story all its own.