Magazine of art press and reviews from London
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 in Battersea, London.
David Franchi – Thursday, 22nd March 2012
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 closed with a successful public presence. Crowded to the unbelievable, it was organised inside the lovely Battersea Park, London.
Falling on the Mother’s Day weekend, the Affordable Art Fair was a witty opportunity to spend time with your family. It really happened, in fact, as many families visited the fair, together with art dealers and art lovers. Over 150,000 art lovers visited an Affordable Art Fair internationally last year – more than any other art fair in the world – proving that the interest in art is very popular.
Now a global brand, over one million art-lovers have visited an Affordable Art Fair across the world, spending over £150 million. As well as Bristol and London (Battersea and Hampstead), the fair takes place in Milan, Brussels, New York, Melbourne, Amsterdam and Singapore, with seven new fairs launching this year in LA, Hamburg, Stockholm, Mexico City, Rome, Seattle and Delhi.
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 in Battersea had prices starting at £40 and with a ceiling price of £4,000 and a huge number of photography, paintings, prints and sculptures from 120 galleries all under the same roof. Indeed, it was possible to find artworks from a prominent artist or a rising star.
In the Battersea Park pavilion one could be overwhelmed by intense and vivid colours glowing from heavy
loaded stalls. There are some surprisingly pieces together with many banalities. Some stalls were so packed with pieces overlaid.
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 hosted many free activities, talks and printmaking workshops as part of the Education Programme “Fin, Fur, Feather!” all ages and abilities free and hands-on activities, including the chance to create your own collage with artist Samantha Barnes.
Another project was the “Prints Charming” organized by Artichoke Printmakers also back by popular demand, to run the fairs dry point printmaking workshops in the Print Studio, giving visitors the chance to create their own masterpiece.
Love Art London arranged a series of talks and tours throughout the fair including an insider’s guide into finding those really affordable pieces. The ‘Egg Timer Tour’ has seen every day ten handpicked galleries displaying their most interesting pieces and favourite artists. This tour has been also modified on the Thursday night to include mini wine tasting sessions along the way.
This edition of the Affordable Art Fair 2012 supported the St. Mungo’s charity, and art lovers could take part at the Charity Private View on Wednesday 14th March. Founded in 1969, St. Mungo’s is a charity for homeless that help people off the streets by providing housing, health and work opportunities. In 2011 it helped 370 people and provided accommodation for over 1,700 people each night.
Also interesting was the return of online art community Jotta, who have curated an emerging artist showcase right at the front of the marquee, exploring the idea of value in art.
The key person of the Affordable Art Fair is Will Ramsay who was able to transform the art environment creating a network of 18 hugely popular fairs in 9 countries across 4 continents, with 7 new fairs launching in 2012. Ramsay says: “Buying art can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and inspiration; no one should miss this opportunity.”
As well as the Affordable Art Fair, Ramsay founded contemporary hub Pulse – held annually in New York, Miami and LA – and co-founded Asia’s leading art fair, the dizzying Art Hong Kong. Also he is a shareholder of Art India, the country’s first international art fair that has already attracted over 170,000 visitors since its launch in 2008.
Sponsored by Laithwaites Wine.
From 15th until 18th March 2012.
Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London.