Sunday, May 10, 2009

Affordable Art Fair 2009

Rick and I wanted to go to the Affordable Art Fair as we have some significant space on our walls and wanted to add some art in an affordable fashion. We figured we wouldn't really find anything here as the fair advertises art from $100 to $10,000 and that's just not very affordable for us right now. We thought if we paid the $20 each to get in, we'd see some contemporary art and what was "new" and "fresh".

On the way there, Rick was getting grumpy - I figured it must be low blood sugar as he really likes art - more than me - and he just needed something to eat. Also, his feet hurt from walking all over yesterday, so we decided not to veer off the actual path to the art fair, and we went in to the Heartland Brewery in the Empire State Building. As you can imagine, this is quite a tourist trap, but I just wanted to get some food into my lover so he would enjoy the show.

He suggested we get a flight of the beers and share it so we could taste all the brews available. Only Heartland Brewery beers are sold here - none others - which isn't all that unusual in a brew pub. The seasonal brew was my favorite - a wildflower wheat. Delightful floral aroma and the expected light wheat flavor with a kick of lemon wedge. I don't have a single other nice thing to say about that lunch, so let me talk about the rest of the day :)

The Affordable Art Fair was on 7 W 34th Street on the 11th floor. The building seems to have lots of retail in it, but none you would know about unless you entered (secret shopping always seems alluring to me!). The entire floor was devoted to the fair, in a standard convention configuration. Some artists really did an interesting job decorating their booths to enhance the experience, even adding music. Others were simply hung on white walls to keep the focus on the art itself. I really enjoyed the show, and seeing how commercial artists are creating new and interesting items. One piece Rick found was especially beautiful - it was painted in latex I believe with sand mixed in. Very serene sandy colors and bronzy colors were used in lights and darks to implicate a simple graphic of a woman with a horse facing forward. I say implicate because you would have to look at if for a minute or two in order to recognize the shapes as they were suggested, as they are not actually a graphic per se. The paint was manipulated with something sharp to create the texture of the shape, and the color (lights and darks - since it was sort of monochromatic) illustrating the life force of the woman, horse and the relationship between the two. The curator was there telling us this was the first time the artist had worked in this medium of texture. Previously he painted with out it, but now he is very inspired to work in this new medium. The curator, responsible for actually selling the art, stated that of course this makes the work more interesting and valuable.

And although it was interesting and will be valuable to someone, I think we'll keep that $5000 for the kitchen renovation.

It is nice, however, to continue to think about the world in those textural, simplistic and suggestive terms.