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Friday, 21 January 2011
London Art Fair at The Design Centre
The London Art Fair returned to Islington Design Centre this week (open until Sunday), with over 100 galleries showcasing the work of their best 20th and 21st century artists. You may have noticed the advertisements that are peppering tube stations and bus stops, or perhaps read about the event in a magazine. It certainly seems to have gained interest since last year, I don’t think I have ever seen Angel station so frantic and busy.
I worked at the fair in 2009 and 2010 with England & Co; it was a little strange visiting this year, solely as a spectator. The space is expansive; a building that is normally rather bland becomes a techni-coloured patchwork of creations. This year tickets are selling for £15 on the door, or £11 in advance. I was delighted to find I received a free sparkling drink with my ticket, and I could have easily had more than one as waiters wandered amongst the guests all evening.
Considered by many to be the premier art fair in London, I always like to check it out. The crème de la crème of the art world is usually there mingling and not just for the art . The visitors and gallery owners seem to excitedly check out each other too, who is wearing what? Who is displaying what? And which coveted pieces have been brought along for show?
Prices range enormously from small prints for under a hundred pounds to valuable pieces reaching hundreds of thousands. I am always astounded at how much people will pay for some particularly unattractive pieces. The London Art Fair has its fair share of rubble to sort through before you find the gems. Some stands are proudly displaying works that honestly look so repulsive you wonder if it can even be called ‘art’. But I guess that is part of the fun, there is something for all tastes.
My dad’s work is on display (see third picture above), as it often is; a beautiful selection of pieces that seem to really create a buzz at the England stand. Magically meticulous and thought provoking I never tire of seeing them.