NEW YORK ― The gold-plated lobby of 4 Times Square, former home of the Condé Nast headquarters, exudes the frigid aura you’d expect of a corporate colossus. Upon entering, newcomers to this year’s Spring Break Art Show might think they’ve arrived at the wrong location. But take the elevators to the high-rise’s 22nd floor and indeed, the gutted former workspace is now the site of a sprawling art fair organized around a single concept: “A Stranger Comes to Town.”
It’s a fitting theme, not only given the current political climate ― in which American leaders fervently cast perceived “outsiders” as suspect ― but also the role Spring Break has come to occupy in the New York art fair landscape. At seven years old, the scrappiest, most experimental of the fairs feels like the new guy in town, kicking down the saloon door, raising eyebrows and inciting excited whispers.
Amid a sea of more established, buttoned-up fairs open to cultured New Yorkers with deep pockets this month ― Armory Show, Volta NY, Independent, NADA ― Spring Break is the rebellious cowboy still managing to shake up the status quo.