Frieze 2017 review – Judas, Bourgeois and Mary Beard storm the hyper-capitalist hothouse Frieze 2017 review – Judas, Bourgeois and Mary Beard storm the hyper-capitalist hothouse - ImagesGram

Frieze 2017 review – Judas, Bourgeois and Mary Beard storm the hyper-capitalist hothouse

Regent’s Park, London
Jeff Koons rips off Giotto, Mary Beard opens a fake museum and Lucy and Jorge Orta peddle Antarctica passports. But is this Frieze fairground really the best in new art?

Jonathan Jones
Wednesday 4 October 2017 18.19 BST

The kiss of Judas is the first thing you see at Frieze. It is striking, this great image of the betrayer of Christ bringing his lips close to his leader’s as their eyes meet in a devastating moment of truth. But this is not exactly new art, having been painted by Giotto about 700 years ago. Have I blundered into Frieze Masters, the art fair’s more historical companion event, by mistake? Has some art dealer prised this famous fresco off the wall of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua? No – on closer inspection, this makes a kind of insane sense.

Tired of basing his art on ads or kitsch puppy photos, Jeff Koons has remade one the most eloquent paintings in history. At least Giotto isn’t around to cry plagiarism or complain about the fact that, into the yellow robes of Judas, Koons has inserted a shiny blue mirror ball that reflects everything around it.