I really like going to art fairs like this one by Saatchi Art at the Arnolfini because it’s like being a kid again and going to an ice cream shop with 100 different flavours. You’re bound to find a combination of ingredients that hits the mark. Well I found at least 5, and some.
The other part I like about fairs is that you get to talk to the artists. There’s no obligation of course, but it’s hard not to when you like the look of a picture because you want to know more. There’s a whole journey behind every picture and I think it’s really interesting to get to know the personality that made it happen.
Fairs are also a great place to buy art. There’s the deciding which ones really like, which is the not too taxing bit and there can be plenty of clues along the way, i.e. making a bee line for a picture you see from across the room, thinking about it even when you’re looking at something else, going back just to have another look and finding something else you like about it are probably pretty good signs.
Then there is the paying for it. Original art is not always ‘cheap’, just like any other service or product that’s bespoke, unique or limited, so not all work is affordable for everyone, but prints and other versions may be, so it’s always worth asking if that option is available. Enough interest and an artist may decide to do just that. Also, well-established initiatives like Own Art offer interest free loans for 10 months, which can make a price tag seem much less intimidating.
Here are brief introductions to 5 artists' work whose work caught my eye.
N.B There’s still just time to go on this grey drizzly day - bargains may be available! Free tickets at the bottom of this link which explains more about what else to expect to see when you get there.
THE NEXT exhibition similar to this is the RWA’s Annual Open Exhibition in October. £6.95 for adults, £4.95 for concessions. Equally, galleries, open studios and art trails all over Bristol are FREE!
What we talked about: escaping into your imagination, the harsh reality of regularly updating your computer systems, and regrets (weirdly! As he seemed a very content guy)
What I liked: the theatrical-like scenes, full of stories and style. The more you look the more you see.
What we talked about: why people get close to babies faces, his mum preferring his old business card and virtual reality headsets.
What I liked: that the pen work is so intricate you need a magnifying glass, the seahorse and it reminding of seeing one when I went snorkelling – he captures their other worldliness.
What we talked about: holidays, his favourite picture, and Hockney
What I liked: that it made me want to dive in, made me think of sunshine so hot it’s white, the plastic look of the vinyl really suiting the pool inflatables.
What we talked about: getting a bargain, putting Shoreham on the map, weird coincidences.
What I liked: the 50s Sci-Fi style, use of colours and layering of techniques and finishes.
What we talked about: finishing an MA, Camp coffee granules, prints vs the original
What I liked: the textures and scratches in her nudes series.