An Art fair or a love affair?
I was chatting with a client earlier about the wealth of art being exposed across London over the course of this weekend, prompting me to write a little thought about art fairs.
I have two feelings - excitement and anxiety. A bit like my 10 year old self being told by my dad that we are going to build the greatest tree house, but the oak tree is over 4 metres high and hangs over a small cliff.
In this post I hope to illustrate that you should be weary when it comes to art fairs, and take them in your stride.
I have a love hate relationship with them. On the plus side, they're great for the time bound, 'type A' individual, looking to be exposed to a range and variety of work on offer. At the same time, the anxious 10 year old inside tells me; you had better be prepared to be overwhelmed by the abundance of work and people, everywhere!
Art is meant to start a conversation, to share a story. Just consider for a moment; 10,000 different stories in one giant room. You're never going to appreciate them all, nor even see them all.
So when you're venturing to your next art fair, have a plan and a big breakfast in the morning. It's also helpful to go with a friend who is on the same wavelength as you. Are you buying? Are you looking for particular themes? Are you window shopping?
What about for the artist and exhibitors?
For the artist and exhibitor, the perspective also applies. Like marketers having trouble cutting through the clutter of promotional content that's everywhere we look, artists now have to be clever in curating their walls. Remember your fundamentals of putting on a good show; simple things, like good visual positioning of artwork where you get maximum reach with consistent pull-in rate.
Below is a list of other art fairs that come to mind, incase you haven't had enough. Do add the ones I've missed in the comments.
An art fair list to finish off 2016.
3-9 PAD London
6-9 Vienna Fair
11-12 Yom Kippur
20-23 Art Expo Malaysia Plus
22-25 FIAC Paris
28-31 Art Toronto
6-8 Artissima Turin
10-13 Paris Photo
10-13 Tehran Art Fair
12-15 Art Taipei
18-21* Abu Dhabi Art