Review: The Affordable Art Fair

By Londonist Last edited 107 months ago
Review: The Affordable Art Fair

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Guy Denning, Le Dormer du Val

Affordable art. Well, OK, it's artwork for under three grand. We can already hear the sharp intakes of breath, 3,000 pounds? Affordable? In a recession? We say hush to that. Considering that artwork can often take months to create, and that the gallery will usually take half of the price, below three grand for a piece of original artwork is cheap. And, to be fair, £3000 is the top price limit; much is on sale £500 and less. Note the usual caveats apply to buying art: its value may go down as well as up, but you are a fool if you let this consideration enter your head when buying art.

By the oddly large amount of canine-related work (something to do with the nearby Battersea Dogs Home?), we'd say that most stuff on display is chosen by the galleries taking part as their most saleable artwork. But don't let such commercialism put you off. Not all art has to be achingly avant guard critical theory driven pieces. Here, expect to find a high percentage of figurative and abstract artwork that grabs you on an aesthetic level, rather than needing a short essay referencing, say, Baudrillard to justify it's existence. You may also be lucky enough to buy work from a rising star, at, or close to the beginning of their career.

As with every large art fair the usual disclaimer applies: there will be work that you love, work that leaves you cold, and work that you downright loathe. While we were only there for a couple of hours, a period of time far too short to do justice to the wealth of good work on show, we did like Nikki Taylor's mesh sculptures of the female form, Jonathan Pocock's work which looked almost photographic until we got close enough to see that it was actually composed of thick paint seemingly applied by pallet knife, the oddly spelt Walter Dolphyn's miniatures of children's toy figures and Vittono Gui's photographs. But that's really only scratching the surface of the work on display. You'll need to leave plenty of time to amble around.

The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, runs until 15 March.

By Oliver Gili

Last Updated 13 March 2009