Don’t Miss These Bargains at Every Price Point at the Affordable Art Fair

Half the work is required to be less than $5,000.

Yann Guitton, Harriet Tubman from the
Yann Guitton, Harriet Tubman from the "Outsized Artifacts" series. Photo by Yann Guitton.
Crowds line up for the preview at the Affordable Art Fair. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Crowds line up for the preview at the Affordable Art Fair.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

The Affordable Art Fair opened its latest New York edition, featuring 72 galleries from six continents, on March 30 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. (Now in its 15th year in New York, the fair holds 15 editions each year, in cities including London, Stockholm, Seoul, and Singapore.)

The art on offer all ranges from $100 to $10,000, and at least half of the work on sale at each booth is required to be less than $5,000. Throughout the week, Affordable Art Fair staff will be offering tours with themes like “Female Voices,” “Photography” and “Finds Under $500.”

“The Affordable Art democratizes art,” New York fair director Cristina Salmastrelli told artnet News. “The idea that art can be for anyone is our mission and our motto.”

Here’s what you can find at various price points below.

$100 and under

Lucy Sparrow, <em>High Fructose Corn Syrup</em>. <br>Photo: courtesy Lucy Sparrow.

Lucy Sparrow, High Fructose Corn Syrup.
Photo: courtesy Lucy Sparrow.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the booth of Tel Aviv’s Mika Gallery for a grocery store, thanks to the work of Lucy Sparrow. Using felt, cotton, and acrylic paint detailing, she perfectly has created fluffy facsimiles of supermarket staples.

Although she takes a page out of Andy Warhol‘s book with Campbell’s soup and Brillo boxes, Sparrow impresses most with the sheer variety of products, which include everything from moon pies to instant grits.

Individual pieces are priced at $100 each, and you can also get a full set of shelved and framed items for $4,000, if you don’t want to buy à la carte.

Under $500

Orson Kartt, <em>Storm in a Teacup</em>. <br>Photo: courtesy Panter and Hall.

Orson Kartt, Storm in a Teacup.
Photo: courtesy Panter and Hall.

At London’s Panter and Hall, Orson Kartt has on offer a number of mixed media prints on view, which are layered on top of literary texts, for $250 each. Storm in a Teacup, with a massive tsunami arising from a presumably soothing cup of tea, features Shakespeare‘s Much Ado About Nothing.

Steve Gayler, ceramic elephant sculpture. <br>Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Steve Gayler, ceramic elephant sculpture.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Small glazed ceramics by Steve Gayler are just $250 a piece at London’s Tag Fine Arts. His artwork, Gayler told artnet, is “a hobby,” and the quirky elephant is the last of its kind, as he sadly managed to break the mold.

Under $1,000

Serge Bloch, <em>Red Skirt Salad</em> (2014). <br>Photo: courtesy 1stdibs.

Serge Bloch, Red Skirt Salad (2014).
Photo: courtesy 1stdibs.

French illustrator Serge Bloch‘s joyful drawings feature a delightful economy of line at New York’s Michele Mariaud Gallery. The simple, effortless prints can feel like elegant Parisian fashion sketches, but these witty cartoons get their splash of color from carefully places vegetables, like a snap pea mouth in Bloch‘s Pea Smile, or the single piece of red leaf lettuce in Red Salad Skirt.

Under $2,000

Tessa Shaw, <em>Out of a Bed of Love</em>, (2014). <br>Photo: courtesy Tag Fine Arts.

Tessa Shaw, Out of a Bed of Love, (2014).
Photo: courtesy Tag Fine Arts.

Brilliantly blue, large-scale floral cyanotypes by Tessa Shaw bring Anna Atkins into the 21st century at Tag Fine Arts. Grab Out of a Bed of Love, displayed in a bespoke white wash box frame, for just $1,300.

Under $5,000

Elisabeth Lecourt, <em>Petit Coquillage Rose et Pierre Bonheur</em>, from the "Le Robes Geographiques" series. <br>Photo: courtesy Byard Art.

Elisabeth Lecourt, Petit Coquillage Rose et Pierre Bonheur, from the “Le Robes Geographiques” series.
Photo: courtesy Byard Art.

Art meets vintage cartography in Elisabeth Lecourt‘s cheerful Le Robes Geographiques” series, which transforms antique maps into gorgeously-pleated girlish little pinafores.

You can buy Petit Coquillage Rose et Pierre Bonheur, which features the streets of Paris, for just $4,500 at Cambridge-based Byard Art.

Célia Pardini, My Beige Destroyed Converse 2015). Photo: courtesy Envie DArt.

Célia Pardini, My Beige Destroyed Converse 2015).
Photo: courtesy Envie D’Art.

At the same price point, and of a similarly fashion-oriented bent, you can snap up Célia Pardini‘s My Beige Destroyed Converse, crafted from cardboard and painted and varnished to perfectly mimic your favorite kicks, at Paris’s Envie D’Art.

Under $10,000

Yann Guitton, <em>Harriet Tubman</em> from the "Outsized Artifacts" series. <br>Photo: Yann Guitton.

Yann Guitton, Harriet Tubman from the “Outsized Artifacts” series.
Photo: Yann Guitton.

Brussels’s Vogelsang Gallery has a number of large-scale painting and photographs by artists including Soraya Doolbaz and Irene Mamiye, but the showstopper is a larger-than-life $20 bill, crumpled and tacked to the booth’s wall. Part of Yann Guitton‘s “Outsized Artifacts” series, the careworn bill appears to date from the 1980s, but Andrew Jackson’s familiar face is replaced with that of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Guitton was inspired by the Women on 20s campaign, which aims to have a woman honored on American currency, and selected Tubman as voters’ preferred pick. (Ultimately, it is Alexander Hamilton‘s place on the $10 bill that looks to be phased out.) For the artist, Guitton told artnet News, the $9,000 work of art represents “a kind of bent reality that could be plausible,” where the switch took place some 30 years ago.

Under $10,000

Damien Hirst, <em>The Wonder of You</em> (2015). Each print signed by the artist and numbered on the reverse. Edition of 55. <br>Photo: courtesy Carolina Nitsch.

Damien Hirst, The Wonder of You (2015). Each print signed by the artist and numbered on the reverse. Edition of 55.
Photo: courtesy Carolina Nitsch.

The Affordable Art Fair is not the place you expect to find blue-chip artists, but London’s Manifold Editions features a selection of prints from mainly British artists including Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor, and Marc Quinn. From the latter, you could walk with a $3,000 digital print of neon flowers titled Icelandic Lava Plane.

Hirst topped out the fair’s $10,000 upper price limit with The Wonder of You, a set of six polymer-gravure etchings with lithographic overlay, although he also had slightly cheaper offerings on hand, including Perillartine, a $7,500 print from his spot paintings series.

The Affordable Art Fair is on view at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, March 30–April 3, 2016. 


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