On Wednesday I went to London to visit the 'Affordable Art Fair', this is something I have long wanted to do but each year something else crops up and I never manage to go. I must admit that the prospect of going to the City is also something that deters me, which is strange after having spent most of my life working in various parts of London. I suppose that I have become something of a 'country bumpkin'.
The chances are that I wouldn't have made the visit this year but for the fact that I had to return
some of the incredible paintings by David Shanahan and a sculpture by Beth Carter, both who were showing there on different stands.
The fair is a very prestigious event and last night the private view was even more so, I enjoyed myself "rubbing shoulders" with the rich and famous and I would have had an even better time
enjoying the free cocktails had I not been facing such a long drive home.
It was a very 'interesting' evening and I'm glad that I went.
As a gallery owner I actually get very little time to visit other galleries and it becomes hard to gauge where you stand in the scheme of things. With our own gallery all that I can see each day are the things that are wrong and that bother me, and I have yet to sit back and think "this place is good", all the time I want to change and improve not just the quality of the work but the gallery itself. I think in terms of the gallery I will never be satisfied, but last night it put in
perspective for me the quality of the art we show. When I say 'art' by that I mean paintings, photography, sculptures, ceramics and just the general mixture of work that we are lucky to have and show.
Walking around for the third time at the Fair it finally occurred to me " we are better than most people here", which sounds very egotistical, but it's not that, it was about the artist/makers
that have taken a chance with us and believe in what we are trying to do, and it is the fact that they have the belief in us which makes it all possible, so a big thank you to those that have helped and stuck with us over the years.
For the first time, today back in the gallery I have thought " I think we are going to go somewhere".
All this aside, what was the most interesting for me at the Fair was a sculptor that I came across 'Antonio Lopez Reche' who was sharing a stand with some other sculptors.
Ever since childhood I have been obsessed with mythology, on occasions art that relates to it is shown in the gallery, in fact a couple of years ago we had an exhibition 'LEGEND' devoted to it. So it would be easy to understand why I was drawn to the work by Antonio.
What seemed strange was that I was returning one 'Minotaur' by Beth Carter only to discover
another artist working in a very similar style whose work we hope to be showing soon.
Above I have shown a few pieces of their sculpture , the top three are by Beth.
I like both there styles.
What the evening did do was to give me the determination that next year
I would be back, but this time not to look.