Affordable Art Fair believes the artwork on our walls should be an extension of ourselves. For the New York Spring 2016 campaign we joined forces with design duo, Hollister and Porter of Hovey Design, artist, Anna Church of Colab-Collective, one of our exhibitors from Toronto, Canada, and model, Jaselyn Blanchard to develop our idea. Samuel Morgan, our steadfast photographer, then took the sum of all our parts and combined them into a masterpiece.
Step One: Find the perfect piece of artwork.
Step Two: Assemble a talented mixture of creative minds to bring the artwork to life.
Designer, Hovey Design
Sisters, Hollister and Porter Hovey, teamed up in 2011 to create Hovey Design that focuses on interiors that reflect the experiences of their inhabitants, with personalised flourishes that resonate for all who enter these unique spaces. Together we came up with the theme, “Concrete Jungle,” and from there, it was up to the sisters to create the environment for the photo shoot.
What was different about the set and design for this campaign compared to other photo shoots that take place at your apartment?
We do a lot of our photo shoots in our apartment, so we looked to Anna Church’s sculptograph, The Botanist, to inspire our imagination. Since we have much more furniture than any NYC apartment should, we were able to pick awesome pieces from our collection to provide the decor that would match with this artwork. The only things we ended up needing to add were a few plants!
How do you express yourselves visually or with artwork in your own home?
Our apartment is a collection of pieces from all of our travels and a lot of it is art. Our art documents our various travels, our friends, our own creative releases along side photographs and other works that belonged to our family. Each piece tells our story. A favourite piece is a life-sized portrait of a hunter that our mother found in a Kansas City antiques shop. He hung prominently in the living room of our childhood home and now hangs in our apartment. Not only does it remind us of the hours of searching for treasures in various antique stores with our mother, but also about various school dances where he stood as a backdrop for photos, and now of our time in New York City.
It seems like elements of fantasy or surrealism are incorporated into a lot of your designs, is this a reflection of your personalities?
For every project we work on we like coming up with a backstory – it helps us re-imagine our space, create the design and visualize the photo shoot. It’s important to put yourself into others’ shoes and imagine what it’s like to be them and how they would portray their space. This ability gives our work a different dimensionality.
Artist, Anna Church Toronto-based artist, Anna Church, uses a variety of objects to create her one of a kind sculptographic works that play on the whimsical objects that are collected. Exhibiting with Colab-Collective, Anna has bought her limited-edition prints to the New York masses for the last two years at the Affordable Art Fair.
How does it feel to have your sculptograph in the campaign for Affordable Art Fair NYC?
It’s a pretty cool feeling! Since releasing The Botanist she has struck a cord and the right ‘vibe’ with collectors and interior designers alike. Catching the eye of the discerning Affordable Art Fair NYC team presents a wonderful opportunity for me to showcase her appeal even more! You like to work with the theme of individuality.
How is your individuality evident in your artwork? How is your individuality incorporated into the design of your home?
I am a total enthusiast when it comes to introducing individuality into a home and the art we choose to surround ourselves with – it’s almost a mantra for me! My home is an extension and reflection of my family, my personality and style. I see it almost as a vessel to carry memories and things of importance to us. Like any artist, my expression is unique to me. My work often explores social identity – how we choose to fit in or stand out, the groups we belong to and identify with. I am influenced by nostalgia, inspirational interiors and conversations. I’m happiest when left to my own devices to create my sculptographic artworks in my studio … and then there’s the joy of releasing them out into the world and watching them resonate. I love seeing my artwork hang in the homes of my beautiful, engaged art and interior design appreciators! Animals are the focal point of more than one of your series.
Can you explain why they’re important in your work?
This is true of two series I’ve created ‘Impermanence’ (the Zebra) and ‘Out of Time’ (the Bison) – both were an exploration of social identity and addressed my favourite themes of individuality, the cyclical nature of time and mortality. Animals have a great way of engaging and striking a cord with us on another level. We are able to see personality and compassion in them, making them approachable and admirable. These two series made me step away from my ‘mainstay’ Sculptography style and form and in doing so, gifted me much joy in the process of their creation. Model/Actress, Jaselyn Blanchard Part Brooklynite/part Texan, Jaselyn Blanchard is a dancer, actress and model who has extensive experience in the performing arts. She brought with her a professional approach and fun personality that completed our vision and brought the campaign together.
Do you and the character featured in the campaign share any qualities?
For me personally, the character in this campaign is me—Jaselyn Blanchard. Any character I take on, whether it be on stage or in film, photographs, or an audio recording, the qualities I bring to the table originate from my own personal essence. Home has always been extremely important to me. No matter where I’ve lived, I’ve always loved decorating a home and displaying art and all pieces that are important to my heart. Therefore, it was easy to see that the woman in the campaign knows what she likes and takes great care to make sure her home is exactly how she desires. She isn’t decorating her home out of a catalogue—it’s distinctively hers. Isn’t that what we should all want our homes to be?
How has your experience in performing arts influenced any of the visual art with which you use to design your home?
Through the characters I play, the shows I produce or plays I write, I’m offered the incredible opportunity to tell someone else’s story. I want the viewer to resonate, to feel something and make them think. I want to be full of impact and perhaps their life will be different if because of it. My art is bright, bold, gutsy, brave, full of heart, which is the story of me, Jaselyn.
How did you become familiar with Affordable Art Fair New York?
After I graduated from the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company Masters Program with my MFA in acting, I came to NYC. In between auditions and theatre work, I began working in the art fair production industry where I was exposed to a lot great fairs in NYC. I was drawn to the Affordable Art Fair NYC specifically because I could actually purchase the art. It provided such a wonderful opportunity for me to see works from all corners of the globe at a price point that I could actually afford! Affordable Art Fair NYC has a life force, an energy like no other fair. That’s what keeps me coming back every year.
Photographer, Samuel Morgan
You have now done EIGHT photo shoots with the Affordable Art Fair. If you had to describe this campaign in one word, what would it be?
One word for this campaign… I’d have to go with: Growth. Second runner up would be: Blossom.