Who Shops FOG Design+Art? We Cornered 12 Enthusiastic Visitors (and One Dog) at the Sleek San Francisco Fair

At the preview for FOG Design+Art, we stopped a few collectors and other visitors to gather their thoughts on the West Coast fair.

FOG Design+Art at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. Photo courtesy of FOG Design+Art.
FOG Design+Art at the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. Photo courtesy of FOG Design+Art.

San Francisco may not have much of a reputation as an art-market hub, but nobody seems to have told FOG Design+Art. The sixth edition of the fair, which opened last night with a preview gala benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, drew 53 top-flight art and design galleries, including Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, Gagosian, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, and Blum & Poe.

Guests including the new Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco director Thomas Campbell, SFMoMA director Neal Benezra, collector Pamela Joyner, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, eBay founder Devin Wenig, and Paul Pelosi, husband of Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi, braved wind and rain to make their way to the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture. Today, the other big fair in town, UNTITLED San Francisco, will open.

FOG’s clientele—more tech than finance—is often less jaded than fairgoers one might encounter in New York or London. They are also full of hometown pride. To get a better sense of the new generation of West Coast collectors and art lovers, we buttonholed 12 of them during the preview to find out what they were buying and what they thought of the event.

 

Marcia Shonfeld and Dana Tananbaum

Marcia Shonfeld and Dana Tananbaum at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Marcia Shonfeld and Dana Tananbaum at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

How long have you been coming to FOG?

Dana: I’m involved with the museum, so really since the inception.

Are you collectors? 

Marcia: Everyone collects!

Dana: My mother collects more antiquities and northern European 17th-century art—landscape and tapestries. I’m a contemporary collector.

How have you seen the fair grow over the years? 

Dana: Exponentially. The number of really good international galleries who are here now is really exciting. It puts San Francisco, in terms of the art world—

Marcia: It puts it on the map!

 

Mauro Neri

Mauro Neri at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Mauro Neri at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Where are you from and what brings you to the fair?

I’m visiting from Brazil. I’m searching for street art, because I am a street artist. I’m searching for inspiration, or context for showing my art.

Do you get permission for your street art? 

Sometimes, but normally, illegal. My symbol is the house.

Have you been to the fair before?

This is my first time here. It’s a fantastic city, very special.

And how did you hear about FOG?

I don’t remember! But for fairs, the first day is better. You meet more people.

 

Esther Ela

Esther Ela at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Esther Ela at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Where are you from?

I’m from the Central Valley. Turlock, California.

What brings you to the fair? 

I’m an employee at Park Life, which is doing the fair’s gift shop. It’s my first time at FOG. I’m here to work a little bit, but also to check out the art. I’m a senior in art school at CCA [California College of the Arts], so it’s very exciting.

What are you studying?

Illustration. I do large-scale paintings of my family members based off of old photographs of my grandparents, who I never got to meet, who emigrated from Iran. I’m trying to get to know them through their faces.

Have you seen any art tonight that is inspiring you? 

Short answer, yes! There is some really beautiful furniture. I didn’t expect to be so into the furniture.

I have to say, I love your outfit. Where is it from?

The brand is Other Stories. It’s a dress that I modified and cut, and put over this crazy neoprene skirt that I got in South Korea.

 

Dan Herzstein and Lynn Altshuler

Lynn Altshuler and Dan Herzstein at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Lynn Altshuler and Dan Herzstein at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

What brings you to the fair today?

Dan: We live in a condominium that is next door to SFMOMA. We got it about three year ago, but we still have some blank spots on the walls. We’d like to have art that would be worthy of the museum, and we figure that if they’re sponsoring this, they must feel this art is something special.

What artists do you currently have on your not-blank walls? 

Dan: We have a glass artist called Steven Maslach.

Lynn: His art is in the Smithsonian and he also did wine glasses, I think for the Clinton administration’s dinners.

What do you do? 

Lynn: We’re retired. I was an attorney.

Dan: And I managed different businesses.

Have you bought anything yet? 

