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Black Girl on the Front Row!

Tag: FAIR

“A FAIR TO REMEMBER!”

I’ll say this

…for now, only once (with advance apologies for repetition to the affirmative, in future posts!), but, with regard to fairs of the Fine Art ilk, 2014 has, to my mind, been the strongest year, yet.

From ‘Works On Paper’ at the awe-inspiring Science Museum, ‘The Other Art Fair’, (or TOAF), with its ever-edgy takeovers, at The Old Truman Brewery and Ambika P3, through to ‘The Independent Artist Fair’, (or TIAF, not to be confused with TOAF!), only the pitch-of-a-stone from Brick Lane and encouragingly organic and lo-fi, the common denominator has been the ability to maintain creative integrity for all artists involved, whilst simultaneously harnessing the entrepreneurial energy, worthy of a well-loved and respected developing ‘cottage industry’ template.

Take, for example, the aforementioned, ‘TOAF’.

It stays cerebrally locked since, in one fell swoop, its Director, Ryan Stanier, has successfully orchestrated a move to combine the best of the Creative Arts and simultaneously do away with the stereotypes of a world, exclusively inhabited by those of a certain socioeconomic background. Having attended a healthy amount of Private Viewings, it is clear to see that, as per the inclusive nature of the creative energy, itself, all walks are, not only welcomed and encouraged, but, in fact, vital to the lifeblood of this event-model. Founded in a desire to expose the wide range and eclecticism of Art at its highest level and reflected by the practitioners selected, the experience is paramount… Thus, the propostion of meeting and greeting with inspirational emerging and established talent, seeing their work within buildings which mirror the dynamism of the artistic energy they will house and adding culinary and musical fayre to maximise ‘the vibe’ (and rival any top London nightspot), becomes immensely exciting and enticing!

Let me make it clear, that the zeal-for-zeitgeist is not to the detriment of an authentic desire to simply share and engage on a holistic level. Kinetic to kinaesthetic, Stanier employs the diversity of Arts and crafts them into an authentic dialogue between maker and potential buyer, whilst managing to dissipate any pressure to consume, through the lively rendering of the backdrop of London culture. It is intense as it is genius! As if to compound the vision for ‘all-access-Art’, TOAF was a brand-partner at the recent ‘Off The Rails’ menswear event. Held, once again, at The Old Truman Brewery, it served to blow the doors off the image of an ‘apparel man-cave’, rather, embodying a treasure-trove of classic and contemporary collections for the modern man…Naturally, this was an absolutely perfect fit, vis-a-vis promoting the cross-fertilisation of complementary accoutrements for such lifestyles. Attending the four-day event was a distinct pleasure, made all-the-more amazing, by the speed of site-turnaround, given that the venue had played host to TOAF, less than a fortnight prior!

It is this marriage of a sensibility to multi-platform creative expression and a supreme logistical skillset, underpinned by sharp media-savvy and the pure passion of their manifestion, which has resulted in the rise of bringing art to the masses. If the round-the-block queue at TOAF’s last event was anything to go by, the popularity is only set to increase…meaning greater exposure to even greater artistic talent…and that is fine by me!!

©AFROW2014-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Other Art Fair

The Independent Artist Fair

Works On Paper Fair

Off The Rails

The Old Truman Brewery

‘MATT FORSTERs A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH WATERCOLOUR!’

Entering the ‘Über-Painting’ watercolour-world of Matt Forster, is akin to being surrounded by a hall of the most divine mirrors. You’ll find no tricks nor deviations, no jokes at your physical-expense, simply a wall-to-wall reflection of light and shade, masterfully manifested from his soul to your own. Something of the enigmatic follows your every move, at first, present in the means by which the colour seeps into the skin of the paper, then, subtly doing an ‘ole blue eyes’ and sliding beneath your own. In short, his pieces are, quite literally, a breathtaking testament to how intensively enmeshed Matt is with each one and a certain precursor to their effect upon the viewer.

