Frieze, Felix, LA Art Show: Which one(s) should you check out?

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A Roosevelt Hotel room is converted into a pop-up gallery at 2022’s Felix LA. Photo by Zack Whitford. Photo courtesy of Felix LA.

Over the next few days, four art festivals are opening to the public that bring together creators from around the world. There’s Frieze at Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar, Felix at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, LA Art Show at the Convention Center in downtown, and SPRING/BREAK in Culver City. With different reputations, galleries, and entry prices at each, which is right for you?

Lindsay Preston Zappas, founder and editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, describes these festivals using gym/workout analogies. 

“Frieze I feel is like Equinox, right? It's expensive, it's exclusive, you can't really afford it, it’s very bespoke. Felix, I think might be a little trendier, a little more local, sexier, maybe like a hot yoga class. … SPRING/BREAK is a little more of a DIY situation, so maybe it's a little hiking club at Griffith Park. … And then LA Art Show … maybe it's like LA Fitness, so it's something that's LA-specific, it's been around a while. But as these other fairs are coming in, it has to try and keep up with these boutique gyms and the hiking clubs, so it's trying to offer new classes, maybe it has pilates now or something like that.”

Zappas says Frieze presents more than 120 galleries from 22 countries, and many artists here are more advanced in their careers, so prices for the creations are higher. 

At Felix, she explains, the booths are hotel rooms, which means art pieces are put on TV stands and in showers. 

LA Art Show this year has one section for works about climate change, and Zappas is particularly excited about Judy Baca being involved here. “She's gonna have this double-sided mural called ‘When God Was a Woman’ that she actually started in the 80s, so I think that'll be really exciting to check out.”

Zappas points out that SPRING/BREAK, in a significant move, has waived the entry fee for participating artists and galleries this year. The event is also less focused on making sales, and it has a “DIY scrappier vibe than the other fairs.”