Sunday, 20 January 2013

London Art Fair 2013 - Highlights

I managed to catch the very last hour of the London Art Fair, so had to rush around the 120 galleries as fast as possible trying to absorb all the art while noting down artist's names and the galleries that represent them.

I probably owe a few people apologies as I stuck to the cursory and rhetorical 'hi, how are you?' as I dashed past some familiar faces.

Anyhow, several works by artists I haven't come across before stood out to me, so I've listed them below, complete with images of the work:

Alberto Duman, View of the palace of Westminster and Big Ben. Courtesy England Gallery

If ever you needed proof that a picture paints a thousand words, this is it. Love the devilish sense of humour in using 'lots of people' and 'cloudy sky'.

Itamar Jabani, Man Holding a Child. Courtesy the artist

The version at the fair was similar but was protruding from the wall with a baby, as if offering it to passers by so that it may be saved.

Pamela Stretton, Skin Deep. Courtesy Mark Jason gallery

What's not visible is that this image is made up of tiny labels, all for skincare products such as Dove of Nivea. It's sensationalist yet the sepia tone gives it a more subtle feel. Still it does a great job of mocking the unsubtle marketing campaigns of the cosmetics industry.

Renaud Delorme, Angelina Jolie. Courtesy Absolute Art Gallery

This wasn't the exact picture there but loved the technique. Sure Nick Gentry's floppy disk canvases look better but Delorme adds the extra dimension of painting on plexiglass held over the mixed media background - this way the image looks different whichever angle you see it from.

Zac Freeman, Steve. Courtesy of the artist

Yet another inventive use of objects to create a portrait - this time it's toys. What I particularly enjoyed was that something playful has been used to create images where all the faces have a stern look upon them.

Russell West, Square Rainbow. Courtesy the artist

This brought a smile to my face, just the bright colours and chaotic style in which paint has been applied to an uneven frame is so expressionistic and bursting with creativity.

Carl Melegari, Merthr Miner. Courtesy Kooywood Gallery

It's great how the miner appears out of the gloom and the style reminds me of the work of Francesca Leone.

Jeremy Kidd, Thames 2. Courtesy of the artist

There were many photo-collages of cities on display but it's hard to go up against the superb work of Tom Leighton. However, the transition from day to night is a new angle and Kidd's sky above the HMS Belfast with Tower Bridge lit up in the background is glorious.

Tim Flach, Golden Tabby Tiger from Tiger breeding series. Courtesy Osborne Samuel

Firstly I didn't even know Golden Tabby Tigers existed but apparently they are a rare sub-species of the Bengal Tiger. On top of this the portrait is so unnatural, akin to a model shoot in a studio.

Emily Allchurch, Urban Chiaroscuro 4: Rome (after Pironesi)

This Escher-esque landscape also has a Da Vinci feel to it. It's a cauldron of so many different styles yet it works so well. Her larger works got more attention but this was the one that caught my eye as it felt like a real cityscape that's been contorted.
Matteo Negri, Lego's Mondrian Homage. Courtesy TAG Fine Arts

Another work with a great sense of humour about it and a knock at al of those who look at Mondrian's work and say 'anyone can do that'. I think it would've been more poignant if it was a replica of one of his famous compositions in red, yellow and blue, but still made me smile.

Helen Maurer, Eclipsed by the Boy. Courtesy of the artist

This viewpoint doesn't do this work justice but what's on the back wall is a reflection of the glass shelf that forms part of the work. It's an innovative piece, similar in technique to those of James Hopkins that are currently on display at Scream gallery.

Francesco De Molfetta, Snack Barbie. Courtesy of the artist

This one has been grabbing the headlines as soon as the London Art Fair opened. Yes it's another unsubtle reference to consumerist culture but the execution is brilliant. Barbie is often heralded as the reason for young girls having self-image issues so it's nice to see her getting her comeuppance so to speak.

Richard Estes, D-train. Courtesy Artnet and the artist

These hyper-real train views caught my eye. They seem to revel in both providing perfect detail yet also appearing dream-like.

The above are just the new artists I've noticed. There were plenty of old favourites on display including Andrew Salgado, Nancy Fouts, Suzanne Moxhay and Ye Hongxing.

Look forward to visiting London Art Fair again next year.

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