So far, October has brought its rainy spells and “oh-so-sugary” autumnal lattes as we’d expect, but it has also brought along with it a generous helping of exciting art fairs. Only one of these fairs, however, lets its guests hang out with up and coming independent artists, giving them a rare chance to unearth the ‘next big thing’ in contemporary art!
The Other Art Fair is a clever concept that originally came from the mind of Ryan Stainer. Stainer sought to give underappreciated talented artists the same recognition and representation enjoyed by their contemporaries exhibiting at the Frieze.
Presented by Saatchi Art, the fair has brought success to its exhibitors for the past 7 years, creating a platform where artists connect with the press and their audiences directly, unhindered by the context of a gallery. For its 18th edition, the fair returned to Bloombury’s Victoria House, where 100 handpicked artists showcased works in photography, illustration, video, painting, sculpture and ceramics. But these were not just any artists. Each exhibitor was chosen by a panel of high-profile industry professionals for their talent and potential, making this fair an incredible opportunity to discover and purchase truly unique pieces of art.
Here are our top five must-see artists from this year’s fair – they certainly are ones to watch:
McPherson is giving refuse, reuse, and recycle a new meaning, as his primary material choice is discarded plastic from the Kentish coast. He explores alternative narratives for his discoveries through his collections, asking us to question our faith in the objects we believe we know. His work is vibrant and intriguing, showing unique colour variations he claims is caused by his colour-blindness.
Reenan is a printmaker from London with an undenied love for cynotyping. He says, “it hits all the right notes” for him creatively as the mix between analogue and digital are unpredictable and freeing. The monochromatic blue of his work, exhibited at the fair, encourages the viewer to focus on the images’ subjects and to be immersed in their stories.
Amid the fair, we discovered Attura’s dreamlike images, with their beautiful, pastel tones that any viewer could get lost in. She captures the world through her analogue camera, layering images to unearth rustic, imagined scenes. Despite the freshness of her compositions, she somehow manages to create a nostalgic feel by focusing on the small details of her subjects.
A contemporary printmaker and painter, Burrows creates observational drawings that mix both abstract and figurative. She often uses colour to draw the viewer’s eye to specific areas of the subject. Placing gender at the core of her work, questioning cultural expectations and representations of the female form. Burrows’ work is enlightening, refreshing, and genuine.
Clarke creates illustrative prints of architectural landmarks and remains passionate about the developing urban environment. His conscious efforts to produce art in the most sustainable way is what makes his work so unique. Using non-toxic, water-based inks, and 100% recycled paper. Clarke’s prints are simple, skilled and beautiful.
Intern, Boutique London