Thursday, 30 July 2009

Frieze art fair says your fired to Sir Alan Sugar

I have just read a peice about how the Frieze art fair has turned down The Apprentice. thought you would be interested.

Frieze art fair – the annual stalking ground of contemporary art collectors, hawk-like dealers and terrifyingly chic curators – has turned down the chance, we understand, of having a slot on national TV. The fair's organisers were approached by the makers of hit BBC reality show The Apprentice, who fancied the idea of setting "Lord" Sugar's contestants the task of competitively flogging art at their own special stands.

Our spy at Frieze, however, tells us that the idea of "some oik with a Hoxton fin grabbing Charles Saatchi from the aisles and trying to flog him stuff" wasn't quite in keeping with the fair's discreet and dignified flavour, for which aspiring stand-holders are selected by a vetting committee. Still, it would have been a highly entertaining spectacle (potentially as entertaining, even, as the famed Pantsman debacle from the last series), which the Diary is sad to be denied.

Instead, we shall have to make do with some of the more amusing artists' projects that will punctuate the fair, which runs from 15-18 October in Regent's Park, London. There is Mike Bouchet's wheeze of hiring a motivational speaker to gee up the dealers in these troubled times; Ryan Gander's plans to photograph visitors with their favourite artwork; and Stephanie Syjuco's workshop, where she will bootleg, in cheap materials, works for sale on the fair's legit stands. More seriously, Agnès Varda, the great new-wave director, will speak about her life and work.

Frieze will host fewer visiting galleries from the US and continental Europe this year – but it's still, we hear, business as usual.

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