AN AFFORDABLE ART SHOW REVIEW – WITH A DIFFERENCE

 
I make an annual trip to see the Affordable Art Fair in October each year in Battersea, London.  Why?  Because if you want to purchase affordable art, that is accessible, this is not some mammoth event that takes years to walk around (Maison & Objet anyone?).  This is an art show where you can easily purchase evocative artwork at a great price. I do go out and about to see other places and spaces, but an art show is particular treat.
This is also an intimate art show event that allows you to meet the artists and gallery owners.  Whilst perusing their work close up and not in the hushed environment of an art gallery, where the mood can seem austere and sombre.
Here, if you want to swap business cards or sign up for their mailing list you can – but you’re under no obligation. It’s simply a great place to see affordable art items that you or your clients may want.
The thing about wall art is that it’s not always seen as accessible financially. The great houses of Christie’s and Sotheby’s show famous works worth thousands and millions of pounds. But The Affordable Art Fair is different. Every item is between £100 and £5,000 and you can wrap it and take it away with you straight away.  Everything is all mixed togethe. So you’ll get sculpture, oil paintings, and metal work all in the same space. This Affordable Art Fair review took place over one day – although the fair itself lasts for 4-5 days – twice a year.
Below we see some wonderful work by Steve Yates from the Alpha Art Gallery.

 affordable art fair review

For those of you that are not familiar with the Fair,  the Affordable Art Fair has been around 17 years. London is currently the centre of the art world, although, let’s face it, London is the centre of the world in pretty much any industry these days.  Now showing a truly International group of exhibitors, the Affordable Art Fair continues to be somewhere that I recommend to my clients as well as to my friends. Especially those who are just starting out on their art collecting ventures.
There are about 1000 artists on display and with prices starting at £100, all art is of good quality and in a range of mediums.  Like most art you need to view it with the naked eye. But I hope that some of these photographs give you an idea of what you’ll find at the show. Let’s have a look at some of the best..
Here are Roger Taylor’s ‘Swallow’s in blue or red. These are steel with incandescent lamps.

 affordable art fair review

These fabulous specimens are by Michelle McKinney at Northcote Gallery.

affordable aft fair review

The mix of recycled materials shown at this art fair is very encouraging. As designers and decorators, we see so much waste and replacement, month in, month out, that it is good to see things that are put to good use and restored back to something beautiful, yet useful.
And here is something clever – it’s called Paris Carousel I and is a print on reclaimed wood floor.  Look at how well the print lends itself to the wood! Find this at Decorazon Gallery.

the affordable art fair review

The Affordable Art Show is certainly more commercial than many art shows dotted about the capital.
Yes, as with any event surrounding young artists, there are the whimsical comments and blurb about how the artist came to create their particular pieces of art. Some of which can be so incomprehensible that you almost want to bypass the description completely.
You do realise that some artists are so stuck in their own heads.  Many don’t and can’t appeal to popular society. Perhaps they don’t want to.  I tend to ignore how they came to create that piece of art, or rather I ignore WHY they created it.  HOW they created it can actually be an interesting part of enjoying the art itself. But why they created it often evokes some personal or political trauma that neither I nor my client want to buy into or invite into our homes.  Statements on social issues are certainly not on the agenda for my clients. They are generally looking for beauty, detail and something that will be understood and enjoyed by their friends, family and children.
It is for this reason, I think, that the majority of the populace enjoys ‘still life’, city scenes, countryside vistas and elegant portraiture on their walls, rather than political statements.
Nevertheless, it takes ‘all sorts’ to make the world the rich place it is, so it perhaps right that artist angsts are given some airtime. Even if they are spectacularly naive or hypocritical.  Many a client has expressed confusion, frustration and finally indifference to an artists personal artistic agenda. When perusing an art fair with a client, I think it’s best that you take these works of art by their visual appeal rather than the story behind them.
This year, I returned to see old friends and some welcome new additions from as far away as South Korea and the US. I found their work particularly intriguing and I think they would suit some of my younger clients. Of course the bulk will prefer the seascapes the animal sculptures and the quirky 3D wall art that continues to surprise each season. Let’s look at some more items on display..
Below are two striking items from Jay Kelly.

the affordable art fair review

This is Giro II, a bronze by Cesar Orrico.

the affordable art fair review

And a lovely shot of Her Majesty by Ashleigh Sumner at Tag Fine Arts.

the affordable art fair review

And, below, a rather wonderful Greyhound made from driftwood by James Doran Webb. Several people were circling this work – a testament to his skill at bringing this subject alive.

