The Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair 2012

January 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm 2 comments

The year 2012 brought a brand-new art fair to the city of Los Angeles: the Affordable Art Fair.

“Affordable” is defined here as $10,000 or less for each work of art. If you were paying attention to the prices at the LA Art Show and the LA Fine Art Show, you’ll realize that restricting an entire show to works under $10,000 is a rather novel concept in art fairs. (Mind you, the kinds of shows I exhibit in are typically way below this price range.)

The Affordable Art Fair is already a big hit in New York and a couple other places. I hope it becomes a regular show here; Los Angeles could use a few more art fairs, especially fun ones like this.

To get to the Affordable Art Fair, all I had to do was walk out of the Convention Center (where the LA Art Shows were held) and cross one street:

street view, 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

…and then climb a bunch of rickety stairs to get to the rooftop deck of LA Live, where a ginormous tent was pitched:

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair entrance

It hardly felt like a tent inside. Sturdy walls, bright lights and carpeting made it very welcoming:

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair interior

Some of the booths I liked best were right by the entrance, so we’ll start there:

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair booths

The first booth was the Conrad Wilde Gallery from Tucson, Arizona. I loved just about everything they had on display, including this gnarly wall sculpture (visible in the photo above):

Jessica Drenk, "Cerebral Mapping," books, wax and glue, 100x42 inches. Jessica Drenk, “Cerebral Mapping,” 2012, books, wax and glue, 100×42 inches, $10,000. Conrad Wilde Gallery. It says it’s made from “books” but it looks more like “strips of pages from books” to me. Quibbling, I suppose. More work from the same booth:

Robert Moya, "Untitled 2," "Untitled 6," and "Untitled 3," glue on panel, 14x14 to 24x24 inches. Robert Moya, “Untitled 2,” “Untitled 6,” and “Untitled 3,” glue on panel, 14×14 to 24×24 inches, $950 – $1800. Conrad Wilde Gallery.

Joanne Mattera, "Silk Road 125," encaustic on panel, 12x12 inches. Joanne Mattera, “Silk Road 125,” 2009, encaustic on panel, 12×12 inches, $2400 (between “Silk Road 120” and “73” above and below). Conrad Wilde Gallery. This is an artist I highly regard; I read her art blog religiously and have heard her speak publicly before. I even have a signed copy of her book about encaustic painting, a medium I greatly enjoy looking at and hope to someday learn.

Conrad Wilde Gallery at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair Pieces by Jessica Drenk (left), John Dempcy (center: “Vent Life,” 2010, acrylic on panel, 36×36 inches, $3200), and an artist (right) whose name I failed to note, sorry. Conrad Wilde Gallery.

Miles Conrad, "Bioslice Pink," "Bioslice Green," and "Bioslice Orange," 2006, encaustic on panel, 10x10x3 inches. Miles Conrad, “Bioslice Pink,” “Bioslice Green,” and “Bioslice Orange,” 2006, encaustic on panel, 10x10x3 inches, $600 each. Conrad Wilde Gallery.

Clearly if I ever find myself in Tucson I need to visit the Conrad Wilde Gallery! I just loved their display.

Moving on, we suddenly find ourselves in the Australian outback:

Cicada Gallery at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair The Cicada Aboriginal Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.

OK, the gallery itself is located in staid Brisbane, but the artwork is produced by Aboriginal Australians (the native peoples) many of whom live in the outback. I find their traditional art inspirational and exciting to look at, so this booth was a real treat for me. Here are a few highlights:

Judy Martin, "Ngayuku Ngura (My Country)," acrylic on linen, 48x24 inches. Judy Martin, “Ngayuku Ngura (My Country),” acrylic on linen, 48×24 inches, $2500. Cicada Gallery.

Cicada Gallery display at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair A selection of works from the Cicada Gallery. Upper left: Yinarupa Nangala, “Mukula Rockhole,” 18×15 inches, $1950. Upper right: Matthew West Tjupurrula, “Ngarru,” 18×15 inches, $1700. Middle left: Maisie Campbell, “My Mother’s Country,” 18×15 inches, $990. Middle right: Wintjiya Napaltjarri, “Pinari Rockhole,” 18×15 inches, $1850. Bottom: Charlie Tjapangati, “Pirrinya,” 12×24 inches, $1600. All paintings acrylic on linen.

Cicada Aboriginal Art Gallery, 3 artists' works on display at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair Left: Wintjiya Napaltjarri, “Pinari Rockhole,” $1950. Middle: Charlie Tjapangati, “Pirrinya,” $1440. Right: Kayi Kayi Nampitjinpa, “Ngaminya Rockhole,” $1850. All: acrylic on linen, 34×11 inches, from Cicada Gallery.

Returning to the U.S. we pay a quick call on Artspace Warehouse, a European gallery with a relatively new storefront in Los Angeles. The gallery’s focus is affordable art, dovetailing nicely with the theme of the Affordable Art Fair. My friend Barbara Kolo‘s works, the two blue paintings in the center of the photo below, were featured in the booth alongside works by several other artists. At least one of Barbara’s pieces sold at the fair, which makes sense because her work is lovely (and she uses dots, which I think is fabulous!). Congratulations to Barbara, Artspace Warehouse, and the lucky buyer!

