Recently I was in Santa Monica to check out Saatchi Art's: The Other Art Fair, an art fair for a new generation of art buyers. There are so many features that make the Other Art Fair truly unlike any other fair you've ever attended...here you get to interact with the artist's themselves vs. the traditional gallery setting where you typically purchase from a salesperson. It's a great opportunity to learn more about their method and get to know the person behind the masterpiece!
The Other Art Fair is presented by Saatchi Art and they certainly do have their finger on the pulse for what a modern art fair looks like. This was my second visit to the Other Art Fair, click here to read more about my previous visit to the dtla show. There's something for every art fan; with interactive art experiences ranging from Instagram darling Gary Baseman 's Purr Room (complete with original Moby soundtrack natch) to a tattoo station if you're feeling the urge to remember the night forever. Family and fur baby friendly, I saw parents pushing strollers and couples with dogs in matching outfits.
That's not to say it's all fluff! Educational moments abound with curator-led art advisory tours and art talks with accessible and timely topics like "Women Founders in the Creative Space" and "Investing in Art under $1000". If you're feeling hands on, there are screen printing workshops by local print shop, Heavy Gel and a diy art area for the littles. Groovy tunes from the resident DJ and craft cocktails will help loosen up your purse-strings and enable instant gratification since you can buy and take home your choice the very same night! The issue won't be what to do, it will be enough time to do it all, and luckily one entrance ticket is good all weekend long so you can go back as many times as you like!
One of the first booths I noticed was that of Javiera Estrada. Specifically this chiaroscuro photograph of unusually colored flowers. Upon first glance, it appears to be just an aesthetically pleasing image of flowers but upon closer inspection, one can see teeny, tiny microscopic bubbles dotting along the flower's contours. The viewer then realizes that this is not a run of the mill flower photo but a picture of flowers submerged under water. Javiera's technique is to place white flowers in a tank, drop in colored ink and then photograph them in various stages of metamorphosis.
Unlike most of the other artists at the fair who primarily showcased one specific collection or style, Javiera had several different collections on display. In addition to the flowers, there were many moody nudes celebrating the female form.
While her works are very different stylistically, ranging from black and white and color photography to collage, there is a recurring feeling of dark moodiness that is throughout her work. It was easy to spot Estrada's work in the 31 Women curation wall at the back of the show.
Initially trained as a graphic designer, Emily Morgan Brown segued into children's portraiture and large scale botanical drawings. The largess of the flowers is offset by the muted color palette of the Belgian linen base, creating a modern take on the ancient art of tapestry. After photographing the chosen flower composition, Brown makes her own egg tempera by drying and then grinding up said flower into pigment and ultimately tempera. The flowers are literally part of her charcoal paintings, such a thoughtful detail!
Brown staples the linen directly to her walls in her studio and goes to work painting and drawing on them. Then she removes it and hangs it like a scroll. She pointed out sections where you could see the underlying pattern of her studio wall in between petals. These are the kind of details that you could only see in person with the artist pointing it out to you!
Triple Peony by Emily Morgan Brown in her studio.
Brown has three young daughters and they occasionally paint and draw in the studio when she's working. Like mother, like daughter!
Xan Padrón is a Spanish photographer who began experimenting with time lapse photography back in 2012. Since then, he has traveled all over the world capturing quotidien scenes offset with vibrant colors and backgrounds. He sits in one designated area for two hours capturing the hustle and bustle of daily life.
There is a voyeuristic feel to Padrón's photos, as if we are privy to something we shouldn't be seeing. These static images are brought to life, mid-stride, mid-sentence, mid thought. They remind me of looking at negatives on a light table, I love the symmetry and balance to the composition.
Iron Eye Sculpture by Alexandra Dillon
Unlike the previous mediums of photography and drawing, artist Alexandra Dillon utilizes much less conventional materials for her paintings. Utilitarian objects are transformed from the mundane to the exalted: shovels, brushes, axes, irons - anything with ample surface area provides the foundation for her imagination.
Dillon lets her objects speak to her, dictating what they will eventually become. They're like mini Byzantine/Baroque portraits, reminding me of El Greco portraiture but updated for the modern audience with her use of unconventional objects. The unwavering gaze of the portraits are slightly unsettling, creating a tension between the strange and the extreme. As you stride by, their gaze follows you as if they are spirits who have found a home within these objects.
Photographer Kristin Hart started her career as a painter until she switched gears after breaking her arm a few years back. Finding it difficult to paint, she picked up a camera and started experimenting with photography. Her work is largely of landscapes ranging from snow and California beaches to my favorite, the Joshua Tree series.
I love anything desert related ( I'm a big hiker) and I especially enjoy Hart's slightly strange oversaturated color palette with an infra-red effect. The skies are pink, the ground is blue and anything goes in this alternate reality.
If you live in New York, be sure and check out The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn on through Sunday, November 11.
Have you been to the Other Art Fair? Which artists were your favorite? Are you into painting or photography? Portraiture or Landscape? Tell me in the comments below!