Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair has come to Amsterdam after eight successful years in the cities of London, New York, Sydney and Melbourne. I went last night to the show's sneak peak opening, brimming with anticipation at the fantastic bounty that awaited me inside the Westergasfabriek. Had I not been on my bike, I would have skipped there. Prices were listed at €100 to €5000, so things were looking good. At those prices and with art piled up to the rafters, my main concern was how would I carry it all home with me? And how would I have enough wall space to display it all? Well, such questions, sadly, needn't have concerned me...
The AAF is big and takes up the whole of the building so there is a lot of art up for grabs. However, the art on offer was a very mixed bag. Kind of like the mixed bag of sweets that have been sitting under the counter for a little too long that the grouchy corner store owner palms off to you when you're a kid. You get the odd little gem, but mostly it's crap.
Honestly, there was some great art - Rob Ryan, for one, has a whole wall of original paper cuts, but they were all about €4K a pop so a little beyond my reach.
I did manage to get one of his books (€19), not yet available in NL and signed to boot! Opened above to a very Amsterdamy feeling house image, and one of his die-cut invites (below), which is the closest I'll be getting to a Ryan paper cut.
There were some other nice pieces, but nothing super exciting in my eyes. So I have to say, you do get what you pay for. The good stuff was priced at normal fine art prices and anything good and cheap was minuscule. I spoke to one of the gallery representatives and the cost of getting over to Amsterdam and into the space seems to have contributed to the prices. If you're into art it's still probably worth a look. Entry to the show is €12, cocktail party €20, you can buy tickets at the door or online here. AAF runs from the 8th to 11th of November, opening times vary each day, so please check here.

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