A Street Art Fair Is Coming to Brooklyn for Frieze Week This Spring

Founded in London, Moniker International Art is setting up shop in a Greenpoint warehouse.

Courtesy Moniker International Art Fair

Moniker International Art—the eight-year-old UK fair devoted to urban and street art—is coming to New York this spring. It is the latest addition to the bustling Frieze-anchored fair lineup in early May.

Moniker’s inaugural New York edition will take place at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn from May 3-6. Roughly two dozen exhibitors will set up shop in 10,000 square feet of waterfront space. The complete list has not yet been announced, but so far, exhibitors include StolenSpace Gallery and Curious Duke Gallery of London and Station 16 Gallery of Montreal.

Moniker’s director Tina Ziegler says the expansion to New York follows marked growth of the London fair. Since it was founded in 2010, she says, the fair has doubled the number of exhibitors and tripled the size of its exhibition space.

“It started as an art fair championing urban art but since then, we’ve embraced a lot more of what’s happening across the board with street art and graffiti art. The movement is expanding and is much more widely accepted as a serious art form,” Ziegler told artnet News.

Image courtesy Erwin Bernal via Flickr.

Image courtesy Erwin Bernal via Flickr.

Ziegler says global expansion was a priority when she took the reins as director last year. “The obvious choice was New York. Street art and and graffiti as we know it today can be linked back to Brooklyn and New York’s subway graffiti so it just seems like a natural home to come to,” she notes.

Finding a location, however, was far from simple. After a trip to New York and heavy research, the team settled on the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, which is most often used as a music venue. “We need space to experiment,” Ziegler says. She was also encouraged by the growing popularity of the Greenpoint to Manhattan ferry, which makes the warehouse more easily accessible. (Plus, Frieze Week visitors are already accustomed to taking a boat to an art fair.)

Each year Moniker focuses on a different theme, and the New York edition will present interactive installations inspired by a fun fair or what the US calls a carnival. “We’re presenting carnival themes that touch on many subcultures within the urban art movement, so it also includes the political realm, and looking at the influence of comic book culture and Surrealism [on the fun fair],” Ziegler says.

Of the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, Ziegler says: “When I walked into that terminal, it had all the characteristics of the first venue in London where we launched…. It was a little bit rough around the edges but it’s got a lot of historical character. We really felt at home.”

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