Artspace Warehouse at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair Artspace Warehouse, Los Angeles, California.

Meandering further through the fair, I enjoyed this visual feast from the Accola Griefen Gallery from New York, a painting hung on a custom-painted wall:

Accola Griefen Gallery at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

Here are a few more pieces that caught my eye as I wandered hither and yon:

Peter Arvidson, "Village Greens," oil on canvas. Peter Arvidson, “Village Greens,” oil on canvas, 36×36 inches(?), $4000. Offered by Rice/Polak Gallery, Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Mauro Soares, "Vincent," acrylic, 42x42 inches. Mauro Soares, “Vincent,” acrylic, 42×42 inches, $10,000. Offered by Ward-Nasse Gallery, New York. I’ve seen his work before, at the Los Angeles Art Show in 2010. I still love his technique but wish he’d find more interesting subject matter to cover. But his skill is undeniable.

Teresa Stanley, 3 pieces, acrylic & resin on panel Teresa Stanley, 3 pieces, acrylic & resin on panel. Largest piece: “Road Map No. 2,” 42×42 inches, $4900. Offered by Anelle Gandelman Fine Art, Larchmont, New York.

Anat Shiftan & Andrea Bonfils Works by Anat Shiftan & Andrea Bonfils shown by Anelle Gandelman Fine Art. Left: Anat Shiftan, one “Bronze” and 8 “Celadon” pieces, all porcelain, 8×8 inches, $500 each. Right: works by Andrea Bonfils, “Momentum,” 2 panels above (crow in tree branches), each panel 40×20 inches, $4800 for the pair, and “Colored Woods” below, 30×40 inches, $4200, all oil and encaustic on panel. Yeah, I have a thing for encaustic.

At the back of the tent were tables and chairs which I gratefully made use of (and the obligatory Wolfgang Puck cafe, which I studiously ignored).

Seating at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

While resting, I noticed a display of, well, something strange and interesting. I needed to see what it was. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be uber-geeky “maker” stuff, a DIY 3-d plotter called “The Replicator” by MakerBot. They had several of the things set up, whirring away, making 3-d stuff out of molded plastic… very very slowly.

Replicator by MakerBot at 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair The upper box is the “Replicator,” which you can buy for under $2000. (The lower box is just a display case.) Considering the technology involved, I’m impressed it’s so cheap. Remember when 3D prototyping was cutting edge technology? Now it’s something almost anyone can have at home. Amazing.

Here’s a closer view:

MakerBot replicating a plastic bust at the 2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair You feed a spool of plastic (it looks like the stuff that goes in a weedwhacker, and comes in various colors) in the back; it gets heated and extruded through a nozzle, kind of like a glue-gun. The nozzle is on an x-y plotter, and moves back and forth quite quickly. The platform it builds the model on moves slowly in the z direction, giving you the ability to create 3-dimensional plastic parts…slowly.

I watched for several minutes. While I could see the nozzle moving back and forth, I couldn’t discern any growth in the model bust. I guess it takes hours.

The hard part is generating patterns for the 3d objects. MakerBot has a huge library of objects you can make, but I’d think the most interesting (and hardest) part would be creating new parts that no one else has ever made.

2012 Los Angeles Affordable Art Fair

I thoroughly enjoyed the Affordable Art Fair’s Los Angeles debut, and fervently hope it’ll be back in future years. I think this is just what Los Angeles needs: an easy, comfortable, entry-level art fair where buyers can shop without busting their budgets. I appreciated all the thoughtful touches the organizers put into it. Lots of comfy seating throughout the fair, a reasonable size and layout, a very useful printed guide, extended hours, and (great for cheap folks like me) a special “free entry” time. Thank you for that!

If it comes back, I’ll definitely be back.

Next up: Art LA Contemporary.


Entry filed under: Affordable Art Fair, Art Appreciation, Shows.

LA Art Show 2012 Art LA Contemporary 2012


Barbara J Carter

I'm an artist. I make paintings with dots.

I work in acrylic paint, in a couple of distinct styles: landscapes and abstracts.

Native to California, I've lived elsewhere and only recently returned to my home state. I now live in Los Angeles.

I mostly show my art in outdoor festivals in California. I also occasionally show my work in art galleries or open studio events. You can see an up-to-date list of upcoming shows on my website (click here).

I invite you to sign up to receive my free email newsletter, in which I list my upcoming shows and talk about my latest work. I send it irregularly, a few times a year.

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Follow me on Twitter: @barbarajcarter

Why I call my landscapes neo-Pointillist landscape paintings

A bunch of my abstract dot paintings

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Click here to receive my free email newsletter for up-to-date info on my shows, my art, and anything else that I'm up to. I send it out irregularly, a few times a year.

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