So I went to the Affordable Art Fair (2016) in New York City on Friday, April 1st, at the Metropolitan Pavilion. I liked the venue a lot and how it was all laid out. Similar to many fairs that I have attended in the past and even though it was daytime on a Friday when there were not so many attendees, it was very hot inside. This seemed to rectify itself as the afternoon wore on. Just a sidebar but worthy of mention. There were many exhibitors to see.
I had a short yet pleasant word with the gentleman from a gallery in Amsterdam who represented Villa del Arte Galleries on the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. He seemed quite impressed (dare I go so far??) that I spoke Dutch. That part I kept a secret until I was almost walking to the next booth. He complimented me in that my accent in speaking his language was quite good. Or something to that effect. I really do love the disposition of Dutch people although it took many years of living in Amsterdam to get a bit of a grip on them. In general they have quite a happy and positive disposition and are quick to laugh. But I digress. Aside from all of that, he had some rockin art pieces on display.
There were a vast number of "affordable" art works. If you consider $5100 or $2301 or even $10,000 affordable. My idea of affordable allows for say, $100-$150 (on a good day). All kidding aside, there were tremendous amounts of talent to view. There seemed to be many Marilyn Monroe renditions (really?!) which seems to be nothing new-ish at the fairs and, in my opinion, there were a lot of pears. Yes, pears. My favorite pear was by Sarah Wood. And there were the ostriches. Lots of them. Blue ones. I saw someone leaving the venue with a piece with blue ostriches in a city scene and later, while standing in front of two other paintings with said birds by same artist, I wondered how they could leave the other two behind! Schandalig! And OMG, I am obsessed by Roh Jae-Soon's lips.
The first art that confronted and awed me as I walked into the booth areas was the photographs by Daan Oude Elferink. Barry Cawston's "Eve" and "La Jalberterie" were both outstanding and noteworthy and can be seen below in my picture booth.
At one point, I talked briefly with an interesting and very tattooed character on the second floor. He was at the Art Therapy Outreach Center (ATOC) booth. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free art therapy services to the underserved populations in the New York City area. Rob, an artist as well as an ex-Navy guy who had spent years in Hawaii, spent time talking about his years of work in this arena of art therapy: volunteer, intern, and employee. There was a giant canvas on the wall behind him divided into many 4" x 4" squares inside which all were welcome to draw. Click here to see a video of the wall..
I think one of my favorites of the fair was artist Alan Kingsbury who was represented by London's Panter & Hall. By the time that I stumbled upon his work, one piece had sold (a bunch of martini glasses). I was sorry that I did not have a chance to see it as I viewed two of his other paintings that were stunning. One was a painting of assorted glassware and the other was one of a silver cup and teapot. I stood in front of it for awhile studying the paint and how he used it; it was very thick. I then wandered away. But when I turned around to side-glance something else and happened to look back at Kingsbury's teapot again, I realized, standing further away, that, not so surprisingly, there was so much more was going on in that painting. At first, all I saw was shiny silver and white color and a lone chocolate. Aside from the fantastic rendition of the Lindt chocolate in its red foil wrapper, you could see reflections of the white tablecloth in the teapot and what appeared to be the reflection of a person (lighting a candle?) in the accompanying silver cup. It was all so realistic. Down to the reflection of the red and blue stripes on the tablecloth. Simply fucking amazing talent in my opinion.
My picture booth: