With a private viewing that began on April 2, the four-day event known as the Affordable Art Fair, hosts 78 galleries and a huge array of contemporary art at The Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. On Thursday April 3, I called a gaggle of friends and joined a Thursday night party for young collectors. We browsed contemporary art while sipping cocktails by Slow & Low Rock and Rye.(top left) Max and Suzy take in the sites, (top right) Lancaster Ballroom, The Savoy by Siobhan Doran, 2010, Giclee Print. Courtesy of Bicha Gallery. (bottom left) Freeze by James Burke, 2014, featuring mini Lego pieces. Courtesy of Bicha Gallery.
The concept is simple, thousands of original paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs all under one roof, ranging from $100-$10,000, with more than half priced under $5,000. The work of young, emerging artists hangs alongside household names, while a wall for recent graduates of local art schools, and the Art Students League of New York, provides a chance to snap up work by a future master.
This was my fifth visit to the Affordable Art Fair and yet, I still found myself inspired by the myriad of color frames, new concepts, and young buyers. The fair aims to make collecting universal, they even offer online guides for beginning a collection, framing or hanging art, or introducing art to children! Confused about gouache versus acrylic? Why not use the fair’s glossary for media and techniques.(Left) Plaster sculpture, Arching Specimen, 2013 by Umberto Kamperveen, (top middle) four Buddhas by Garam Lee.
Since 1999, the globally traveling event has welcomed over 1.4 million people and have garnered over $316 million sales in art, with fairs in cities including London, Bristol, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, Singapore, Hamburg, Mexico City, Rome, Milan, Seattle, Stockholm and Hong Kong.(top left) Nathan Vincent’s knit yarn and foam weapons and explosives, (top right) PURE EVIL serves as guest artist for Coates & Scarry gallery. Various, pop-art and spray-painted canvases faux drip to the floor in ‘Mel Ferrer’s Nightmare’ and Andy Warhol’s Nightmare, (bottom right) LuLuPa Hutong, Wood Cut, by Chinese, young artist Huang Kai. (top) Stitched Up by Katharine Morling (bottom left) Erica peruses the offerings from Uprise Art, an NYC-based collectors club (bottom right) Doublefaced No. 23 by Sebastian Bieniek. With eye-pencil and lipstick, Sebastian draws on the side of the model’s face creating portraits that are both humorous and somehow unsettling.
Way back in 1996, Will Ramsay opened Will’s Art Warehouse in southwest London to bridge the public’s increasing interest in contemporary art and London’s highbrow gallery scene. This eventually turned into the Affordable Art Fair. The founder explains, “I do not want art for a few any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few.” Here’s to art for everyone.