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.
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.
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 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.