Here at the Affordable Art Fair, along with making New Year resolutions and setting exciting goals for the year ahead, we’re getting hot under the collar predicting the creative trends that 2018 will have in store for us.
And because we are the caring, sharing type, we have collected the hottest art trend tips from six of our Fair Directors and Managers to share with you in one handy blog.
With art-market expertise coming from six unique international cultures, their 2018 predictions are a celebration of contemporary creative diversity and skill, with something to excite the even the most challenging of artistic palettes.
Read on to keep your finger on the pulse in 2018:
Luci Noel, Fair Director, London Hampstead
Battersea Spring: 7 - 11 March 2018
Hampstead: 10 - 13 May 2018
Battersea Autumn: 18 - 21 October 2018
We’ve seen a serious homage to craftsmanship amongst our recent graduates this autumn and we’re predicting bigger and better things for 2018! Focusing on the quality of design and work created meticulously by hand, craftsmanship has been brought firmly into the twentieth century by a whole host of artists.
With an unmistakable contemporary twist, recent graduate Romily Alice Walden’s stunning neon nude sculptures that featured in the Battersea Autumn Collection embodied modern day craftsmanship at its finest. Romily’s work and the materials she has chosen, playfully question the role of craft in a digital age, as she dedicates her time in the studio to producing all of her neon sculptures by hand.
We also selected the work of Rudolf Romero to feature in our Recent Graduates’ Exhibition 2017, whose practice uses a nineteenth century wet plate colloidal technique to capture a thoroughly modern looking 3D rendered glass sphere (check out the blog header image!). We were stunned by Romero's commitment to such a traditional and time-consuming technique in 2017 and see it as confirmation that craftsmanship is well and truly on its way back!
Stockholm: 11 - 14 October 2018
As Scandinavian’s, we have an in-built compass that is constantly searching for light, brightness and everything fresh. In 2018, however, all signs indicate that this will be the year we turn away from the light and bright, towards the warm and cosy, dark colours and jewel tones in artworks that will breathe personality and uniqueness into your home. Also, unconventional colour combinations, that would traditionally have raised an eyebrow are everywhere; black and blue, red and pink, yellow and purple.
Alongside these impactful palettes we are seeing an increased mixture of techniques and materials, whether in an individual piece or a display technique. We are not afraid of positioning photographs of family and friends next to an oil painting from the 18th century, and a contemporary print, all on the same wall. In homes of all shapes and sizes, from a student crib to a grand old house, there is a movement away from perfect organisation, in favour of celebrating individual creative expression, in which art has a central role.
Singapore: 15 - 18 November 2018
Ink on paper has long-been the dominant medium used throughout the East, usually traditional monochromatic pieces, in black or brown against a white negative space. More recently, watercolour, which is a similar technique, has been embraced by contemporary artists in Singapore. In a fusion of the traditional and modern, we are seeing an increase in artworks that are influenced by multiple methods, which I predict will continue to grow in 2018.
This marriage of the traditional and contemporary is a cultural-reflection of Asian identity; we are in an era where we both celebrate our roots but also embrace modernity. The traditional ink on rice paper, with its intricate skilled techniques has evolved into watercolour works on thicker paper with larger gestural markings. We are also beginning to see more colour in the previously monochromatic palette.
A great example is the work of Aaron Gan, a watercolourist represented by Utterly Art Gallery. His body of work ranges from monochromatic, pieces with one or two subtle colours added in, through to full colour works. Aaron also choose modern subjects such as the iconic housing blocks (HDB) of Singapore.
Fair Director, New York Fall
New York Spring: 22 - 25 March 2018
New York Fall: 27 - 30 September 2018
We’re really excited about the colour trend reports for the interior design and fashion industries for 2018, as we’re are heading into a year of bold and bright colours to make us smile. I think we will see bold wall colours in cold tones that want to be complimented with bright and warm colours. This makes me instantly think of painter Tim Garwood’s work, which I can perfectly see as a statement piece on bold, saturated wall colour.
I truly believe Tim is an artist to watch, his work shows dedication and continuity, which is always something I look for in an artist to invest in. His approach to methods and materials is completely unique and I think we will see him continue to push the boundaries of contemporary painting.
Don’t miss Tim’s work at the Spring edition of Affordable Art Fair NYC.
Hong Kong: 18 - 20 May 2018
In Hong Kong, we think 2018 will be all about prints, prints and more prints, especially for customers that are at the start of their collecting journey. The diversity within this category is amazing, with multitudes of techniques from screen printing, linocut or engraving, through to the amazing variety of colours, styles and subject matters. We work with galleries such as Hong Kong’s Odd One Out, who not only specialise in printed works, they also aim to help bring art into Hong Kong homes with their range of affordable prints including works by Kyoto Imazu, Don Mak and Charlotte Farmer.
Just looking at these three artists alone you can see a huge variety of styles and techniques. Kyoto Imazu creates beautifully detailed etchings of nature, imaginary worlds and fairytale creatures. Charlotte Farmers handmade screen prints are bright graphic works featuring unexpected characters, conversations or sounds. Illustrator Don Mak works in Chinese ink and watercolours which he digitally modifies and then prints using giclee and photo etching techniques. Phew! Inspired by Hong Kong culture, his work is a mix of cityscapes, corner scenes and amusing characters.
Amsterdam: 1 - 4 November 2018
This year in Amsterdam we noticed a couple of galleries showing works involving toys. Lego, Barbie, Spongebob – there was a whole cast of universal pop culture characters on show and they were delighting children and experienced art collectors in equal measure. One of the highlights of the fair was Jaski Gallery’s work by Miguel Delie showing a mish mash, melting figures.
There are so many reasons why we think this trend will grow in 2018; its fun, has decorative appeal, it has strong aesthetic ties with of street art which is booming globally, it has ‘big name’ champions such as Kaws and Pharrell Williams who was an early champion and curated This is not a toy in 2014 at the Toronto Design Exchange, it’s happening in luxury fashion with brands like Fendi’s ‘monsters’ and Prada’s ‘robot’ keyrings, and finally it has critical edge – inviting us to evaluate how younger generations are shaped by the messages toys and the entertainment industry direct to them.
We hope that our Fair Directors and Managers have inspired you with diverse trends, techniques, colours and subjects – wishing you a creative 2018!
Rudolf Romero, "In Pursuit of a Linear Connection", wet plate collodion (ambrotype), 26 x 30cm. £2400.
Artworks from first to last:
Romily Alice Walden, "Utopias (IRL/URL)", mixed media instillation, dimensions vary, £5000 per neon body.
Per Jansson Mäkleri, apartment in Villa Lagercrantz, 2017.
Aaron Gan, "Two of a kind", watercolour on paper, 66 x 101 cm, Utterly Art Gallery.
Tim Garwood, "Hooligan", 2017, mixed media, 39 x 46in, $6500, Alicia David Contemporary.
Don Mak, "Sunset Dragon City", 2016, METHOD, 50x70cm, Edition of 20, HK$4900, Odd One Out Gallery.
Miguel Delie, "Pop Rocks", 2016, mixed media on panel, 120 x 95 x 35cm, €PRICE, Jaski Gallery.