Here Are 5 Emerging Artists You Might Not Know—But Should—From New York’s Frieze Week Fairs

Need to catch up on the latest and greatest? We've got just the rundown for you.

Kota Ezawa, National Anthem (Tennessee Titans) (2019). Courtesy Haines Gallery.

It’s been a busy week. We get it. You’re tired. We’re tired. So to help you wrap your head around everything, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting lesser-known artists from this week’s fairs in New York.


Samson Young

Samson Young, <i>Da Da Company</i>, 2019, installed at Edouard Malingue's booth at Frieze New York. Image courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery.

Samson Young, Da Da (2019) installed at Edouard Malingue’s booth at Frieze New York. Image courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery.

Showing at: Edouard Malingue Gallery at Frieze New York

Why We’re Interested: Born in Hong Kong in 1979, Samson Young has gained serious momentum for addressing challenging topics—migration, identity, and culture—in experimental sound and new media compositions. Two years removed from representing Hong Kong at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Young is currently the centerpiece of Edouard Malingue’s booth at Frieze New York thanks to his multimedia installation Da Da Company, a trippy, computer-animated “retropia”—a utopian vision incorporating archival material—that tells the story of the first person of Chinese descent to be born in Canada.

Price: Editions range from $30,000 to $50,000. The third edition (of three) was still available as of Thursday night.

Up Next: A new commission for the Performa 19 Biennial and a solo exhibition at the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery, which will be Young’s first one-person show in the UK.

Tim Schneider


Diana Corvelle

Diana Corvelle, Down Girl (2019)

Showing at: The New York Academy of Art’s booth at Art New York

Why We’re Interested: We’re captivated by Corvelle’s paintings of women reading feminist books, which she paints on actual election ballots. Corvelle, who received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2011 (and BFA from RISD in 2006) is part of a show presenting 32 works by Academy Alumni at the fair. You can always count on the Academy’s president, David Kratz, to enliven these exhibitions by inviting guest curators with a fresh perspective. This time around, it’s former supermodel Helena Christensen, who selected all the items and was on hand to welcome and converse with guests at the VIP opening reception.

Price: The paintings on ballot stubs (which are quite small) are priced at $600.

Up Next: Corvelle just closed a solo show at Dacia Gallery in New York last month.

Eileen Kinsella


Kota Ezawa

Kota Ezawa, National Anthem (Washington Redskins) (2019) at Frieze New York. Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Kota Ezawa, National Anthem (Washington Redskins) (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Haines Gallery, San Francisco.

Showing at: Haines Gallery at Frieze New York

Why We’re Interested: Ezawa made this work as part of a series of watercolors focusing on National Football League players’ protests against police violence during pre-game presentations of the national anthem, actions that were kicked off in 2016 by Colin Kaepernick when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers. “Ezawa had a hard time finding these images after ESPN stopped televising the anthems,” says Kira Lyons, a director at Haines Gallery, noting how polarizing the players’ actions had become. “So the work becomes about censorship and representation, as well as about police brutality.”

Price: The works in the series vary in size, but each image comes in a handmade edition of three. Prices range from $8,000 to $12,000.

Up Next: The German-Japanese artist will be included in the forthcoming Whitney Biennial.

Pac Pobric


WK Interact

A photo of Dash Porter's contribution to WK Interact's on going mug shot project. Photo by Dash Porter courtesy of the artist.

A photo of Dash Porter’s contribution to WK Interact’s on going mug shot project. Photo by Dash Porter courtesy of the artist.

Showing at: A spotlight booth at the Moniker International Art Fair

Why We’re Interested: French street artist WK Interact moved to New York in the early 1990s, and his booth at Moniker—a street-art influenced outfit from London—offers something of a career retrospective. One wall is plastered with photographs of old street-art works that once graced the city’s streets, and the booth also has the artist’s custom bike and skateboard, designed for a quick getaway should the police arrive. You can also participate in an ongoing project by the artist by posing for a mugshot and filling out a police intake form and giving your fingerprints (the artist’s tag is a thumbprint). “It’s a great way for him to remember all the people who come to his exhibitions,” Dash Porter, a Moniker student volunteer from Parsons, told artnet News. “A lot of people get scared with the finger prints, but we’re obviously not going to do anything with them. You can even fill it out with a fake name!”

Price: The mugshots aren’t for sale, but two acrylic-on-wood panel works were available, priced $12,500 and $22,800.

Up Next: WK Interact started his mugshot project in 2012 and plans to spend two or three more years on it before publishing it in book form.

Sarah Cascone


Kyle Meyer

Kyle Meyer, Unidentified 164 (2019). © Kyle Meyer. Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.

Showing at: Yossi Milo Gallery at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Why We’re Interested: Four works from Meyer’s “Interwoven” series stand out on the walls of Yossi Milo’s 1-54 booth. For the project, the artist traveled to Swaziland, where homosexuality is banned, to photograph gay men. He invited his subjects to pick textiles from local markets, photographed them wearing those textiles in elaborate wraps atop their heads (a female practice, traditionally), printed the portraits, and then wove them with strands from the actual fabrics.

Price: The works in the series range in price from $14,000 to $35,000.

Up Next: Meyer is currently in two group shows: “A History of Photography: Selections from the Museum’s Collection” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and “Honoring Stonewall” at Hal Bromm Gallery in New York. The artist is also participating in a residency at Fondation Blachère in Apt, France, where his work will be featured in a group show later opening later this month. 

Taylor Dafoe

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