One of my favorite things to do, both professionally and personally, is attend art fairs, especially when they feature emerging to mid-career artists. They are a great opportunity to not only discover fantastic new works, but also to speak with the gallerists who are selecting the works and sometimes the artists themselves. I was lucky enough to attend the New York Affordable Art Fair, and I’m so excited to share some of my show highlights.
Artists from Yuendumu
I was immediately drawn to these colorful canvases that are incredibly detailed without feeling overwhelming. But when I spoke with Gallery Associate Ashley Saville and learned more about them, they quickly became one of my show favorites.
"The community of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory, almost two hundred miles north west of Alice Springs, is a significant center for Warlpiri people, albeit from several different language groups. Established as a government settlement in the late 1940s, it was one of the earliest desert communities to take up the torch of the painting movement from Papunya. Among them were the most notable contemporary Aboriginal painters of recent decades: Mickey Jampijinpa Singleton, Shorty Jangala Robertson, Liddy Napanangka Walker. It initiated a powerful and enduring painting movement amongst the community’s men and women, admired - and iconic - for their vibrant color sense and clotted schematized representations. From the outset Yuendumu art has been characterized by its flamboyant enjoyment of color, and its bold, organic, sense of design. The shared Warlpiri heritage of the community gives the art produced there an additional strength and coherence."
Each painting is small, only 12" square, which makes them great for hanging in series, as shown above. There are also many pieces to choose from, making it easy to change or expand a collection over time.
The first thing to note here is that these paintings are massive. At nearly 4’ x 5’ each, seeing three of them grouped together is incredibly impactful. Casetti paints with a combination of enamel, oil, and acrylic and the way these different materials interact creates unexpected colors, cracks and depth in each piece. The picture doesn’t do the detail of these works justice; they really are remarkable.
"Through an innovative technique and an uncommon artistic sensitivity, Alessandro Casetti represents emotions, fears and hopes that populate our daily life. A fascinating journey that, through cracks and backgrounds of color, reminds us to live without ever neglecting the emotional side of things."
While Casetti focuses primarily on figural compositions, there is a huge selection and variety in this series, covering a range of emotions as well compositions.
When I saw the VAST. booth featuring over a dozen of Dan Piech’s spectacular photographs, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was seeing. They looked like large scale abstracts, but were they paintings? Giclée prints of digital compositions? The texture, depth, and clarity were incredible, but what were they?? Luckily Dan himself was in the booth to tell me his story.
"Piech's 'Concrete Canvas' series captures the accidental beauty that serendipitously occurs when the concrete beneath New Yorkers' feet is inadvertently graced by spilled paint, fallen debris, expanding cracks, chemical stains, and other delightful visual elements. An avid runner, Piech has spent over three years traversing every single Manhattan street in search of these overlooked "artworks" that have become part of the fabric of the city. Piech uses advanced imaging techniques and equipment to create unprecedented gigapixel-quality photographs that capture every intricate detail of these ephemeral designs. The exceptionally high resolution photographs are then printed in large formats, resulting in impeccably precise physical replicas of the walkways."
Each piece is cataloged by location (the one shown above is Delancey & Norfolk) and is available in limited edition prints in several sizes. The variety is amazing and these are my new go-to for clients seeking NYC specific artwork without the obvious skyline or Brooklyn Bridge.
This painting drew me into my favorite booth of the show.
"INSIGHT ARTSPACE is a digital gallery that exhibits and promotes the works of female artists, specifically chosen for their visual craft, as well as their social messages, personal journeys, and passions. The intention of INISIGHT ARTSPACE is to stimulate exchanges between artist and audience that prove our similarities and our intimate understandings of each other, through the culture of art."
I was fortunate enough to speak extensively with both the gallery Founder, Catherine Testorf, and the artist, Carole Jury. Jury is both a photographer and an abstract painter. She combines the two mediums of expression in her process, starting from photography and then transposing it to painting. Her signature resides in her broad textured strokes, her ability to capture shadows and lights, and her eye for color. She creates dreamy and deeply layered abstracts through a rigorous process of paint application and removal, with each series inspired by the city she currently calls home. Her latest series, “B.K.King”, is an interpretation of the “Wheel of life” associated with the intensity of the colors of Bangkok.
I told you INSIGHT was my favorite booth! Esther Rosa was also in attendance and we had an amazing conversation about her work and process.
"Esther Rosa combines in a profound way her background as a psychologist and life coach, in her artistic career, with the purpose to promote self awareness and personal development. She is a multidisciplinary artist that explores different materials to stimulate and engage through composition and color, with the senses and the mind to provoke personal insights. 'When we are touched, we are moved and that is the first step for personal transformation.' Her work is very meditative, quiet, peaceful and it does invite to pause, stand still and reflect."
Rosa’s work, which blurs the lines between sculpture and collage (she also paints and sculpts in the round), begins with organic cotton paper she makes herself. The paper is then torn, molded, and overlapped to create undulating forms with tremendous depth and variety. Her work invites close inspection and introspection, and focuses both on form and void as vehicles for the dynamic nature of light.
It’s funny; I didn’t think there was any particular theme to the show as I was walking around, but going through my favorite pieces a very clear theme emerged - texture! In every case I was drawn to the very different but always rich and complex textures each artist was exploring. Of course there were more terrific pieces and booths at the show, but here you have my top 5 and my top trend. Hope you enjoyed!
Till next time…