In late September, I had the opportunity to visit one of the fine art fairs that I had been interested in visiting for a long time….the Affordable Art Fair (AAF) in New York City. The fair, which is now held twice a year in New York (late Spring and early Fall), features fine art from emerging artists from fine art galleries all over the country and across the world. This year’s Fall NYC Fair was held September 21-25, 2011 at 7 West New York.
I attend fine art fairs for a variety of reasons….as an art advisor to scout out new artist talent for clients, as an artist, see the latest work by artists who work in similar mediums as I do and as a collector, check out work to add to my own collection. The Affordable Art Fair is one that I enjoyed because I was able to do all of the above….and the price points of the work offered was a great bonus to boot. The atmosphere is also not as frenzied, crowded or has the “snob” appeal of other more celebrated art fairs.
The AAF, was etablished in 1999, and defines itself as the “leading showcase for affordable contemporary art.” Organizers promote original art focusing on galleries and dealers rather than individual artists. To be an artist represented by a gallery at AFF, the artists must be living, all work must be original and the prices must be under the $10,000. Not only does the fair occur in New York, but also across the world including Bristol, Brussels, London, Milan, Paris and Singapore. According to AAF, nearly $300 million worth of art has been sold at the fairs, with majority well below the $10,000 price ceiling.
Over 70 national and international exhibitors participated in this lastest edition showing original, contemporary paintings, sculptures, photographs, and prints by different artists than the spring Fair. In the past, local DC area galleries have participated in the fair including Honfluer, Myers Contemporary, and Fraser Gallery, bringing local art talent to be showcased in New York. A wide variety of mediums, color palettes, and subject matters sold at the Fair, with values ranging from under $100 to the ceiling of $10,000.
According to AFF, the Fair ” drew an array of notable names, including collectors, celebrities, and style leaders such as philanthropist Ann G.Tenenbaum, Stacey London of TLC’s What Not to Wear, famed fashion expert and stylist Robert Verdi, jewelry designer Bliss Lau, as well as award winning actress and art enthusiast Jane Seymour.” Also in attendance were “curators, trustees, donors, members, and supporters from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of the City of New York, New Museum, Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, ArtTable, Brooklyn Arts Council, Dia Art Foundation, and International Center for Photography.”
The Fair also featured notable artists from all over the world including Steven and William Ladd, Emma Hack, Micah Ganske, Ian Trask, Trey Speegle, Kelly Zelen, and Claudia Ferrari. Over the course of the event, the Fair provided educational programming for visitors of all ages, such as the recent artist-led tours, curator talks and expert discussions hosted by ArtStar.com, VandM.com, and Zatista.com; and an evening of free admission sponsored by Nespresso. Topics included the hot art decorating trends, how to begin an art collection and artist demonstrations.
Launching in its eleventh city, the Affordable Art Fair will take place in Los Angeles, California from January 18-22, 2012, during L.A. Arts Month and Pacific Standard Time. Chosen for its vibrancy, allure and burgeoning art scene, the Fair will be held in downtown Los Angeles at theL.A. LIVE Event Deck, a tented, full-service venue. Offering high quality, contemporary,original works of art, the L.A. edition will also entice the established collector and first-time buyer alike, and is currently accepting exhibitor applications. For more information please visit: www.affordableartfair.us/losangeles