Lynn: We’re waiting for our son who is three blocks away in traffic and not moving. He’s the art expert in the family.

Dan: You should be interviewing him!

 

Sean Leffers and Kimberly Johansson

Kimberly Johansson and Sean Leffers at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Kimberly Johansson and Sean Leffers at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

What do you do?

Kimberly: I have a gallery, Johansson Projects, in Oakland. We’ve been open for 12 years.

Sean: I’m a collector and I’m on the board of Lux Art Institute in Encinitas.

How did you meet?

Sean: We met at Art Market San Francisco.

Kimberly: And he bought a piece from the gallery!

Sean: By Blaise Rosenthal.

Have you seen anything you really love today?

Sean: We’re at Anton Kern’s booth right now, where they’re showing Francis Upritchard. I saw her work a few years ago at the Venice Biennale. And Francis actually did a residency with the Lux Art Institute last year.

What do you think of the Bay Area art scene? 

Sean: I just moved to San Francisco and I’m kind of figuring out the art scene here. It’s my first time at FOG and I love the fair.

Kimberly: I’ve lived here 17 years. I’ve seen some changes. It ebbs and flows—it will keep evolving.

 

Alexandra Loew

Alexandra Loew with a Suzanne Ramié Pablo Picasso table at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Alexandra Loew with a Suzanne Ramié Pablo Picasso table at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

What do you do?

Architecture, interior design, and collection building. I specialize in furniture and decorative art, so this is a good fair for me.

Do you live in San Francisco?

I’m based in Los Angeles, and I flew up today for the fair.

Do you come every year?

This is my third time at FOG, and I’m going to Untitled for the first time tomorrow.

What’s caught your eye today?

This piece from Vallauris, a pottery commune in France. Picasso did all his ceramics at Vallauris, but he didn’t know how to do clay, so Suzanne Ramié made the clay for him and he painted over it. She and her husband, Georges Ramié, were a team and an important part of the Vallauris community. It’s sold, but it’s amazing!

 

Kathy Hao, Kaitlin Hao, and KK Hao

Kathy Hao, Kaitlin Hao, and KK Hao at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Kathy Hao, Kaitlin Hao, and KK Hao at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Where are you from?

Kathy: We’re from Hillsborough, near SFO.

What brings you to the fair?

Kathy: Our interior decorator, Douglas Durkin, he’s one of the chairs of FOG.

Kaitlin: We’re starting to collect, but not seriously. I’m studying art at Harvard. I’m interested in curating as a career. I’m deciding between art business and curating, and this is a great introduction. I come back every year to get more of a sense of what working at a gallery would be like.

What kind of dog is KK, and does he always come with you?

Kathy: Yes! But we’ve never been to opening night. We’ve seen dogs on the other days, but this is a little crazier. He’s a Shih tzu and bichon mix; they call him Shichon.

Are you planning to buy anything tonight? 

Kathy: We purchased a mirror by Barnaby Barford last year. It has ceramic flowers and it’s gigantic and beautiful.

Kaitlin: We’re trying to commission a piece that’s a full-length version.

Kathy: I like to see my toes!

 

Michele Pred

Michele Pred at FOG Art+Design. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Michele Pred at FOG Design+Art. Photo by Sarah Cascone.

Where are you from? 

I actually was born in San Francisco, which is rare for anyone living here, period, and I grew up in Berkeley.

How have you seen the fair change over the years? 

I’m going to be honest, the first year I was a little doubtful. It’s obviously very interesting because it involved SFMOMA, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about the art and design piece. But now I think it’s a perfect match for San Francisco. The energy and the excitement is pretty amazing, and we need to have this here.

What do you do?

I’m an artist. I have one of my purses I’m carrying tonight, and I’m showing at Untitled with Nancy Hoffman Gallery. I have a wall installation of purses and five other pieces about wage gaps and equal rights for women. And on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., I’m doing a feminist parade at Untitled titled Body Business. We’re going to wear t-shirts that say “Her Body, Her Business,” or “My Body, My Business.”

 

FOG Design+Art is on view at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, January 16–20, 2019.


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