Artinfo: Get Ready for Debtfair, Where Collectors Can Buy Works by Paying Off Artists’ Debts


This September the decentralized art fair Debtfair will take over sites sprinkled throughout New York City, offering collectors an opportunity to acquire works by young artists not by paying them directly, but rather by paying off their debts. “We’re holding it in venues public and private throughout the city,” co-organizer Tal Beery told DNAinfo. “The commitment the artists are making is also to speak with people interested in their art about their economic realities.” The fair’s website is keeping a running tally of participating artists’ cumulative debt, which currently stands at $1,114,168.44. 

Co-organized by a group of Bushwick-based artists and Occupy Museums members, the fair will take the form of artist-designed maps, booths, and performances throughout the city. Thus far the artists signed up to participate in the fair include Saul Chernick, Maraya Lopez, Joel Richardson, and William Powhida. Artists interested in participating can sign up or request more information here.

“The capitalist debt system profits even more when people ignore their loans and pay them late, or slowly,” Noah Fischer, another of the fair’s co-founders, told DNAinfo. “It’s about understanding that all economic behavior, like culture, is ultimately collective and needs to go horizontal.”