Last night in a sidewalk fury, I joined art lovers, collectors and artists alike, in a joyous Chelsea romp which commenced at Marvelli Gallery (separate post coming!) and ended at INDEPENDENT on West 22nd Street.

Immediately entering the second floor gallery, I was greeted first by critic Jerry Saltz and then David Velasco. I knew I was in for a good evening because like the previous year, interesting people emerge for the fair that attempts to be unlike others.

Independent doesn’t have booths. Well, it has designated areas but they tend to feel more like mini galleries vs. the sometimes sterile rectangles that fill the interiors of most fairs. Founder and Gallerist Elizabeth Dee has done a fabulous job in carving out a space amongst many that not only has diverse and varied art, but the audience attention as well.

After going to the roof level, I returned to several floors, glass of wine in hand for a second look. I’m glad I did! Several elements that I had missed previously emerged including the twins above. At first I thought they were just two girls talking but upon actually looking I realized that they were part of a performance. The piece has been sponsored by Artbus and the girls chatted and gestured similarly with a subtlety that was both obvious and easily overlooked.

Anton Kern was my favorite space utilizing painting and free-standing sculpture, including the I’m Dead dog above. I also couldn’t help but enjoy Scott Hug’s limited edition, dog tag wearing chocolate bunnies being served at the bar.

Independent is an approachable fair. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but is serious enough to be great. You’ll have to step around, walk over, and pay attention. All actions that make looking at art what it should be; an experience that not only is memorable but just might make you want to start collecting.

Independent is open to the public until March 7th, 2011.

More soon!