Art fairs are slowly returning after almost a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. The New York Art Expo 2021, which usually is held in the spring, moved their trade show to October at Pier 36. This art fair is sponsored by the Redwood Art Group and is one of the largest art shows offered. This year, their numbers were down significantly to about 200 international galleries and artists. Still, there was something for every taste and price point.
The show was divided into two different sectors… the usual gamut of national and international galleries along with a larger group of independent artists. The latter enables you to interact with the artists, learn about their message behind their works, and commitment to their artistry. This actually is the better part of the show. There were many artists from the metro region that you can develop a personal connection with, especially if you decide to purchase their work…. which now adds to your story. You see, all art collected comes with a story. What better story than meeting the actual artist.
As always, I like to highlight a few artists in which photos of their work are part of this story. They are:
Caffetti, an African American art teacher at a charter school who describes himself as a contemporary minimalism artist from Queens, NY. Artists, much like the rest of the population have had to deal with the constraints of the pandemic. For most, it provided an outlet for creativity and reflection. For Caffetti, he chose to advance his artistry during the pandemic by dealing with Mental Health, offering simple yet attractive abstract expressions that easily engage the audience to open conversations that lead to new learnings and hopefully positive life affirmations.
Two artists from Nigeria represented by the Tribe Art African gallery whose works clearly stood out as both stunning and creative are
Bola Obatuyi, whose portraits of Africans represent collages of mixed media that are brilliantly stacked to create the facial features of men or women with precision and colorful details.
Olamide Ogumade is another Nigerian artist whose unique style of painting men and women is done using a range of bold stunning colors to help define his work such as the portrait of a dark black youth with blonde hair and orange color sunglasses that quickly catches your eye.
Jackie Fushs is a woman artist from Brooklyn well known for her mixed media collectibles and whimsical art pieces that draw on daily living that could easily be interpreted as a chapter of a book or a movie set, hence her company name, StudioJackie. Her work is so imaginative and stylish. Stay tune for a TV series based on the characters that she created.
What About the Show?
There were quite a bit of galleries that should have stayed home (this also could be said of some artists). The collection, at times, for many galleries, was simply not up to par, many lacked creativity and innovation. Folks that attend these art fairs are frequent visitors and are looking for inspiration and the opportunity to invest in a piece of artwork….the bar is much higher. The layout of the show was also not as attractive. Some aisles looked more like an art bazaar; too busy and crowded. Usually these art shows have a broad range of novelty merchandise and books, all missing. Also, the food was limited and expensive. Frankly, these things won’t keep me away, blaming most of it on COVID. My photos are of many art works I found interesting, including those artists I highlighted.
Attending Art Fairs: Why go?
I wholeheartedly recommend attending art fairs, whether you are a collector or an art enthusiast. Art fairs are fun, allowing you to be in a stimulating, creative environment that is inspiring…. a mood lifter. These shows have galleries from all over the world, all in one central location for you to enjoy. The shows expose you to new artistic trends and designs in the Art World that are continuously changing. There are always lots of cool art and exciting people doing uniquely innovative, sometimes quirky things. Plenty of fashionistas to watch both of good and bad taste. Lots of selfies to take with your favorite art piece. Let’s not forget the opportunity to buy Art, especially if it doesn’t set you back six months.
Remember to click the center of the photo to see the full view.
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