COMPANY Picks From Affordable Art Fair

COMPANY Picks From Affordable Art Fair

(May 06, 2011) For many years I have heard the following dialogue amongst serious collectors: Question – “Other than price, what unifies the art and artists presented at the Affordable Art Fair NYC?” Answer – “Not much.”

And to a great degree this has what kept the amateur hour moniker firmly affixed to the AAF. But this year the show management at least made a significant attempt to add some thematic connectivity by adding the Art X Women, a special section of nine galleries that will feature work only from female artists. There is a growing and much deserved interest in feminist art, including recent large-scale exhibits at MoMA PS1, the Centre Pompidou, and the Brooklyn Museum. AAF will further the support for women artists with this featured section and is also presenting special installations, programming, and a Recent Graduate section in conjunction with Art x Women. “We are extremely proud to highlight female artists with Art x Women, and have been delighted to collaborate with a leader in the field, A.I.R. Gallery, on the project” says Judith Pineiro, Director of AAF NYC, "Right now there's a growing enthusiasm and interest in work by women artists, and following up on some really great shows recently featuring women artists, we wanted to help further the cause because they do tend to be underrepresented in galleries," said art fair director Judith Pineiro. And for every dollar a male artist earns, female artist earns 67 cents? Still true?

Anyway, I want to congratulate the AAF for highlighting such inequity and whether they planned it or not, it was this little bit of curatorial effort that provided the fair with its most compelling art. Most of my AAF COMPANY Picks are from the Art X Women section such as:


Rena Teratani @ Kris Graves Projects - Rena Teratani was born in Osaka, Japan and has lived in New York since her immigration. Her artwork deals with self- identification; which is her major conflict. Teratani’s experience allows her to see things from two perspectives. Teratani's work deals with the idea of social complexity and her feelings of anxiety in American culture. Mainly rigid in structure and at other points free; Teratani's intent is to advocate her constant struggle ; which is her search for social acceptance.

 Chitra Ganesh @ Institute for Women and Art - born in Brooklyn, New York, where she currently lives and works. She graduated from Brown University in 1996 with a BA in Comparative Literature and Art Semiotics. In 2001 Ganesh attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received her MFA from Columbia University in 2002. For the past several years, her work across media seeks to excavate buried narratives typically excluded from official canons of history, literature, and art.

Keun Young Park @ Accola Griefen - Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, based in Brooklyn, Keun Young Park holds a MFA in Sculpture, and a BFA in Sculpture from Seoul National University, Korea. Park has created mixed media collages made of photographs cut into thousands of tiny pieces which she then re-assembles onto paper where they are then mounted and framed under glass. Her recent works of micro- collage and paper mosaic capture the tremor of unstable presence. Park takes pictures of parts of the body or face, changes the color and saturation of those images by photoshopping, prints them out on paper, then tears the pictures and pastes them back together piece-by-piece.

Painstakingly, she creates images of people morphing gradually into trees and flora, their bodies magically transformed into composites of the human and of natural elements. Of her process, Park says: “In my work, I reflect upon the astatic character of existence in the flow of time as well as the opposite sides of nature - negative and positive, construction and destruction, presence and absence, and life and death. I believe that everything is constantly changing, either being generated or destroyed.”


  Evzen Sobek @ Pictura Gallery - Life in Blue," Evzen Sobek's most recent series, depicts a formerly nomadic group that has settled around a reservoir in the Czech Republic, concentrating on the members' leisure-time activities. Sobek's work is full of visual contradictions that give it a unique emotional resonance. The imagery has both an ephemeral delicacy and a heavy sturdiness that is achieved through his use of color. Sobek fills the majority of the frame with a soft blue that gives a sense of fragility. On the other hand, his use of the square format gives the composition a feeling of bulkiness and weight. To describe a people that live a lifestyle of impermanence he creates a world void of any context but the lake.




The Affordable Art Fair runs from May 5 to May 8, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


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