Protest art pervades Frieze: works confront Aids, poverty—and, yes, Trump
As New Yorkers protest against President Trump during his first visit to the city since he was elected, politically engaged art is more prevalent than ever at the fair. Here is our pick of the most topical works. By Gareth Harris and Anny Shaw
Isaac Julien, Pas de Deux No. 2 (Looking for Langston Vintage Series), (1989/2016)
When Isaac Julien made the film Looking for Langston in 1989, the Aids crisis was at its nadir. By the end of that year, 27,408 people had died from Aids-related illnesses, including several of the film’s actors. Julien’s large-scale photograph on Victoria Miro’s stand is part of a series derived from the film, which is a tribute to Langston Hughes, one of the writers at the centre of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. “Isaac demonstrated a level of radicalism in making a work about gay black men in the late 1980s,” says a spokesman for the gallery. Prices for the prints, which are due to go on show at Photo London (18-21 May), range from £20,000 to £55,000.
Image: Isaac Julien’s Pas de Deux No. 2 (Looking for Langston Vintage Series), (1989/2016), on Victoria Miro’s stand. Photo: © Casey Fatchett