Tracey Emin

Tagsmart Visits Frieze London 2018

Once a year, around 60,000 people in London have the opportunity to visit one of the biggest art fairs in the world, and one of the most exciting art events:  Frieze. Last weekend, Tagsmart joined the party and we had a wonderful time!

Showcasing art from over 200 galleries in the world, visiting them all becomes a mission for each visitor. But this is what happens, Frieze creates a temporary city where every corner is populated by the most influential galleries in the world, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the art world for a few hours.

It is almost impossible to pick only a few works, however, we tried, and here is the selection of our favourite pieces at Frieze.

Our trip started like every trip should start, with a passport and luggage. Tom Sachs presented a multi-location installation during Frieze week. At Thaddaeus Ropac, he was issuing Swiss passports and at the fair, he presented a German suitcase, closed and ready to leave the country.

Tom Sachs, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Frieze, London, 2018.

Tom Sachs, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Frieze, London, 2018.

Following this idea of transportation, Pace Gallery presented a painting by William Monk that gave room for a sense of spirituality elsewhere.

William Monk, Pace Gallery, Frieze, London, 2018.

William Monk, Pace Gallery, Frieze, London, 2018.

Travesia Cuatro offered something more familiar, John Isaacs’ textile work brought back tactile memories of a warmer time.  

John Isaacs, Travesia Cuatro, Frieze, London, 2018.

John Isaacs, Travesia Cuatro, Frieze, London, 2018.

Alongside the contemporary, Frieze sets a temporary element with their parallel fair: Masters, showcasing historical artefacts next to modernist art, generating a not-so-clear timeline of the progression of art.

Our personal pick from Frieze Masters has to be Mimesi by Giulio Paolini, one of the maximum exponents of Arte Povera, which in this case, presents us with Greek-inspired portraits enhancing that dialogue across art periods.

Giulio Paolini, Barbara Mathes Gallery, Frieze Masters, London, 2018.

Giulio Paolini, Barbara Mathes Gallery, Frieze Masters, London, 2018.

My Art Haven

Wednesday the 24th of January, we had the pleasure of hosting a dinner for our partners and friends at The Groucho Club. Our Executive Chairman Tom Toumazis MBE and Co-Founder Steve Cooke invited our guests to share the artworks they would have in their living room if money and space were no object. Check out their answers!

If money and space were no object, what would you have in your living room?

Alice Whitaker, Head of Philanthropy at the Old Vic Theatre

Leonardo Da Vinci, The Vitruvian Man drawing (1487)

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Pete Edmunds, Artist

Joseph Wright of Derby, An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768)

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Luke Kang, Tagsmart Certificates Manager

Dana Schutz, Face Eater (2004)                                                  

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Beatrice Bowles-Bray, Mall Gallery Digital Coordinator

Marcel Duchamp, Poster for the Third French Chess Championship (1925)                          

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Pavel Baskakov, Tagsmart Product Development Manager

Michelle Basquiat, Arm and Hammer number II (1984)                                                

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Simonetta D’Ottaviano, CEO and Co-founder at Nettoken 

Claudio Verna, A 55 (1971)                      

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Ruth Tabet, Director of About Atout Interior Design

Antoon Van Dyck, Marchesa Elena Grimaldi (1623)                                                              

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Mark Darbyshire, Tagsmart Co-Founder  

Philip Guston, The Mirror (1957)                                                               

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Alice Stack, Chief ExecutiveCreative United 

Jacob Epstein, Jacob and the Angel  (1940-1)                                                                                                                                                          

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Steve Cooke, Tagsmart Co-Founder      

Tracey Emin, Dog Brains (2000)                                                              

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Susan Young, Director at Richard Young Gallery  

Shahnameh Ferdowsi, Battle between Iranians and Turkish (c. 977 and 1010 CE)                                 

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Piero Tomassoni, Co-Founder of Artvisor                                                      

On Kawara, July 10, 2014 (2014)

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Sophie Noire, Tagsmart Communications and Events Executive                  

Henri Rousseau, Fighting Between a Tiger and a Buffalo (1908)

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Rhiannon Stanford, Marketing, and Production at Metro Imaging                    

Hiroshi Sugimoto, Seascapes (1993)

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Tom Toumazis MBE, Tagsmsrt Chairman                                                           

Claire Partington, Sanguiney, 2014

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Kate O’Neill, Head of Marketing at Metro Imaging                                        

Patti Smith, Frida Kahlo’s Bed, Polaroid series (2012)

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Nicolas Gitton, Tagsmart Business Development                                             

Richard Serra, East/West, West/East (2015)

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Karen Thurman, Artist and Gallery Owner of Thurmanovich Gallery               

Tenaya Creek, Dogwood Rain (1948)

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Chelsea Jacob, Magnum Gallery Director

Alec Soth, Falls 26 (2005)


JAN. 24 2018

Tagsmart was here: Adrián Villar Rojas, Soul of a Nation and Dreamers Awake

From the Series ‘The Theatre of Disappearance’
Adrián Villar Rojas

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Adrián Villar Rojas calls into question the supremacy of any particular artwork. For his first exhibition in London since 2013, the Argentinian artist presents a life-size marble reproduction of the legs of Michelangelo’s David. The simplicity and beauty of the replicated 15th-century sculpture contrast with two adorable kittens smooching by his feet.

