Hanging around at Frieze: 'Siamese hair twins' and very private portraits

Updated 19th October 2015
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Hanging around at Frieze: 'Siamese hair twins' and very private portraits
Before the public are allowed to step through the heavy plastic butcher's curtains that line the art fair's entrance, most of Frieze's business is already done.
Even in economically sluggish Europe, the booths of the blue chip commercial galleries have been swarmed by record numbers of buyers on the opening day, prior to the arrival of the press and public, and artworks have been changing hands fast for six-figure (and the occasional seven-figure) sum.
But thankfully for the casual wanderer -- without $1 million to spare for a Hirst or a couple of Ai Weiweis -- there's stuff to see here too: some surprising bedrooms, an art fair for rabbits, an artist who will sketch your breasts, and a lot more.
Follow us on a lightning-quick catch-up of the most eye-catching events in the tent.

Siamese hair twins

The thing you're most likely to hear passers-by mention in Frieze's big white gazebo? These two girls wandering around in tandem, wearing identical dresses, joined by their long, flowing hair.
They look eerie and unnerving (if it's okay to call a couple of 12-year-olds that).
They're part of the Frieze Live performance program: a recreation of a 1984 work titled "Xifopagas Capilares" -- "Siamese hair twins," roughly -- by Brazilian artist Tunga.
If you're looking for something to take home for a fraction of the price of an Alex Katz painting, you can apparently by this work for only £20,000 -- although, you will need to procure your own children. For the price, you just get a certificate permitting you to recreate the performance with twins of your own.


Frieze's sculpture park returns with 16 new and historical works. It's the only part of the fair that's free and open to the public, and Park manager Nick Biddle says many are staying in place for another three months after the fair closes.
An exclusive drone's view of the Frieze Sculpture Park
Indoors, Hauser & Wirth gallery has transformed their allotted floorspace into an open grid of 42 waist-high plinths topped by sculptures by Paul McCarthy, Martin Creed, Louise Bourgeois, and loads of others. It's one of the few spaces at the fair where works by big name artists have been bringing a little joy to visitors.

Private portraits

Take a right as you walk in and you'll head toward a Ken Kagami's table: it looks like a school desk propping up a big yellow clock and a baseball cap that's topped with a cuddly-toy plush penis and a breast.
Here, if you want him too, Kagami will draw yours: breasts if you're a woman, genitalia if you're a man. It only takes 30 seconds for the Tokyo-based artist to size you up, draw your genitals, and ting a bell to welcome the next portrait subject.
It has been surprisingly popular.

Frieze for rabbits

If you're desperate to escape the crowds at the fair, you can head down to the far end, where the Focus area holds emerging galleries and a miniature recreation of the fair itself, which visitors can duck into and listen to pop and classical tracks, made to suit the tastes of local wildlife.
The scale-model is the work of Rachel Rose, winner of the 2015 Frieze artist award, who has created a tent for Regent Park's wildlife, including recordings pitch-shifted and transformed to suit rabbit or fox ears.
The pre-show coverage promised indescribable trans-modulation of Bach, although when we were there it sounded a lot like Johnny Cash.
courtesy victoria miro

Silk homes

Seoul-born Do Ho Suh makes 1:1 recreations of places and objects from his memory out of a silk gauze. In each case, the sculptor meticulously builds architectural features -- sometimes entire houses -- from materials that recall the appearance of an architectural blueprint, but brought to life, in 3D.
At Victoria Miro's booth, you can see some ugly daily utilities transformed into ghostly sculptures. Looks even better in real life than it does in these images.
Courtesy Linda Nylind/Frieze

Felix the Cat

Here's Felix the Cat, maybe 20-foot-tall, looking as if he's made out of the inflatable plastic parachute material usually reserved for blow-up promotional Michelin Man figures.
At the Galerie Buchholz bazaar, gazing over some of the fair's most expensive works (Marian Goodman, White Cube and Spruth Magers galleries are situated nearby), Felix looks indifferent, kind of bored, but friendly.
He perhaps looks out of place at first, but each time you circle round, he looks more like he belongs, maybe even owns the place. The Frieze-goers spirit animal, maybe.


When it all gets too much, there's bed. Visitors can catch a quick nap in one of six rooms set up by art collective AYR. Unexpected moments of intimacy, here.