With over 300 art fairs annually around the world today, one has to be prepared before walking around for hours at a time with minimal sustenance and stops to the restroom. Over 120,000 people walked through Art Basel’s three fair editions in Miami, Hong Kong and Basel last year alone. Dealing with crowded long lines and absorbing thousands of works of art within a ridiculously compressed context in a short period of time with jet lag I might add, is neither fun nor relaxing. However, for us die-hard art lovers who attempt to go to more than 10 or more fairs a year it is well worth the effort and steep expense so long as one is prepared.
Before each fair, I’ve resorted to creating to my own Art Fair Emergency Kit that I can simply throw inside my suitcase or handbag, if I’m staying stateside. Here is a quick list of my top essentials:
Purell Hand Sanitizer: Shaking hundreds of hands a week means lots of germs!
Phone Charger: Beware of taking pics with your phone as it eats up battery life faster than your dog can swallow that T-bone
Business Cards: An obvious one. Art fairs previews are all about networking.
Tic Tacs: Will make closing deals more pleasant especially if you skipped breakfast. Snapping gum is unsightly, as grandma would say.
Band-aid: The average fair goer walks about 15 miles a day. Yes, it’s better to wear sneakers but they’re not nearly as stylish.
Measuring Tape: Make sure the art fits before you buy it!
Contact Lenses: Your eyes are your most important asset at an art fair. It’s not worth the risk of losing a lens (like I have).
Canon Digital Camera: Take good quality images of art that you like and be sure to include a shot of the wall label to easily refer to details. Do not rely on your memory here.
Extras: Bottled water to stay hydrated; Small spiral notebook and pen to jot down prices, names and any inspirations; Facial moisturizers to help refresh and revive after hours of tirelessly looking at art; Hairbands to keep your vision unobstructed.
What would be in your Art Fair Emergency Kit?