London has one of the most diverse and exciting art scenes in the world but it is not always easy to navigate your way through this vast city and to understand the complexities of its extraordinary art world. There is just so much going on and we all know that some of these events and galleries can be quite intimidating especially if you don’t have hundreds of thousands of pounds spare to spend on a masterpiece.
How refreshing it was then to welcome back The Other Art fair to London this year. Since its launch in 2011, The Other Art Fair has welcomed more than 167,000 visitors from around the world to its fairs, while becoming a mainstay of the London art scene. It has now established itself as an international event, with editions in London, Sydney, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Melbourne, Chicago and Bristol.
This year The Other Art Fair kicked off its 17th edition in London with a four-day event at The Canopy in Kings Cross and the BAM! team couldn’t wait to get there! Firstly, having benefited from an incredible flow of investment, this is now one of the most exciting areas in London with world-class buildings, amazing landscapes and street markets all contributing to its hip vibe. Whatever preconceptions you may have about this previously seedy area – forget them!
Presented by Saatchi Art, what sets the The Other Art Fair apart from other events is that it offers both new buyers and seasoned collectors the opportunity to discover new and emerging talent at affordable prices. Chosen by a committee of art industry experts, this pioneering platform’s 140 exhibiting artists are all making waves in their field but have yet to be snapped up by blue-chip galleries.
There are plenty of ways to get involved even if you’re not intending to make a purchase. The artists, without exception are keen to engage with visitors and more than happy to tell you about their work and help the viewer interpret it. What always strikes us is just how much the artist’s appreciate it if you ask questions about their work – they seem truly grateful and humbled by your interest.
In a world that sometimes takes itself a little too seriously the laid back and friendly atmosphere is a refreshing change from those galleries that can sometimes feel a little intimidating. The Other Art Fair adds a sense of fun and really does open up the world of art to everyone making it accessible to all. In addition, by cutting out the middleman and giving you direct access to the artists, if you are looking for a new piece of art to jazz up your home, it’s a great place to bag a bargain that could ultimately prove to be a solid investment.
Alongside a host of interactive performances, the fair offered free kids activities, Saatchi Art guided tours and good bags, live music throughout the weekend from Soho Radio, Hand Poke tattoos by Brazilian artist Nara Ishikawa, plus a lively bar and a superb on-site restaurant.
If you missed this fabulous event, then make a note in your diary for 3rd-6thOctober when The Other Art Fair will be showcasing another London event at Victoria House, Southampton Row. If you are an aspiring artist and want to get involved you can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theotherartfair/