The Other Art Fair

I was taken by some friends to meet a friend of theirs who was having an exhibition in Holborn. Turns out she’s exhibiting at The Other Art Fair in Victoria House Southampton Row, WC1. It’s actually not somewhere I’d planned on going, having been for so many years with Daniel and always ending up hot, sticky and bored…though the walk back to the gallery was always fun.

By the time I realised where I was it was too late to back out so I resigned myself to a couple of hours of tight squeezes, bag bumping & gasping for air. Entering the foyer I discovered myself smiling, Graeme Messer’s mirrors with ‘me me me me me’ or  ‘I love this Motherfucker’ etched in the glass may not be the most original idea on the planet but Hell, I enjoyed them.

We made our way to stand #40, Ali King, (she’s the friend of the friends) who has been described as a ‘contemporary nude & botanical photographer’ which, I think, sounds quite shallow. There is, in fact, a lot more depth to the work than just naked women with flowers and whilst she admits to ‘some’ post production, it’s obvious that she’s a talented photographer who knows how to light an image.

We then headed for stand #59 and the wonderful Delphine Lebourgeois who’s work D & I have championed since 2007 when she had her first solo show with us and who’s voice is our answer machine recording. Her illustrative, collage work piqued our interest as graphic designers and her irreverence sat well with Daniel. Over the years she’s honed her skills to create a fascinatingly unique style. All three of the friends I was with own artworks by her and as we’ve never been able to sell crap, she must be good. Here she has collaborated with friend and artist Elisabeth Lecourt.

www.graememesser.com
aliking.uk
www.delphinelebourgeois.com

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All images are the copyright of the artist
Other artists who’s work stood out among the dross were:
Anita Owsianna (Stand#51) – www.saatchiart.com/anitaowsianna
Collaged corrugated cardboard on canvas (unintentional tongue twister) – Mostly black and white. Derivative of Johns, Rauschenberg etc. obviously why I was drawn to it.

Bridget Davies (Stand #29) – www.bridgetdaviesart.co.uk
Stylised 40s & 50s fashion sketches in acrylic ink with gold leaf – coming, originally, from a fashion background this type of work always intrigues me.

Elle Kaye (Stand #33) – www.ellekayetaxidermy.co.uk
A contemporary take on taxidermy – not necessarily to everyone’s taste but actually quite beautiful.

Jo Beattie (Stand #24) – www.jobeattie.com
Machine embroidered portrait sketches – get your head round that one!

Merab Surviladze (Stand #31) – www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-SHADOWS/741037/3231120/view
Mostly, I think, oil on canvas, crowd scenes from above. The shadows are definitely people shaped but the people are blobs of paint with no definition. – Intriguing but I’m not sure how long it would hold my attention for.

The Other Art Fair continues until 2nd April so be quick if your going and I think you should!
www.theotherartfair.com

BlackLine – Stasha Lewis

Last night (March 9th, 2017) I was at Stasha Lewis’s exhibition, BlackLine, at 10 Hanover Street. I will admit it was a huge struggle to get there, it’s only a short walk from the A&D but it was the first event I’d been to where, normally, both of us would attend. I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own, turns out I could and I’m really glad I did.
 
Stasha is one of those artists who has the ability to surprise. Each body of work is different from the last, which can be a little difficult for those who like to pigeonhole artists. Her style change does not come from a lack of confidence in her own work or a butterfly mind, jumping from one idea to the next – though butterflies were what she showed with us all those years ago. Instead, each project is well thought out, structured and planned prior to execution.
BlackLine, in her own words “…is very simple. I thought about a line…A stretch of thin black against white…that could shape a curve, a length or a circle…A circle by us mere mortals is never perfect, just as good as we can make it.”
 
thesmoker
The work, at first glance, does indeed appear ‘simple’ but the depth of emotion she manages to impart with just a few basic lines is quite staggering. ‘The Reader’, for example, evokes serenity and calm whilst ‘The Kiss’ makes your heart jump with excitement and anticipation.
 
There is a nod to Matisse and Picasso with her oversimplified outlines, except her images have no colour which make them, for me anyway, less confusing. It really does go to show that ‘less is more’, though I think that’s probably a phrase Stasha’s purposefully tried to avoid.
 
Daniel was a huge fan of her work (we both are) and he would have really enjoyed this exhibition.
 
http://www.stasha-art.co.uk/index.html
The Smoker (pictured)