What to do in an art fair? The ultimate guide – FIAC Paris

We have been to the FIAC in Paris, a famous contemporary art fair, and we thought about telling you something about it and give you some tips and tricks about contemporary art fair!

What is FIAC?
“FIAC” stands for Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, and it’s held in this days in Paris, in the beautiful location of the Grand Palais (right next to the Champs Elysées). You can check out their website here.

Who can go to an art fair?
Anyone! Yes, anyone can go to a contemporary art fair, as long as you have the ticket. You don’t need to be a curator, a gallerist, a collector or an artist, and you don’t have to be invited to it. There is no dress code, it isn’t a posh environment and there are plenty of people that just enjoy looking at the works of art!

Is it an exhibition?
In a way, yes. But it has no particular meanings, it doesn’t follow a main idea (like most exhibition do). It is just a place where galleries try to promote their artists, showing the most relevant work of art they have. You can see what’s absolutely new to the art world, but also some works of the XX century! It is really a journey in the most relevant art of nowadays.

Why to expect from a contemporary art fair?
Usually art fairs are a collection of galleries trying to show the most important items they have to the potential collectors. So what you will see are many little pavilions, each one of which belongs to a specific gallery. You can just walk around, and many times this is the only way to enjoy visiting an art fair: if you stop in front of every single work, one day won’t be enough! You will be probably captured by the most beautiful works, and there are many (not all of them are beautiful of course, it depends on your personal taste).

Pros of art fairs
In art fairs you have the wonderful opportunity to speak directly with the gallerists or the artists about their works, and to ask questions to them. This is a precious pro, as they usually have so much to say about every single item, and you can learn so much from their words.
As we said you can have an overview on how contemporary art is evolving in the present moment: if you follow the fairs regularly, you can see this evolution year by year!
Moreover, usually they are held in beautiful places, that are worth a visit.
The fairs are enormous, so it is very easy that you will find something you like: just walk around being ready to be surprised!

Cons of art fairs
Some gallerists will not be so kind with you if you don’t seem a collector: they have to invest their time to convince possible buyers.
The price of the entrance ticket can be pretty high, depending on what formula you choose for it: for the FIAC for example, a ticket for one entrance, without a specific date, costs 37€ (but of course there are reductions depending on your age, if your are a student or not and so on).
Don’t buy anything to eat or drink inside! It costs way too much, and it’s not worth it.

We will post in the following section some images from the FIAC!

– M.C.


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