Canvases under our arms, prints in our bags and a heart full of expectations: this is how we flew to New York City for Moniker International Art Fair’s first edition, back in May.
Tina Ziegler, Moniker’s Fair Director, had invited us a couple of months before; she wanted us to be one of the Young Galleries present at the venue. We considered the invitation carefully: to fly over to New York and present yourself in an art fair is a serious responsibility, as it is an investment to be held on your own, especially when you’re a baby project, such as Merc’art (two years old by this year’s end). However, this is the kind of opportunities that do not present themselves every day: when they appear, you should try to be brave and go for it.
Moniker is a fair of art galleries, based in London. The difference lies on Moniker’s concept: it is fully dedicated to subversive and street art. 10 years have passed since the first edition in London; this one in Brooklyn, New York, was its premiere outside the United Kingdom.
To be side by side with galleries that exhibited works from FinDac, Hera (Herakut) or Swoon, amongst many others, was a privilege and the chance to learn how the challenges are the same, and understand that the world is able to open its doors to you not only when you’re old and experienced, but particularly when you defy the status quo and present something fresh. Lisbon is a cherished place in the world, these days, our artists stand out from the crowd and are relevant for exigent people. How do we know it? Moniker’s curatorship is tight: young galleries are authorised to a super limited number of pieces. In spite of that, our selection was extremely appreciated.
We learned a lot. A lot. We learned that our non-gallery positioning is innovative and respected by galleries with a solid reputation in the art’s scene. We acknowledged that to invest in a huge market pays for what comes around. And finally we confirmed what our guts were telling us from Merc’art’s very first day: our artists have definitely a place in the world.
Nothing will stop us after New York: we’re now considering the invitation to be in Moniker’s 10th edition in London, this October, and for sure we will be in Madrid, for A.R.C.O. 2019.
Dear Frank, Mr Sinatra, you were totally right.