Whitehot Magazine

Future Fair 2024 Is Gen Z Approved

Excited attendees line up during Future Fair’s public days. Image courtesy of Future Fair’s Instagram. 


By ANNA CARLSON May 10, 2024

Amid the excitement of New York Art Week and the Frieze frenzy, the fourth edition of Future Fair opened on May 1. The fair’s programming, focusing on New York-based galleries, offers a variety of established and emerging galleries from the US and around the world. The Fair prides itself on promoting women-run galleries and its profit model makes galleries equal shareholders in the fair, carving out a future for smaller galleries to make an impact on the art market. Thematically, the fair was current and freshly meta; however, the mediums represented lacked diversity.

Mainly painting heavy, standouts were tapestries from Mama Projects, latex and resin sculptures by Jenny Wu from Morton Fine Art, and glasswork from Podium Oslo. Mia Weiner of Mama Projects spends her life on the loom; her practice is built upon studies of human relationships and gender established through textile applications. Weiner moved from New York to the LA art scene almost two years ago, and found the artist community there is “taking a lot of risks.” In contrast, the “risks” seen at Future were somewhat expected yet remained conceptually honest.

Mia Weiner’s woven masterpieces attracted a buzz at Mama Projects

At Future, the recognition of early career artists made up for the surprising lack of technology and AI. The fair awarded its inaugural Artist Prize to painter Angela Fang Zirbes of Hashimoto Contemporary, who is only twenty-four. Her airbrush work on display depicts a rural home reflective of her childhood in the Midwest and expresses her feelings of isolation; growing up as a biracial woman in predominantly Caucasian spaces. Although the grey-scale collection is inherently personal, her visuals shine a light on a sentiment felt by many Asian Americans interpreting their identities. Time will tell how buyers will respond to contemporary storytelling in artwork as much as media consumers.

More art that resonates with today’s culture was brought to the fair by Drea Cofield’s project, Send N*des. The Galleri Urbane booth showcased all new works out of Cofield’s narrative series, which transforms nude selfies sent to her by strangers and friends via social media and OnlyFans into miniature figure oil paintings on cardboard. Each painting gives an intimate portrayal of selfhood, often involving domestic interiors such as mirrors and bathrooms. Cofield takes these modern moments reckoning with desire, translating them into empowering creations about sexuality. Although the painting's subjects ranged in age, the subject matter captured the attention of the younger crowd at the fair; solidified by the large volume of Instagram shares of the work.

Galleri Urbane’s wall booth of nudes

Also on view, Craig Jun Li’s work at the Rain Rain gallery booth channeled a youthful exploration. Li plays with perceptions of images through compelling multimedia rematerializations. One of his artworks uses ink drawings of album covers Li listens to on his smoke breaks at work, while another “untitled” piece features a color palette informed by vape flavors. Li’s experiential art satisfies young art lovers' urge to see themselves within the art.

74° 0’ 38.04” W 40° 39‘ 18.522 “ N by Craig Jun Li uses a BIC lighter as the focal point

The fair was open to the public for three whole days, allowing viewers to leave inspired and setting a trend of inclusion in motion. Future’s welcoming atmosphere against the backdrop of Art Week pretentiousness benefited turn-out and artist visibility but also answered the present need for art world norm reconsiderations. WM



Anna Carlson

is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer who is interested in exploring nuanced ideas about identity and culture. Her words have been published in Architectural Digest, Newsweek, and Ladygunn Magazine, among others. If she’s not writing, she’s sleeping under a clean laundry pile or eating Thai food.

view all articles from this author