Tutor Jasper Joffe and the Free Art Fair (12-18 October 2009 at The Barbican Centre)
Tutor Jasper Joffe is a painter, writer and curator.
He is the founder of the Free Art Fair and is known for creating 24 paintings in 24 hours at the Chisenhale Gallery.
He recently sold everything he owns in his ‘Sale of a Lifetime’ and his paintings have been bought by Charles Saatchi. See www.jasperjoffe.com
Returning for the third and final time during Frieze week, this year’s Free Art Fair promises to be bigger, better and more fun than ever. Staged at the Barbican Centre, the Free Art Fair will use the format of a curated museum-scale exhibition with a difference: on the last day of the show, the visiting public will be able to take away one piece of art of their choice. See www.freeartfair.com
In 2007, Joffe set up the first Free Art Fair with the participation of 25 artists all giving their art away for free. Joffe had become tired of the relentless commercialism of Frieze and other art fairs, with their focus on price and status. He felt this was alienating not just to artists but also to viewers, and that art as a creative and social object was being lost. The Free Art Fair was put on for free with everything being given in kind. Viewers seemed to really engage with the concept and the individual artworks, and in a wider sense it resonated with many artists, including those showing at the large commercial art fairs, who felt that the art world had been hijacked by big money.
In response to great demand, Joffe again organised a free art fair in 2008. It immediately became a major part of the debate about the value of art, with global TV and press coverage helping spread the message, and people queued for up to three nights in the rain and cold in order to become a free collector.
This is the third and final time that Joffe will organise the Free Art Fair.