Occupying a room on the 11th floor of Los Angeles’s Roosevelt Hotel, as part of the second edition of the Felix L.A. art fair, is a gallery based in Athens, Greece, called Fomo Haber. The two young men who work there are L.A. locals. One is a musician, the other works for Hauser & Wirth. The proprietors of Fomo Haber had “visa problems,” these two will tell you, and couldn’t make it, so they were hired at the last minute.
In fact, the work is by Darren Bader, who has faked every aspect of the booth, from the enterprise (which doesn’t exist) to all the artists on view (who are given elaborate, fake CVs). Bader’s masterstroke may just be those two fellows manning Fomo Haber’s room. This is Hollywood, baby, and they are acting.
Not to be outdone by the star power at Frieze, Felix, a fair also in its second year and spread out among the rooms and cabanas of the Roosevelt Hotel, had some of its own spectacle. One of the special projects throughout the hotel—a brand new section this year, overseen by critic William J. Simmons—is the ground-floor one by Judy Chicago—works picked by none other than Jill Soloway, writer of the TV show Transparent.
The by-invite fair got bigger this year—going from 41 international exhibitors last year to 60—but it is still manageable, not least because the organizers have solved their crowded elevator problem by adding the freight elevator.
Hollywood history is as rich at the Roosevelt as it is at Paramount Studios, and galleries in the fair are playing on it. Portland-based gallery Adams and Ollman is debuting three new abstract portraits by Vaginal Davis that are part of her ongoing “make-up” paintings series of obscure Hollywood actresses. There’s Della Reese at the Cine Grill (Reese was an R&B star who performed at the Cinegrill, once a hot club in the Roosevelt, and ended up in a fantasy TV Show called Touched by an Angel where she played an angel’s supervisor), Carole Lombard (the three-level…
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