This piece is concurrent with exhibitions on the rooftop of The Met in New York, the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Bregenz, Austria and the NEON Foundation in Athens, Greece. 

Marian Goodman Gallery, until July 21
5-8 Lower John Street, W1F 9DY


Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power

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“The biggest achievement of this exhibition is the recovering of the talented legion of artists who have been kept out of the American canon of genius in a way that is utterly unjust,” says Jonathan Jones of The Guardian. Art from the 1950s is predominantly represented nowadays by American icons such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. 

Above is a painting April 4, which marks the first anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King with a cascade of purple tears. This piece is by Sam Gilliam whose artistic genius was forgotten until only recently, now in his 80’s. But Gilliam’s art is not the only artwork to come out the woodwork, there are copies of The Black Panther magazine to self-portraits of Barkley Hendricks entitled Brilliantly Endowed and Frank Bowling’s unforgettable paintings. 

Tate Modern, until October 22
Bankside, SE1 9TG


Dreamers Awake
Eileen Agar, Leonora Carrington, Lee Miller, Dorothea Tanning, Leonor Fini, Francesca Woodman, Hannah Wilke, Louise Bourgeois, Rosemarie Trockel,  Kiki Smith, Paloma Varga Weisz, Mona Hatoum, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas, amongst others

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This exhibition of more than 50 contemporary and emerging artists, as well as well-known Surrealist figures, artfully riffs around what it means to live inside rather than gaze upon a female form.

The show explores surrealism through the eyes of women, such as Mona Hatoum who subverts the objectification of the female form with Jardin Public (1993) or Claude Cahun who plays with gender identity as a fluid construct in her iconic black and white self-portraits from the 1930s.

White Cube Bermondsey, Until September 17
144-152 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ

A Shelter For A Memory

The London Festival of Architecture is Europe’s biggest annual architecture festival, and returns to the city this month with hundreds of events exploring ‘memory’. To celebrate the event, we dug into our own memory and recalled five impressive artworks that explore the ideas of shelter and remembrance.

Rachel Whiteread’s Ghost (1990)

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Ghost, Rachel Whiteread’s breakthrough piece, is a plaster cast of a living room, modelled on a typical Victorian terraced house in north London, similar to the one in which the artist grew up. In its melancholic beauty, Ghost is a resonant monument both to the individuals who once occupied this room and to our collective memories of home.


Grayson Perry’s A House for Essex (2015)

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Grayson Perry’s first building, a striking ‘secular chapel’ filled with his artwork, opened only for a limited period. Perry has described the building as the ‘Taj Mahal on the river Stour’ because it tells the (fictional) story of a local woman, Julie, whose husband had the house built as a shrine on her death.


Roy Lichtenstein’s House III (1997)

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Among Pop icon, Roy Lichtenstein’s last subjects was the image of the suburban American home. The smaller-than-life sculpture House III evolved from Lichtenstein’s large-scale interior paintings of the early 1990s and from work that revived his interest in playing with perspective. Exploring inverted perspective and symbolically complex messages of housing and shelter, the corner of the piece appears to project forward toward the viewer. However, by walking around the work one sees that the corner actually recedes and that the eye has been fooled.


Tracey Emin’s Everybody I Ever Slept with 1963-1995 (1995)

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Also known as The Tent, the artwork was a tent with the appliquéd names of, literally, everyone Tracey Emin had ever slept with, but not necessarily in the sexual sense. It achieved iconic status, was owned by Charles Saatchi and was destroyed in the 2004 Momart London warehouse fire. Emin has refused to re-create it.


José Bechara’s A Casa (2002)

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Exploring the concept of shelter and the familiar notion of housing, José Bechara establishes physical, metaphysical and visual relations to the habitat, creating poetic connections with the interior and the exterior of this place. By reorganising the space with a rigorous method, the artist uses everyday objects as geometric forms and inverts the idea of the shelter by putting objects that relate to the human presence outside of the house.

Tagsmart hand-pick: Easter Bunny gone artsy!

One of the most popular symbols of Easter, rabbits have been depicted by artists for hundreds of years. Dating back at least as far as the late 1600s, the rabbit used to be a symbol of springtime that connected the religious and the secular. According to History.com, the ‘Easter Bunny’ has its origins in a German tradition in which an egg-laying hare called ‘Osterhase’ brings eggs and gifts to children to celebrate the end of the Lent period (in case you’re wondering, originally eating eggs was not allowed by the church during the Holy Week).

Paradoxically though, these furry cute animals have been portrayed in the arts as both emblems of sexuality (think Playboy Bunnies!) and virginal purity. Frequently depicted beside the Roman goddess of love, desire, fertility and prosperity Venus in antiquity, the rabbit was then represented by artists of the Middle Ages and Renaissance as a symbol of virginity and innocence, often portrayed alongside Virgin Mary.

