Autumn is a great time of year for the art scene with loads of shows launching for the start of our lovely cold season, perfect gallery perusing weather if you ask me. I have been all over the city, getting to explore peoples relationship with art and artists. Starting with the real important question, what they buy? and exploring how that has changed.
RYCA 10 Years later exhibition
This was a fun stop made on behalf of Print Club London to see what artist Ryan Callanan produced for his second solo show at the Lawrence Alkin Gallery. At first glance his work is a little too contemporary for my tastes but once you learn about his journey and influences you can happily get on board. For a decade now Ryan has been making iconic smiley’s, with his latest work celebrating the British Victorian sign making technique, furthering his 3-D style. A little more abstract and cheeky, with lots of culture references including star wars, Ryan’s sculptural work is spreading across the world. After visiting the gallery at Tottenham Court Road I continue to see his noticeable yellow splash all over the art world with lots of people loving his future thinking pieces.
The Other Art Fair
This was only my second visit to The Other Art Fair, the first being in the very hot basement of Victoria House in Bloomsbury but I am always up for a second chance. Rewarded for my perseverance in the newly air conditioned Old Truman Brewery I took a ‘non’ arty friend to enjoy a Friday night of cocktails (it was London Cocktail Week) & try impart some arty knowledge.
This art fair is a meeting place for talented emerging & established artist’s that offer something a little different from Archie Proudfoots sign painted reverse glass works to Phil Davison’s extreme cross stitch. There is loads you won’t like but also lots you might, its a real marmite affair that can be full of great finds if your open minded. Most artists are pretty savvy and bring everything from unframed prints to large scale one off’s allowing for anyone’s wallet to see the light.
My guy wasn’t particularly blown away by anything but he took an extra look at a robot that prints paintings and a couple of minutes staring at Fran Griffards’ diary page birds and Andy Wilx dazzling golds, so I counted it as a win. What I do like is the variety of content; with portraits, landscapes and abstract mixed in with some great typography must haves that proved very popular.
Also to take note for next time TOAF was part of ARTBLOCK in the Truman Brewery 5 separate art fairs all on at the same time! Wish I had left more time aside to really explore, Moniker looked particularly inviting.
The Affordable Art Fair
I love the Affordable Art Fair, not so much the name but the atmosphere. It’s really friendly and made up of 110 diverse galleries offering their best artists work. I tested my geographical as well as my art knowledge as I talked to a delight of artists & gallery staff from an international field. The airy and spacious venue allowed for comfortable meanderings and observations with no pressure selling just general interest. My favourite galleries had to be a mix of Curious Duke, London & Smithson, Bristol both with lovely staff who generally ran around the show nicking pictures off each others walls because they wanted to buy it so badly. Nothing can really replace the genuine interest this event seems to nurture amongst its visitors, add on some free wine and it was a jolly good day out.
The variety of medium’s was what really struck me, I was keeping a close eye on the rise of print specialist galleries & collectives as well as 3 – D sculptural work that I think was one of the strongest category this edition.
3 – D IS THE DIMENSION
This edition was in a sturdy pavilion in Battersea Park, with several other global locations I wouldn’t mind travelling further a field for the next one.
What I didn’t have time for this month but is firmly in the diary:
THE Turner Prize
It’s one of those must see, have a giggle, then read the plaques and think a little, then end with a mandatory selfie. Special note to admire Geo – Fleur’s botanical stylings that are scattered throughout and worth another of those Instagram moments.