Meet the makers and make an affordable investment in beauty at the second Sydney edition of this fair for emerging artists
ICYMI: art fairs are the driving force of the contemporary art world – from London’s Frieze and New York’s Armory Show to Switzerland’s pioneering Art Basel. Usually they’re like massive expos where commercial galleries buy a booth and spruik their wares: artworks.
The Other Art Fair is different. Founded by British events and exhibitions producer Ryan Stanier in 2010 as an alternative to Frieze, the fair showcases emerging artists who aren’t represented by a commercial gallery. The Fair made its Sydney debut in 2015. Eighty artists and 8000 visitors later, they’re returning in 2016 – with a new location and a larger line-up.
This year will feature 100 artists, selected via a blind judging by a powerhouse committee of tastemakers: Roslyn Oxley (of top Sydney gallery Roslyn Oxley9), curator Amanda Love, Archibald Prize-winning painter Ben Quilty, and artist/graphic designer Leif Podhajsky (responsible for album cover art for Tame Impala, The Horrors and more).
Artists selected include Celeste Wrona, Joe Helmore, Mark Collis, Sarah Beetson, Chrysa Koukoura, Martine Vanderspuy and Kirsten Jackson. Works will range from around $100 upwards, and span prints and works on paper, paintings, sculpture and photography.
Among the many ways in which The Other Art Fair is changing the ‘art fair’ game, the most important is the face-to-face interaction between buyers and artists. As Sydney fair director Laura Richardson says, “Buying art is really an emotional transaction, and what’s going to push you over the edge – beyond the finished product – is the story behind that work.”
In addition to the artist-run booths, Roslyn Oxley will be running a pop-up selling a special limited edition print by artist Sarah Contos (500 at $100 a pop), and daring punters can enter a competition to win a free body work created by a guest artist and inked by Rhys Gordon (of Little Tokyo).
Besides the art, the Fair will incorporate a public program including classes by Work-Shop (including a watercolour and wine session and master-classes in perfume and gin-making), talks by The School of Life, and participatory art mural by Nick Hernandez (the man behind colourful kids fashion label Chocolate Einstein).
The food and beverage offering, meanwhile, partners with local heroes Young Henrys, Archie Rose, Urban Winery, Black Pantry and Three Blue Ducks. Drinks range from coffee to cocktails to cold-pressed juices, and the food spectrum spans sweet treats and light snacks to nourishing meals.