Next week, the Affordable Art Fair returns to New York for its 19th installment. Taking place in the Metropolitan Pavilion, the fair will run from March 25-29. More than 70 galleries from around the world will be exhibiting art, all priced between $100 and $10,000.
If you’re a young collector looking for a few interesting works to pick up for your living room wall, this is the art fair for you. With half of the artworks on view priced under $5000, and with a slew of talks and workshops designed specifically for the budding art-enthusiast, there’s no better place to be next weekend than the Affordable Art Fair.
Since the fair does not take place during Armory Arts Week at the beginning of March, it loses potential international visitors, but, to the benefit of the New Yorker, the AAF isn’t geared towards an international crowd. If you got “fairtigue” from hopping to every show on the West side two weekends ago (very easily obtained with a dozen fairs taking place like Pulse, Volta, Armory: Modern and Armory: Contemporary, The Independent, Moving Image), The Affordable Art Fair will turn you around and make you love art and art fairs again. Here, you’re given the time to peruse the aisles, speak to the galleries represented there (who aren’t imposing and domineering like at Armory), see diverse and technically-skilled artworks that you would be happy to show off when your parents come into town (unlike the works you might find, for example, at SPRING/BREAK) and actually find art that won’t force you to mortgage your home.
Indeed, the AAF’s marketing plan this year focuses around the hashtag #ArtHappy and #ArtHappy you will be once you discover the wide array of works on view. From paintings and mixed media works to photographs and drawings, geometric designs to contemporary figures, the AAF is a place to discover art without being scared away by it.
Cristina Salmastrelli, Director of the Affordable Art Fair NYC, says she’s strategic in what works are offered every year: “ Part of the selection process is knowing what is most likely to sell at each fair, so it’s crucial we comb through every application to create the most engaging and inspiring experience for both exhibitors and visitors. For example, the New York editions are typically comprised of smaller pieces, abstracts and photography because that’s what New Yorkers gravitate toward the most.” The galleries exhibiting come from New York, Paris, London, Bangkok, Madrid, Amsterdam, Montreal, Berlin, Brisbane, Tel Aviv and beyond. The newcomers to the show include Sugarlift from Brooklyn, Corridor Contemporary from Tel Aviv, Israel, and Lawrence Cantor Fine Art from Venice, California.
Still not sure if you want to go? Here are some highlights of the show – check them out in the slideshow.
• The Color of Air #1 by Ron Pillar, 2015. A mixed media and resin on wood creation, this 3-foot high piece is an experiment in depth, rays of color streaming from the center of a grid to the edges of the work. It’s price is set at $3200 through Los Angeles’s Artspace Warehouse.
• Graciela by James Sparshatt, 2014. This photo on brushed aluminum is a close-up image of an older woman with a cigar in her mouth. An intimate portrait indeed. Just under 2 feet high, it is offered for $850 by London’s Capital Culture Gallery.
• Open House #18 by Keiran Brennan Hinton, 2014. This one is a colorful experiment in perspective, the view of a home’s interior as one might see it looking down at an angle. Offered by New York’s FRONT art space, this oil on linen is just a foot long and goes for $600.
• Actinidia Oregonensis by Thomas Hammer, 2014. An ink on paper drawing measuring 3 feet tall, this work uses the ink in a creative way, as if a brush’s tip were marking the paper and then being pulled in different directions. Santa Monica’s Saatchi Art will show this for $1300.
• Electra by Steven Hirsch, 2014. A C-print on dibond, is an interesting work especially for its color. What looks to be raindrops hitting the surface of a pond is colored underneath with green, blue and purple streaks. Two feet tall, it is offered at $4500 through New York’s Liliac Gallery.
The Affordable Art Fair has been showing in New York for 14 years now. It has satellite shows all over the world, including Milan, Seoul, London, Brussels, and Toronto. If you’re a budding art collector, check out the show’s website for guides on buying and valuing art, art history, and art technique. Talks include topics like collecting prints, how to hang a work, and how to make it fit with your interior design. There are even activities for kids, so don’t be afraid to bring the whole family! This is a fantastic fair for little ones to get their start learning about art creation and art collecting – you’re never too young.
The Affordable Art Fair is open until 8pm every day next weekend (with a late night on Thursday and an early closing at 5 on Sunday). Admission costs $20 at the door, but stop by on Friday from 6-8pm for free entrance to the show. Kids under 12 are always free. Enjoy the diversity of works, listen in on talks, and perhaps even grab a work to call your own.