DebtFair: Art Market for the Debt Crisis

As New York City and the art world 1% gear up for the Frieze Art Fair opening Thursday, two solo shows for Jeff Koons, a favorite if the 1%, opening Friday, followed by the Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillip’s auctions just a few days later, many are expecting well over a billion dollars to be exchanged for contemporary art works.

Despite the booming art market these events headline, this economic prosperity is limited to a miniscule minority of artists and arts professionals. This further contributes to the staggering economic inequality dividing Wall St. and Main St. In response, Occupy Museums and new friends are developing DebtFair, which will take place throughout New York City this September. DebtFair models a sustainable cultural bailout rooted in economic reality rather than luxury escapism. Collectors will buy art by writing checks directly to artists’ loaning banks, a mutual aid relief of impossible debt burdens.

DebtFair is a series of experimental market-actions to address the massive debt crisis in art today. Decentralized, on- and off-line, crossing institutional hierarchies in both public and private spaces, artists contextualize their work within the narratives of their actual economic lives. Collectors receive artwork in exchange for checks directly to the artist’s loaning banks.

In DebtFair, Art = Liberation.