Updated: Jun 11, 2019
New York’s Affordable Art Fair is a bi-annual event offering buyers the opportunity to invest in amazing up-and-comers and even some big names at very attractive price points. We walked this AAF’s offerings to spot the standouts and identify some hot new trends.
A lot of what we saw on the floor was reflective of our social media feeds. Booths teeming with minimalist backgrounds, bold dimensional texture, pastel canvases and pop-art references. It’s always exciting to further experience these popular styles up-close and at scale.
Art fairs like this one in Chelsea offer the opportunity to get a day full of gallery shopping completed in the span of a few hours, but knowing what to look for in a great piece and a great deal will help you maximize your time. If you’re looking for guidance in starting your art collection or if you’re looking into expanding an existing one, our team is here for experienced collectors and novices alike.
Let’s start by exploring a few of the hot trends that kept catching our eye. While this, and any good art fair, will have something for everyone, there is definitely a sense that both the space and many of the options were trying to evoke the millennial sentiment. Not unlike what any art fan sees regularly popping up in their feeds these days.
The main characteristic that we noticed was the dichotomy of the trends, and moreover, the attempt of some works to bridge these trends.
TRANQUILITY vs. TUMULTUOUS/ BOLD TEXTURES
Let’s start with an obvious call-out which is that many of the pieces selected for this show had very peaceful and/or tranquil subjects or presentation. It’s no secret that many find today’s world in social and political upheaval, without much sense of security. Art, as is its nature, seeks to fill voids and both reflect and satisfy a desire for serenity.
Sweeping strokes of congruous cool tones and deep pools of placid waters offer harmony to balance the tumult of our everyday lives. Purchasers of these palliative works can come home to consistent accord, perched gracefully upon their mantels, safe from the mayhem of the outside world.
A perfect juxtaposition of these two trends come together in Kseniya Oudenot's piece "It Comes Back".
GRADIENTS vs. MODERN MOSAICS Playing on the same feeling of calmness and tranquility, we couldn’t help but noticing the gradients one one side, and the multitude of innovative mosaic works on the other.
NEO-POINTILLISM vs. POST NEO POP ART
While Pointillism, part of the Post-Impressionist movement, is the technique of painting with distinct dots of color, which are meticulously applied in patterns to compose a cohesive image, Neo-Pointillism refers to combines the specific technique with other currents and movements. Diana Chelaru considers herself an Expressionist artist, yet she's incorporating the Pointillism technique into her work.
Neo-pop is a postmodern art movement of the 1980s. The term refers to artists influenced by pop art and pop culture imagery, but also artists working in graffiti and cartoon art, such as Keith Haring. So when new artists reference Haring's art and a modern media such Instagram, we called that POST NEO POP ART. Same goes for other pop art symbols such as Disney characters, which are presented now through a new, more modern lens.
If it is exploring you’re interested in another common theme was a fresh and artistic take on cartography, with many opportunities to see the world from your couch with large scale and colorful pieces dedicated to maps, globes, and the heavens.
Speaking of scale, we saw a lot of beautiful larger pieces that had incredible multi-dimensionality. Perspectives changed and subjects revealed themselves from different vantage points within the space. This sense of movement adds an exciting level of interaction as well as constant freshness for any potential purchaser.
Some artists decided to zoom in even further, focusing on the human form in miniature, in a variety of whimsical and surrealistic situations. We got a sense that these pieces were trying to remind us viewers of both the scale of the world and our place in it.
While there were some impressive examples of this style at a smaller scale, when trying to garner attention in a setting as busy as an art fair, size matters.
Which leads us to the most exciting theme we saw at the fair this spring which happens to be very close to our heart, Female Empowerment. We were very happy to see so many talented and innovative female artists represented. And it was equally exciting to see a plethora of works that spoke directly to emboldening and endowing all that is feminine. Art is an honest reflection of life, and when we see so many talented and creative boss ladies and people making art for and about boss ladies, it means that we’re making equality happen for our daughters and generations to come.