Still, the most famous portrait of a rabbit is probably Albrecht Dürer’s drawing Young Hare (1502). Deprived of any symbolism and a masterpiece in observation, its impeccable rendering served as a benchmark for centuries thereafter. The work is the Albertina Museum’s prize possession, but it’s not often on display. After a maximum of 10-12 weeks, the Young Hare needs 5 years in dark storage for the paper to rest. It was on view briefly in 2014 after a break of 10 years and will appear again for a very short time in 2018 before it goes back into hiding (sounds almost like a real-life bunny, right?). 

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Well, what about rabbits in contemporary art? These furry animals have been present in several contemporary works, in a variety of meanings which are still sometimes related to its iconography, albeit loosely. Here are some of our favourites:

Jeff Koons’ Rabbit (1986)

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In 1979 Jeff Koons made Inflatable Flower and Bunny (Tall White, Pink Bunny), the seed for so much of his future work. This sculpture features a flower and a pink bunny that sit on top and in front of four square mirrors. Seven years later, Koons created Rabbit. The switch from the word “bunny” to “rabbit” is intriguing. The bunny is cute and floppy; the rabbit is quick and sharp. The carrot in the rabbit’s paw is wielded like a weapon, and the vinyl shell of the bunny has been replaced by stainless steel, reflecting everything surrounding Rabbit and deflecting any allusions to the sculpture’s interior. (Source: The Broad)

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Dieter Roth’s Bunny-dropping-bunny (1968)

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The playful and decidedly inedible ‘chocolate’ rabbit titled Bunny-dropping-bunny (Karnickelköttelkarnickel) mimics a chocolate Easter Bunny. However, it is made of rabbit droppings and straw, giving the work a humorous visual onomatopoeic quality. 😝 (Source: MoMA)

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Tracey Emin’s Rabbit (2015)

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One of Tracey Emin’s great virtues is her extraordinary delicacy. The grace and elegance of her lines capture the unique, untamed character of wild animals such as the rabbit in a very strong and personal manner.

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Joseph Beuys’ Chinese Hare Sugar (1974)

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Joseph Beuys identified personally with several animals, most notably the rabbit. He always carried its foot or tuft of fur as a talisman, and jokingly cited the pointed shape of his ears as proof of his close relationship with the creature. Beuys found sugar and the rabbit combined in a wrapped lump sugar at Documenta 5 in Kassel (1972). Both were already significant images in his work, and he subsequently produced three Hare Sugar multiples, the first in 1972, American Hare Sugar in 1974, and this work in 1979 from a sweet wrapper found in Shanghai. (Source: Tate)

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Paloma Varga Weisz’s Rabbit Man with Egg (2004)

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One of the enigmatic characters of Paloma Varga Weisz’s watercolour paintings, Rabbit Man with Egg resembles a scene from a fable in its conflation of myth, mirth and sexual ambivalence.

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Sarah Lucas’ Pauline Bunny (1997)

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Sarah Lucas stuffed variously coloured pairs of tights with cotton wadding to make ‘bunny girl’ forms, whose limply dangling arms and legs provide a representation of abject femininity, in thrall to the arena of male virtuosity as suggested by the snooker table. Pauline Bunny, in its black stockings, corresponds to the highest value snooker ball. The black stockings are also the most traditionally alluring of the selection of colours, connecting this representation of a woman to the image of a seductress. Any suggestion of power this might carry is subverted by the passivity of the floppy, stuffed body, which is clipped to an office chair, providing an emblem of secretarial submissiveness. The title of the installation, Bunny Gets Snookered, reinforces the reading of disempowerment: to be snookered, in the language of the game of snooker, means to be prevented from scoring. This bunny girl is trapped by her femininity, only to be knocked against her fellow bunnies in a game of masculine skill. (Source: Tate)

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Frederick H. K. Henrion’s One Rabbit Has at Least 12 Young in a Year; 45 lbs of Meat (1941)

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One of a series of WWII propaganda posters for the British War Office/Ministry of Food, encouraging the British home front to raise rabbits at home on a diet of kitchen scraps… and then eat them. 🙄

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Masaya Matsuura’s Vib-Ribbon (1997-99)

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Vib-ribbon’s code has been written to take into account the player’s choice of music, and any can be used to set the pace of the game. White lines form sketchy drawings of the environment and a rabbit named Vibri. As Vibri, the player walks along a string-like road filled with obstacles, their frequency generated by the soundtrack. Pressing the correct buttons at the right time will let Vibri pass unharmed; the faster the beat of the song, the quicker the player must react. If the player is continuously unsuccessful, Vibri devolves: she will change from a rabbit to a frog and then to a worm. If the player is successful, she is elevated to a fairy princess. (Source: MoMA)

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Would you know any other artworks depicting these cuddly furry Easter favourites? ❤️🐰