The Funniest Stories Overheard at Art Fairs

October 4, 2023
Original paintings for sale in London
Photo by Mike Dorner on Unsplash

Is this Modern Art or a Cat's Playground?
At one art fair, a group of visitors stumbled upon a contemporary art installation featuring an array of neon-colored objects, abstract shapes, and peculiar sounds. As they puzzled over the meaning behind the artwork, a young child pointed at the installation and innocently asked, "Is this modern art or a cat's playground?" The question left everyone in fits of laughter, as it highlighted the relatable notion that modern art can often be just as enigmatic as a cat's playful antics.

My Kid Could Paint That!
This classic remark is often overheard at art fairs, usually when visitors encounter a seemingly simple and abstract piece. One day, a woman confidently declared, "My kid could paint that!" The artist, who happened to be standing nearby, humorously responded, "But, did they?" This witty retort reminded everyone that art is not just about the final product but also the intent, emotion, and meaning behind it.

The best portrait I've ever seen!
At a portrait-focused art fair, a man curiously examined a hyper-realistic painting and remarked, "Wow, this looks just like me!" As he continued to study the artwork, he suddenly realised that the portrait was, in fact, a mirror! 

Tha Basel Banana
During a major international art fair, the famous conceptual artist, Maurizio Cattalan, had installed a re-working of a previous artwork called "Comedian", comprising of a real banana, ducked taped to the wall of the gallery's booth. Then along comes a performance artist from Georgia, unceremoniously removes it from the wall and ate it! There followed a combination of shock, laughter and applause! The gallery behind the sale of “Comedian” said in an Instagram post that the installation had been removed from the exhibit amid public safety concerns!

What a Load of Rubbish
Yup, it had to happen! An artist had installed a conceptual artwork comprising a series of filled black bin bags and the asking price was six-fugures. Along came the cleaners in the middle of the night, seemingly thinking that this particular job was easier than expected, as the rubbish was already bagged up and ready to go, which they did, and the artwork never seen again!

For goodness sake, let's enjoy art and the art world!

About the author

Acoris Andipa