Detail from Safe Space Installation by Traci Johnson
‘Surreal‘ is the word I would use to describe being in attendance at the absolutely packed Spring 2022 edition of the Affordable Art Fair, which took place in late March, but which I am just now getting around to telling you about, because things are surreal all over. Just like in the Before Times, the fair was crazy crowded — like Covid never happened. No one checked vax cards at the door and masks were optional (read: nonexistent). Is that good or bad? I don’t know anymore. All I can say is that the entire time I was inside the Metropolitan Pavilion was like being transported inside Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine. That said, let’s check out some of my favorite art from the show, much of which is definitely surreal!
These colorful little ladies are all part of the Icons series by Netherlands-based artist, Nicolette Benard, and they are super fun. You can pick one up for just $1250 at Chiefs and Spirits Gallery.
You already know how much I love Palm Springs-based sculptress Betsy Enzensberger and her ever-evolving series of fantasy frozen treats that appear to melt across the shelf. She’s always coming up with new designs.
Goth Pops, anyone? Betsy’s smaller sculptures are very collectible, being priced at around $300 each. She was represented at the fair by Treat Gallery.
From the geometrically inspired abstract/pop art of Spanish-American artist Jose M. Fontaina comes additional ice cream treats for you walls. The footprints and pastel colors of Jose’s latest series remind me of fun summer evenings spent on and around the Coney Island Boardwalk. His original paintings are very collectible at just $2500 each.
Can’t you almost taste summer when you look at this glittery Snow Cone by Cory Oberndorfer? It’s just $2800 at Alida Anderson Art Projects of Washington, DC.
Wrapping up our mini-theme of ice cream-centric artworks is Before It Melts by another Netherlands-based artist who goes by the name Raider. This silkscreen print sells for $1250 at Wanrooij Gallery of Amsterdam.
Who doesn’t love a shaped canvas? Mr. Yeah is an Italian artist who specializes in shaped canvases that become an integral part of the painting, and his works are rather — you guessed it — surreal! Patto Col Diavolo (Pati With The Devil), seen above, is priced to move at just 2800 Euros.
As an alternative to traditional canvas, Just Me by Lore Eckelberry is painted across a row skateboard decks. Priced at $3800 at P Fine Arts in Atlanta, GA.
The dreamlike paintings of Brooklyn-based artist Monica Mangano were one of my favorite discoveries at the fair. A packaging designer specializing in brand identity, Monica includes multiple familiar images in her mixed media creations, such as Drink #1. I sense big things to come from this artist (who was also seen exhibiting at Art Expo) so now is likely the time to invest in her work. This piece sells for just $550.
Do you like free beer? The fair gave away this beer for free to all who love to drink while they look at art! Marketing!
Would you enjoy seeing this woman’s face on a can of beer? I sure would. Found at Creason Fine Art of New Orleans, Sugar Skull #1 ($3625) is a giclée print embellished with blown glass scraps. Festive!
This is lots of fun, don’t you think? It’s called Picnic With Flower Shoes by Sun ok Park and it can be yours for just $2,000 from Young Art Gallery of South Korea. I personally would love to own a chair like that.
These pieces, which remind me of colorful sea urchins, are part of the Eye Series by Kyung Nam An and range in price from $550 to $3250, at Cube Gallery of London, UK.
Also based in London is Tag Fine Arts, who returned to the fair for the first time since Covid (they were missed). These pieces ($2000 each) are called Riot of Liberty (Red, Black, White, depending on the color) and the artist is Sebastian Burdon. Very Banksy-esque!
Impress visitors to your home with your rad collection of books on the Rock Stars of the 80s — or not! Rock 80s SQ, a photo-collage by Max Steven Grossman ($7000) was spotted at Axiom Contemporary.
Idle Quarters — Scattered Light, a reconstructed photographic diorama by Sandy Mc Lea reminded me of this exhibit I saw almost 15 years ago now. It’s $7500 matted and framed as shown, or get the print for just 4500 GBP at Quantum Contemporary Art.
I am guessing that MC Escher may be an influence on artist Daniel R. Collazo based on Dematerialization ($5500), his charcoal on canvas drawing of a block of luxury flats. Spotted at JCamejo Art of NY and Miami.
You might remember artist JJ Galloway from this post. Cake Pop Pigeon ($500) is a great example of Galloway’s signature portrait style of pairing animals with food in a whimsical fashion.
At the fair, she debuted a new series of pigeon portraits modeled after the signature motifs of famous contemporary and street artists, such as this Kobra Pigeon ($575). Clever!
Jenny Keith, represented by Feral Fine Art of Edmonton, Canada, loves to paint animals with fantasy twist, as seen in this tiny painting entitled Lime Snail with Cherry ($395). I love it.
I might just have to feature her Cotton Candy Snake ($2600) as a future Pink Thing of the Day!
American Love, a very meta depiction of Mickey Mouse holding a Mickey Mouse balloon, has a 3-D look rendered by hand painting on multiple sheets of stacked glass. Created by Sébastien Creteur, it sells for $4700 at Galerie Barrou Planquart in Paris.
Here’s another cute little guy entitled Bech Bunny 48 ($2000) by Chilean-Lebanese artist Bech (Bechara Baroudi Akel). He is represented by Agora Gallery in NYC.
Ah, the tools of the artist get the larger-than-life treatment in glazed porcelain ceramics by artist Ray Gross (at Evan Lurie Gallery of Los Angeles).
Eelco Hilgersom creates dazzling sculptures for the wall from PC Lenses laid over shaped bases crafted from foam and wood. From left to right, the above pieces are entitled Brave ($6500) and Plucky ($4800) from Wanrooij Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The selfies are endless.
We’ll send you off until next time with this shot the booth for Canada’s Arteria Gallery where you can see Hitsville Manhattan by Keith Haynes ($8230) at the far right. Thanks for the inspiration, Affordable Art Fair!