Discovering the London Art Fair’s 2019 Edition

I really wanted to do this post a lot sooner as it’s already been one whole bloomin’ week and four days since the wonderful London Art Fair took place, but I suspect a part of me felt intimidated by the sheer amount of incredible imagery and info I would have to digest (and sadly edit out) for it. Anyway, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears (kidding – but almost) I’m finally ready to showcase a few highlights from this event, which I’d never been to before and was lucky enough to win a pair of complimentary tickets!

There’s also two specially curated sections beyond the main fair focusing on new works, less established galleries and contemporary photography.

In case you’re not sure what I’m on about, the London Art Fair is an annual event in which a fab variety galleries showcase mainly contemporary artwork. Despite the fact that it’s already ended, I believe it’s worth sharing my experience because the galleries I discovered at London Art Fair are active all year around after all! So, in the format of lists (I like lists and it’s a pretty digestible and readable format me thinks) here are some new favourites I discovered:

TOP 10 FAVOURITE ARTISTS SPOTTED AT THE LONDON ART FAIR

Su Blackwell: Paper cut art has been a bit of a thing over the past few years (Rob Ryan, anyone?) – I’m a fan and fell in love with two beautiful artworks by Blackwell. Aren’t they incredible?

Barbara Kruger: Barbara has been active for decades – I became obsessed with her work while I was at University and have loved it ever since. I was really disappointed to see her work at Selfridges a few years ago, as her stance towards consumerism has always been seemingly very critical. But, I still have a soft spot for her, and was delighted to see this at the London Art Fair – because knowledge is power!

Lizzie Riches: I love figurative art that has an illustrative, whimsical and surreal feel, so it was no surprise that I was immediately drawn to Lizzie Riches’ otherworldly characters.

Sebastian Burdon: Balloon dogs pooping? I’m in. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to please me!

The Connor Brothers: Pop Art is a style that I love because it tends to be colourful, fun and infused with retro vibes, and I think it’s fair to say that I’m drawn to ‘word’ art too. The Connor Brothers combine these two art styles perfectly.

Magda Archer: In a similar vain as (albeit with a completely aesthetic from) the Connor Brothers, Magda Archer darkens her colourful imagery with simple yet thought-provocking statements. I’ve always been very attracted to the contrast between lightheartedness and darkness, I think the results can often be very visually and intellectually appealing.

Deborah Azzopardi: I’m a girl’s girl and I love women, which is probably why I love vibrant images of females that also speak to my fashionable inclinations. And hence why I would love Deborah Azzopardi’s work on my wall.

Ian Berry: I just think this guy’s work is awesome – he made these images out of recycled denim! Isn’t that amazing?

Kelly Reemtsen: Female imagery with an odd twist that’s both colourful and different – how could I not love Reemtsen’s work?

Yoann Merienne: I loved the dimensional feel of this artist’s beautiful, almost photographic-like figurative paintings.

TOP 10 GALLERIES SPOTTED AT THE LONDON ART FAIR

Cynthia Corbett Gallery: This gallery had a ton of cool artists on show (such as Deborah Azzopardi and Nicolas Saint Gregoire) – simple.

Top: photographs by Isabelle Van Zeul. Middle: work by Nicolas Saint Gregoire. Bottom: photographs by Fabiano Parisi.

Tag Fine Arts: As the name suggests, this art dealing and publishing house had a very hip and easy-on-the-eye selection of contemporary art (including Sebastian Burdon’s balloon dogs).

Top: artwork by Kristjana S Williams. Bottom: artwork by David Spiller

Jealous Gallery: In a similar fashion to Tag Fine Arts, Jealous Gallery was just bursting with unapologetically fun art, such as Sara Pope, one of my favourite contemporary artists.

Artwork by Sarah Pope.

Artwork by Jess Wilson.

Portal Painters: This place was an absolute dream for me, as it specialises in figurative art with at times a humorous and/or surrealist feel (that is where I discovered Lizzie Riches).

Artwork by Heather Nevay

Artworks by Irvine Peacock.

Artworks by various artists.

Galerie Bayart (Paris): The first thing I noticed about this gallery was how beautifully displayed it was (so much so that I felt ‘compelled’ do a little video for my Insta stories) and how all the artworks complemented each other perfectly, showcasing the artist Yoann Merienne’s work (as well as other artists) in a really striking way.

Artworks by various artists (including Yoann Merienne, Patrick Villas, Christophe Charbonnel).

Venet-Haus Galerie (Neu-Ulm): Situated right next to Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Venet-Haus was so edgy it (almost) hurt due to sharing work from The Connor Brothers and Van Ray.

Top, middle and bottom: artworks by Van Ray.

Artworks by The Connor Brothers.

Rebecca Hossack Gallery: I have to say that it was this gallery’s beautiful layout what really struck me – its beautiful blue walls were the perfect backdrop for the hilariously clever work of artist Philip Shaw.

Top, middle and bottom: artworks by Philip Shaw.

Katrine Levin Galleries: The almost interactive feel of this gallery, thanks to the figurines in this installation called “Storming” by Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai, is what made it stand out.

Top, middle and bottom: “Storming” – installation by Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai.

REM Project (Puerto Rico): This Puerto Rican art space was showcasing work by an artist called Monica Parada – it was very quirky and eye-catching.

Top left, top right and bottom: artworks by Monica Parada.

JGM Gallery: Full of colourful and mixed-media artworks that were reminiscent of the early stages of Pop Art, I loved some of the pieces that JGM Gallery was showcasing.

Top: artworks by Ralph Anderson (left) and Dominic Beattie (right). Middle: artwork by Alice Wilson. Bottom: artwork by Juan Bolivar.

And that’s a wrap! As you can probably imagine, this was a very platonic event for me, as there is no way I could afford any of this art (LOL-ing at the brief moment I thought that one very nice piece I saw was £52 when it was actually £5,200). But I’m still thrilled that I got to see it anyway, as it was such a dream to be able to walk around so much art for hours (you really need to be there a whole day) and hours. And I hope this can inspire you too! Just because you can’t buy into something doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it – London is full of galleries that are open to all, so not take advantage of this and soak up some art? In fact, art is everywhere – it’s just a matter of looking!

Artwork by Ralph Anderson. Outfit: Unique 21 suit, The Fold shirt, ASOS hairband, Parfois earrings, Topshop bag, Miss Selfridge shoes.

Pictures taken on January 20th, 2018 at the Islington Business Design Centre, London by ©Vanessa Zaree – please do not use any of these pictures without my permission!

xxx

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