Good Looks Everywhere at Preview
Charm, Variety Win Results for Dealers
Pace Snobs, Interesting Works with Unexpected Themes
The Affordable Art Show rose again for another stimulating and attractive five day run this weekend (Thursday Sep 25 thru Monday 29) in The Tunnel on 11th Avenue and 27 St, arranged in a long corridor of booths left and right. This ideal arrangement allowed the crowd to encounter every booth in sequence and not to miss any work, with all of them presented on the same accessible footing, often by the artists themselves.
The preview evening Thursday Sep 25 was swarmed by a well heeled young crowd which often bought on the spot one of the copious array of interesting works, some immediately appealing and satisfying, others of slower but more substantial interest, but almost all worthy of attention, whatever your taste – and within range for all budding collectors.
Art tells a story
AT EYEBUYART, captions were exceptionally complete, giving the story of the composition as well as the basics such as prices, which ranged from $100 to $2000. For example, Adam Rankin’s Moving Series is a set of portraits taken in the weeks leading up to the sale of his family home, says Rankin.
“In each portrait, the subject floats above and through a shared memory, heading towards something new and undocumented, collectively redefining what the idea of home and family is becoming. Moving was shot in Edmonton, Alberta in the summer of 2006. The 5th member of our family, the red canoe, has been around as long as I have. Oddly enough, it has never seen the water and was sold shortly after the Moving series was taken, along with the family home”
Ideal layout to see and be seen
This was not only a well produced show in a venue in the right place with great air and vertical space above the booths but the 70 yards or more of long corridor with booths left and right allowed attendees to walk up and down and see every single gallery on the same terms, with total accessibility to both works and gallery owners and their uniformly charming, handsome, pretty, and helpful staff (or so they seemed to us).
Why online display is also worthwhile
“To me, good art is really about telling stories,” says Emily McKinnes of EYEBUYART (above) who makes sure that the photos she sells have extensive explanatory captions. Though she does have a gallery space and office in Toronto she favors the Web where “you can see all of the work and control is in the hands of the person who is looking at it,” and where “online is an opportunity for those stories to come to the forefront” which gallery staff may not have the time to recount.
Thus, Gabriel Herman’s Jump (2007) above has this story line attached:
“This image was taken while I was living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and It was during this period that my interest in self portraiture really grew. I often felt isolated during this time, and would often pick up my camera and set out on a creative journey; a certain light seeping into the bedroom, or an empty city street could ignite a spark and get me taking pictures. I spotted the white hanging socks in this image first, and knew that there was some sort of picture there. When I take pictures of myself, it is an exhaustive task that often ends with my heart pounding and my body covered in sweat. I jump, I dance, and I run back and forth between the scene and the camera until I feel I’ve worked out every possible angle. This image captures this fleeting, freeing moment and represents the idea of everything being up in the air.”
Emily draws on artists from Canada, the US and Britain who have all won prizes at the international competition Flash Forward that she founded four years ago. “Prizes, exhibitions, museums and being published in magazines is all great,” she says, “but to me one of the best ways to support a young artist is to buy their work, right? So I have tried to make this business about making that easy for people.”
Here is an example of how affordable her selection from young, emerging artists of the camera can be, the $500 Diner from Ryan Schude:Here is a rather magnificent ocean wave study by Kerry Shaw that is another example of EYEBUYART’s full, museum standard captions:
Gin and pizza
We were not influenced at all in our judgment by the blue crystal balloon goblets of Bombay Sapphire East distilled dry gin from London being served with Q premium tonic, ice, black peppercorn, lemongrass stalk, and lemon instead of lime, designed to make you “brilliant and inspired”, although they were delicious. Pizza and other light snacks are also sold at the show, and Phaedon has display of art books on sale at a show discount.
If you can afford $10,000...
There was a great variety of styles and subjects well executed and framed and with prices ranging from a few hundred to five or six or even ten thousand dollars (that would be Damien Hirst butterfly paintings, in his latest, mellow style, details at Manifold Editions.com) from New York and London to countries as far away as Israel and Chile.
Many works of many hues
One characteristic of the show was the presence of many works in which many colors of every tint and shade were mixed into the work as a major element of the composition.
Subtle contemplation from Vietnam
On a quieter note, a fine selection of Vietnamese work was seen at Judith Hughes Day’s display of Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art, where we found every painting offering growing appeal when given time. Immediately impressive were The Girl in the Red Hat by Nguyen Thanh Binh, 60, at $8,400 and the same artist’s First Step from 1999, $3,200, which inspired little girls to dance before it as they passed by during the weekend, we heard.
Artists Who Like Animals
The relationship of artists to animals was explored in some images, including this striking Little Red Riding Hood from Shlomi Nissim at Tel Aviv’s Contempop Gallery (www.contempopop.com 1 646 647 6147), which may look feral (untamed) but is not so much afterall (see caption; click to hugely enlarge photos at this site):
As its name suggests, the animal images at Feral Fine Art a pop-up gallery in Edmonton, Canada (780-903-5211) are truly wild, even though they are mixed up provocatively below with a couple of gorgeous bra-fillers in ‘Balance’ (acrylic on board, $3200). For all we know artist Jenny Keith Hughes, who with her singer-songwriter husband Jordan Norman (whose group in Jordan Norman Wisdom teeth) lives half an hour from the Rockies, may be projecting a doubly cheerful self, for the relationship of humans to animals preoccupies her as an aspect of the human condition.
Jenny Keith has imagined a number of juxtapositions of human and wild, and here a wolf inspects a telephone.