As San Francisco weathered two very minor earthquakes and braced against voracious rain that forecasters had classified as an “atmospheric river,” two art fairs in the city—FOG Design+Art and Untitled—went about their business of opening with nothing but signs of positivity in sight. The older, more established FOG and the newer upstart Untitled (a West Coast satellite of a fair initiated in Miami) offered different vibes but together courted collectors and curiosity-seekers to a Bay Area art scene that rose to the occasion for both.
FOG kicked off Wednesday with a preview gala that doubled as a benefit for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, with proceeds from ticket sales for the evening going to an institution that serves as a locus of sorts. Wild fashions abounded (no small amount of them evocative of straightjackets and bondage gear—dark energy right for the times), and cascades of food and drink (vegetable sushi, a glorious cocktail infused with activated charcoal) flowed in the midst of booths showing art from near and far.
“We’ve been doing the fair since the beginning, when it was much smaller and scrappier, and it’s been interesting to be part of its evolution,” said Chris Perez, director of Ratio 3, a San Francisco gallery set up by the entrance. “It’s attracted galleries from outside the city, and what is really great about it is that it is an art fair, but it has design too. The design element gives it personality. Eventually all these things end up together in the same room.”