What’s that noise in the distance? If you listen hard, you’ll find it’s the sound of wedding bells! Yes, despite the many restrictions that have hampered the past year, weddings of all shapes and sizes are re-starting. Some may be smaller than initially planned, but each is sure to be just as special for the happily married-to-be couple.
Did you know that the average couple marrying is now nearly in their mid-30s and have been together for nearly 4 years? So, when you think about it, what they most likely don’t need from you is another toaster or towel set… But what do they need? We’re not saying it’s a competition but if you’re a wedding guest who fancies standing out from the crowd, the gift of art can be a sure-fire way to win the coveted Friend of the Year award.
So, read on for our advice on how to plan for that arty gift, plus get inspired with a selection of artworks tailored to their tastes:
KNOW THY LOVED-UP AUDIENCE
In order to give the gift of art, you’ll need to know the people you are giving it to reasonably well. But fear not! We are here to guide you on that path to best wedding gift ever. Hold tight:
First! Know your audience. Do they love sports, travel or tiny dogs?
Second! Know their tastes. Think back to trips to their house and take note – does their interior décor style tip towards midcentury modern, urban, classic or full of stripes…?
Third! Do they have any artwork already and what’s the vibe – photography? Pop art? Still Life?
ARTY GIFTS TO INSPIRE YOU
Now you’re all set to take a turn around the Affordable Art Fair online marketplace. You can tailor your search by portraits, still lifes or prints, and then use the filter to drill down by colour, price or even size. To get you started we’ve rounded up a selection of artwork based on 5 popular interests, so there is sure to be something to inspire the perfect present.
ART FOR ANIMAL LOVERS
- At first look, award-winning photographer Tim Flach’s stunning C-Type, Stoic Point, has a very classic country house vibe to it but the stylised composition gives it a contemporary edge. I can’t imagine a dog lover who wouldn’t go crazy for this.
- Charlotte Farmer’s Double Trouble Cat Crackers is sure to call to any cat lover, and loudly if the artwork is to be believed! We love that this pair of featured felines are doing what cats do best: internally deriding you whilst looking smug from afar.
- Jack Rabbit by Naomi Jones ticks both the animal lover and botanical illustration box in this narrative, meditative mandala-like painting.
ART FOR THE COUPLE WITH WANDERLUST
- In 2020, Brides Magazine, after examining more than 1 million Instagram posts, put Brooklyn Bridge as the third most popular place in the world to pop the question. This means Lars Tunebo’s Tripping in America should hit the spot and keep it’s viewers smiling for years to come.
- Women Fetching Water After a Storm by Daniel Novela is a bucolic, romantic view across South African plains but it’s impressionistic style is very reminiscent of the classic English painter John Constable.
- Japanese Bicycles 47 is a non-traditional take on travel photography. Benjamin Rice’s whole series of beautiful vintage bikes is an unexpected observation of the nuances of Japanese culture and exterior design.
ART FOR THE SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS
- There is a reason the acronym MAMIL (or Middle Aged Man in Lycra) went viral in 2010. Cycling is one of the most popular sports in the UK. No doubt in part due to the success of Team Sky in the Tour de France. So it’s no surprise that many couples love cycling together, making Katie Edwards’ super affordable prints, such as this one, perfect.
- Meanwhile Gareth Griffth’s sculpture Kalk Bay is influenced by his love of surfing.
- And if swimming is their thing then Bill Bate’s Blue Azure (Ascension) would be a wonderfully dreamy take on the sport.
ART FOR THE ROMANTICS
- I’m presuming the couple you are buying for are in love. Surely that’s a pretty universal thing about getting married? Natasha Barnes’s Homeward bound might not explicitly be about love, but it’s messy, delicate, organic feel remind us of what that first flush of newly-wed-dom feels like.
- Heart, Bunkers del Carmel, Barcelona by Samuel Hicks can broadly be described as, ‘if Instagram did love!’. Perfect.
- A cornerstone of the Valentines card market, Rob Ryan’s paper cuts are iconic and in demand. This print of This Would Be My Life Without You epitomizes love.
ART FOR YOUR COOL MATES
- One of the most anticipated exhibitions of 2020 was the major retrospective of German painter Gerhard Richter’s major retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA, which was heartbreakingly cut short due to the pandemic. But this doesn’t stop us appreciating the surge in artwork which nods in that direction. Allan Storer is one such man, with big 20th century influences running throughout his work. Derive is one which has a particular Richter ring to it.
- Textile based artworks are another big trend. We like Swipe Right by Niki McDonald (especially apt if the couple in question met online) which would work really well in an eclectic and vintage inspired home. i.e. my house. Please!
- Abstract Expressionism continues to be a huge trend in interiors on everything from lamps to blankets, crockery to cushions. Any of Chowwai Cheung’s collographs will do but I’ll take Untitled 58, perhaps with a side order of Untitled 57. Because these beauts would look incredible in pairs.
We hope this collection of interest inspired suggestions helps to whet your appetite for an art-focused wedding gift. To dive into the 1000s of works on our online marketplace simply follow the link below.
Main image: Love in is in the air at our Hampstead Heath fair.