The art world had its eyes on New York last week with the Frieze and Pulse art fairs, but this weekend London takes the stage once again with The Other Art Fair. And from 10-13 May, P3 Amika in Marylebone becomes a point or convergence for artists, buyers, and enthusiasts.
It can be hard to find success as an artist when unrepresented by a gallery, but The Other Art Fair offers that rare opportunity for artists to come together and exhibit their work. Over 100 artists – many of whom are pretty young – display an impressive collection of work at this vibrant fair.
Because there are no galleries acting as intermediaries, the artists themselves stand by their work. While gallery representation certainly has its value, it is refreshing to see the work through the eyes of the artist. Visitors have the opportunity to speak with the artists and engage in appreciative, critical, or friendly discussion about art.
Painting and photography are the most prominent media on display, but sculpture and mixed media works made some striking appearances. Some notable highlights include Juliana Manara’s dramatic and surreal photographs, Alberto Fusco’s elegant wall sculptures made from folded magazine pages, and other-worldly collages by Seana Gavin. Works range from the darkly whimsical ‘Memoirs of a Lost Time’ photographic series by Vikram Kushwah and Trisha Saklecha, to the brilliantly coloured acrylic works of Dhuha Al Khdhairi and even the intriguing and humorous ‘Puzzle Bottle’ by James Hopkins with a Rubik’s cube inside a Jack Daniels bottle.
As many of the artists are at the beginning of their careers, the works on display are reasonably priced, with some pieces selling for as little as £50. It is likely that visitors will not be familiar with many of the artists on display, but the skill and creativity that permeates the fair are pleasant surprises.
Also within The Other Art Fair are ‘Other Arty Things to Do.’ For example, Jasper Joffe and Harry Pye have created the ‘Other Other Art Fair’ in a small space within the main fair. This experience is described as a “parallel little universe” and it features works of ten artists in an environment that becomes an installation in itself. Cass Art as sponsors have a separate area where visitors can create their own unique artistic creation and watch artists at work on large scale pieces. While perusing the art and interacting with the artists, ‘TOAF Unplugged’ features musical performances in a range of styles complimenting the fair environment.
Ultimately, as you can imagine, The Other Art Fair is a bit chaotic and a bit overwhelming; but it is also an energizing, unexpected, and vibrant experience.
Words/Photo: Emily Sack © 2012 ArtLyst
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