A Different Kind Of Fair
Those of you still reminiscing over summer probably haven’t even noticed that London’s exhibition season is ON! The Frieze, The Other Art Fair, LAPADA, PAD; the city is practically buzzing with art fairs, leaving Londoner’s spoilt for choice of things to do and more than satisfying the average art lover’s appetite.
Art fairs play a major role in the industry for a number of reasons, from the impact of digital to the rise of the nomadic gallery model, and as a result some of the biggest names in contemporary art have been discovered at these events.
But what about START Art Fair? Held in Chelsea’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery, it could be described as a more “boutique” alternative to its contemporaries. Focusing on international emerging talent, START brings together a meticulously curated selection of around 100 artists and 25 galleries from 30 countries. Saatchi not only lends a voice to these artists looking to get exposure on the global stage but is a perfect platform on which to educate new collectors, allowing them to discover talent that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Everyone loves an Insta-friendly installation but be sure to take a moment in between posting stories to fully experience the magic of Michelle’s “Introspection”. Housed in its very own dedicated space on the ground floor, many viewers appeared ever so slightly agitated at the opening line of the introduction on the wall: “How do we make sense of the barrage of images of violence and displacement that we are confronted with in endless news cycles?”
Despite an eerie prelude, this so called “uncanny sensorium” comes off in a way that can only be described as sensationally beautiful, with cascades of ephemeral butterflies fluttering around in unity to the ambient sound. Having a long-term fascination with digital technology, Michelle presents us with her latest experiment in digital video mapping and motion sensor technology to remind us of our role toward humanity.
It was certainly a wonderful pleasure to speak to this self-taught showstopper, a British resin artist who made a fascinating transition from the world of fashion, to property, to art. Her large-scale resin works reflect her study of Chromology, the psychology of colour and its growing necessity in the realm of mental health and wellbeing. This message is particularly hard hitting in a world where it is increasingly difficult to combat unhealthy levels of exposure to technology.
Everyone loves a splash of colour in their lives and art collectors are no exception! The pieces on show went down spectacularly well with potential buyers thanks to Nat having deliberately worked with the most vibrant of mediums to enhance their physical and emotional impact, as well as their healing qualities. With shows in Miami, New York, Hong Kong and Hamburg, Nat Bowen is one to watch!
When you learn that an artist has a degree in nuclear physics, you’ll likely build high expectations of any conceptual work they produce. Well, Katya doesn’t disappoint! Sunday’s crowd was rapidly drawn towards the monumental glass box labelled “Believe Me, It’s Beautiful” and “You Can Get That”. What initially appears to be an ironic statement on modern day marketing quickly becomes the ultimate tease.
The encapsulated USB stick has the ability to speak volumes on the psychological tension that occurs between settling and seeking, inviting the buyer to decide if they dare risk the beauty of the piece they see before them in the search for what Katya claims is “her most beautiful work to date, unseen by anyone but herself”. How much does the inaccessible become a trigger of a thirst for more? Does doubt and the potential drawbacks of taking a risk overshadow the ache of curiosity?
In tune with the haunting tones of the canvases behind her, we are left with the equally haunting message: “Be forewarned – disappointment is inevitable, for nothing is more beautiful than an idea itself. Is the everlasting beauty of a concept strong enough to silence curiosity?”
ILLUMINATI NEON: MARK SLOPER
Someone once said, “sometimes it makes a world of difference to meet the artist!” and that statement could not be more accurate in this case! The Boutique London team were quick to learn that Mark Sloper (behind the “Illumanti Neon” brand) was quite the celebrity on the second floor.
His fabulous works with light stole the show on the opening night, bringing a remarkable turn-out that congregated en masse around his corner of the room. Mark also happens to be a remarkable storyteller, taking the time to ponder aloud whether it was worth selling a piece including the t-shirt of the Sex Pistols’ drummer, and drawing attention to the antique of an American flag with only 48 stars that had “Hardiness and Valor”, “Purity and Innocence” and “Vigilance and Justice” emblazoned across it.
With great pride, he continued showcasing his tributes to deceased celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse, whilst revealing plans to produce more. Exceptionally in tune with today’s tastes – fascination with the lives of the rich and the famous and the undying love for irony – it was no surprise that Mark had found himself a hit at Saatchi that weekend.
Editor, Boutique London