 

the affordable art fair review

This was a fun find by Adam Oliver called Tenth Part Golden Goose !

 

the affordable art fair review

 

Something quite ’21st century pop art’ was ‘She No. 32’ by Chamnan Chongpaiboon.  Would look great in a modernist, neutral colour scheme to really showcase the colours.

the affordable art fair review

Gallery Tableau from Seoul had some items lit by LED lights (below). The best way to showcase this would be to chase the wires in to the wall (obviously) and have this somewhere prominent, like above a fireplace or in the hallway where guests would see it as you welcome them inside.  Such a clever display of sunlight through a window, falling gently onto a grand piano…

the affordable art fair review

From the same gallery..some art was set in a series.  Find these at www.gallerytableau.com

the affordable art fair review

TAKING A BREAK
All this art can make one feel a bit peckish so naturally there is a cafe as well as a coffee point and even a wine bar. Dogs are welcome,  as are children and indeed there are a plethora of special events, talks, studio work and tours to view and get involved in.  These range from ‘drop in and draw’ which is your chance to create your own still life, to the ever-popular ‘Own Art tours’, where a representative from Own Art will take you on a tour of the galleries and advise you how to get going with your own collection.
This years charity partner is Barnardo’s who are celebrating their 150 year anniversary.  They were given pride of place, right in the thick of the exhibition, next to the Creative Studio.
But back to the affordable art fair review…
Here are two items that stood out to me. Find them at that Gaga Gallery. They were 3D, which doesn’t come out very well here but nonetheless, great colours and textures!

 

the affordable art fair review
the affordable art fair review

These are by David Eustace.  See more of his work here.

the affordable art fair review

 

This is fun! This is called Gold Leaf by Aline Hercberg.

the affordable art fair review

And this made me laugh!  It’s called Zen Trooper by Ryan Callanan.

the affordable art fair review

Something a little more traditional here by Paddy Jones. This is called Striped Jug Still Life.

the affordable art fair review

Even furniture got in on the act! This eye catching table is by Jake Oliver-Fishman.

 

the affordable art fair review

And something to stand out on a plinth.. This is by Clara L Mikimoto from Able Fine Art Gallery.

 

the affordable art fair review

 

 

Other things to see at the Affordable Art Fair…

An interesting part of this year’s fair was the stand by The Economist, showcasing virtual reality and 3D printing.

The Economist have been highlighting the destruction of art and antiquities in Iraq and Syria due to the ever continuing Middle Eastern religious wars.

3D printing technologies are being adapted for use by the construction industry to recreate the lost art antiquities and structures. This is done by 3D mapping and printing from photographs taken by scholars, tourists and museum registries.  This is quite the science of the moment and thankfully being used for good during some very dark moments of human evolution.

Virtual Reality had its first outing during the 1990s.  I remember it being billed as the latest and greatest technology that was going to revolutionise our world. It never really took off, (although computer game manufacturers made something out out it). But because it is the next step on from the screen technology that we all use everyday,  it will undoubtedly be something that companies will embrace and utilise within their industries.

It was good to see both technologies represented at the Affordable Art Fair and linked to both the past and the future in equal measure.

 

the affordable art fair review

 

All in all, it was a fabulous day out at a renowned art show  – hopefully, this Affordable Art Fair review has given you some way of enjoying this event – I’ll leave you a fun photo to make you smile! These are by Anne-Valerie Dupond at Decorazon.  See you there next year!

 

 

the affordable art fair review

 

 

 

2018-01-28T18:46:54+00:00