In this #myaffordableart blog, we look at art-adorned walls from New York to Australia. Our team of art-collectors explain the inspiration behind their purchases – ranging from the solace found through the great outdoors to nautical-themed dreaminess. Read on for more…
ALAN KOH, Fair Director, Singapore
During a gallery visit before Affordable Art Fair Singapore 2018, I chanced on this small acrylic on newspaper and canvas by Nguyen Tuan Dung, a young emerging Vietnamese artist that is represented by ArtBlue Studio. I’ve been a fan of this artist since ArtBlue Studio introduced his works a few years ago, as I’m fascinated by the technique he uses to apply paint and the way his artworks feature the everyday objects he sees around him. I didn’t realise that he produced smaller works! Lesson learnt - always ask the gallery, they are a fountain of knowledge!
Although it is a seemingly simple painting, it allows me a glimpse into the artist’s mind – daily objects, made sharp and colourful, hint at a personal connection with the people who own them; his encounters and interactions in the social life of Vietnam set against the global stage (painting on newspaper draws on this metaphor), how it is small yet part of a bigger world. It reminds me that we are just a small grain on a global scale, and not to sweat the small stuff. What a good daily reminder!
GEORGIA HUESTIS, Fair Producer, Australia
I acquired these two pieces by Rose Blake from Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, who is a regular exhibitor at Affordable Art Fair’s around the world. As an avid art lover, Rose’s museum-scapes immediately caught my eye.
Each digitally-designed character in her studies forms a quirky narrative. The art on the museum walls, which Rose hand paints or embellishes, brings with it its own history. The striking red triangle in the top piece is a one-off screen print, and in the bottom piece is a collaged artwork in a more muted pastel palette.
Her imagined museums become playful forums of human interaction and popular culture which capture the busy hum of an art fair and those intimate moments shared. A young girl puts down her jade green backpack to take a photograph of an enlarged lemon on a plinth, a young couple wearing matching striped-jumpers are in awe of the scale of the artwork, and a gentleman places his arm around his partner’s waist as they look up at a mobile – a nod to American sculptor Alexander Calder.
I originally bought one piece from the gallery, and soon afterwards couldn’t resist adding the second to my collection. Who knows I may need to make it a trio!
LISA COOK, Global Designer
My husband and I bought our first house together in November and we suddenly had a lot more wall space to fill, having previously only lived together in one-bedroom flats (and a van)! So when my parents very generously gave us some money for our wedding to start our art collection with, we were super excited to spend a day at the Battersea Spring fair, choosing something that we both loved.
Shopping for art together could have been quite an ordeal - my husband tends to be drawn to busier, brighter artworks, whereas I always fall for whimsical, muted works. But Dan Hillier’s ‘Lunar Seas’ immediately drew us both in as the intricate detail and nautical theme appealed to my husband, and I love the dreamlike feel and endless questions that the work raises in my mind. Is he a sea God controlling the oceans, or a fisherman called Neville?
Rupert Harding-Newman, Chief Operating Officer
It may sound strange, but it isn’t often that I get a chance to properly look at the art while visiting our fairs around the world. I try to sneak a peak in the quiet moments before opening time, and it was on one such occasion at the Battersea Autumn 2018 fair that this particular piece by Dion Salvador Lloyd stopped me in my tracks. I love its movement and moodiness, which remind me of stormy days spent on the Northumberland coast. I have a passion for being in the great outdoors, often battling the elements, and am lucky enough to live in a part of the world where it is relatively easy to lose oneself in nature’s enormity. Looking around the walls at home I can see this reflected in many of the pieces I have bought over the years, including works by Hester Berry and Jonathan Pocock.
We all lead such busy lives these days, our minds a constant whirl of activity, which makes it even more important to have art we love around our homes that makes us stop for a moment and calm our thoughts in reflection.
Veronica Petty, US Communications Manager
The first piece of art that I purchased at Affordable Art Fair was bought just after my first Affordable Art Fair NYC in Fall 2018. Managing the communications for the fair, I love getting a sneak peek at the artworks and reading all the incredible stories about the artists and their works. So, although I’m pretty much falling in love with art all day in the office, there is nothing that beats seeing an artwork in person and speaking to the gallery or artist personally about a piece. It makes a special difference and allows you to really picture the work in your home. I had this very experience when I came across Teresa Roche’s mixed-media watercolours on the Miller Gallery stand.
Director, Sarah Miller, approached me in her stand as I was taking some pictures for our social channels and we got chatting about the series of work that I found so intriguing. I learned that Teresa had a background in dance and how she approaches each fresh surface as a choreographer orchestrating a dance, which explains why her works on paper look like a jazz-inspired rhythm — with just the right amount of unpredictability.
What I think makes this artwork so cool, is that it actually has a 3-dimensional glaze over it which turns what would be a simple abstract watercolor, into a really interesting piece with depth and reflection that looks amazing – unfortunately it’s really difficult to capture in a photo! I was attracted to how many textures were used on a relatively small piece of work and yet it still appears minimal, each color and line having its own place. Sarah gave some great insights into the artist and was so patient with me as I debated which to buy, because I loved them all! I ended up buying two which hang next to each other above my bed and I love how much they brighten the room.
Whatever your reasons for connecting with a piece of art, whether it be the subject, the insight into an artist’s perspective, the physicality of texture and technique, or even the small detail of a jade green backpack – we hope your walls are filled with creative gems that bring you daily joy.
However, if you’re still hunting for that perfect piece, you're in luck! We've created a curated collection of artworks inspired by our arty-team’s good taste - just follow the link below.
Don't forget to use the hashtag #myaffordableart and tag us on Instagram - we love hearing all about the artworks that have captured your hearts and transformed your interiors.