My first Über-experience happened on a day of firsts, at ‘The Other Art Fair’*, whereupon, my inquisitive nature all but galloped a domino-falling tirade of questions, regarding how he did this and why he did that! Indeed, how he managed to answer anything fully, remains a mystery, but answer them, he did…I recall being rather surprised at the candid nature with which he revealed the intricacy of his ever-developing technique…  His website describes it thus, ‘An überpainting is like a silk  screen print in watercolour as they consist of between three and five layers of different coloured paint applied  independently and sequentially darker in tone. I mix colours from a  primary base and it is the application of these successive layers that  provides the images with the startling three dimensional impression.’** In real-time I was becoming further absorbed into the vortex of porous, primary-colour distinctions being reworked and, somewhat, wooed into place by the fluidity of its transparent, watery home. I came away, excited to see a similar aesthetic of simplified line, form and colour, in a new setting, as well as, feeling humbled by such a prolific ability to do so.

My most recent encounter was at ‘The London Illustration Art Fair’, yet another first of its kind! Underneath Hoxton Arches, gorged-to-the-gills with personifications of artesanal collaborations, it was a pleasure to revisit the British Isles through Matt’s viewfinder and, once again, become mesmerised by the works which, this time, seemed more pointedly abstract. But, as I was quickly shown-and-told, there was so much more where they came from, and goodness me, did I see some absolutely incredible examples! Now, I know that you’ll want me to select a favourite…but, quite frankly, I can’t choose just one! Instead, I’ll say that the more abstract, the better, in my book…purely because there is less room for cognitive predictive-processing and rather more space to ‘Sherlock’ the scenes. Just as the white spaces facilitate a void, so too, are you gently guided to feel, think or sense, or not, in your own time…That’s the best you’re going to get!

What I’ll go on to say, however, is that you cannot forego the chance to stand before Matt’s art. It is Über! Not only this, but the guile with which the movement is addressed, from wine-glass (naturally, for mixing purposes), to brush, to full-bleed hue, is so vividly witnessed within each vignette, as to encapsulate the rise-and-fall of a breathing planet. In the Über-painting studies, we have a journal of a Britain which is constantly in flux, thus a keepsake for our unique Isles and an intensely open-book, which grips you, from beginning, to end!

I am truly looking forward, with great expectation, to the next exhibited volume!

**www.mattjforster.com ~ www.facebook.com/MJForsterGallery ~ twitter.com/Matt_Forster/media

 www.thelondonillustrationfair.co.uk/

*afrow.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/an-east-end-love-affair/

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

***

TESTIMONIAL FROM MJ FORSTER

‘Here is a review of an exhibition of mine in London last month. Written by a very talented blogger…Thanks what an amazing article. You really get it! I’ll cut, paste and share it everywhere I can…’

   

‘AN EAST-END LOVE AFFAIR’….

So, yours truly has returned from swooping and dipping upon the mighty back of a modern-art and musical mistral! Just as this meteorological thermal is quickly-accompanied by clear and fresh weather, so too, has my mental after-party been partnered by crystallised, cognitive art-assimilation!

Utterly wooed have I been, by the dapper-gent of East London’s multi-disciplinary art-scene..and I have fallen for every magnificent manifestation, in both conscious and subconscious realms. Frankly, the area oozes creativity…. From urban to fine-art, street-style to avant-garde gear, old-skool to nu-skool, game-changing musical-movements, the E.C’s got it covered!

Invitational rose petals had already been fluttering my way, from ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’… as described in my subsequent post ‘The Arts go OFF-the-BEAT-en Track’… However, the tokens of affection have continued to adorn my artistic pathways in the guise of such events as ‘The Other Art Fair’*, which was another world, the adjoining ‘Moniker Art Fair’ which was brain-crunchingly breath-taking.. and a one-off video-launch of the effortlessly vibrant ‘Alpha Romeo’, from one of electro-pop’s finest purveyors, M.T!

We begin the beguine, under the industrial roof of ‘The Old Truman Brewery’, where I was one amongst an intense, rush-hour-sequence of excited visitors, weaving their way along corridors, bearing the brilliance of a superlative spectrum of talent, expressed through exhibits of painstaking-perseverance and time-honoured, yet idiosyncratic, technique.

Like a theramin, my heart-strings were plucked by the invisible fingers of visual-art, as a domino of pieces from emerging and established portfolios, brimful of imagery, alike, fell into the open arms of my anticipation. The beauty of these East-London flora had me fluttering from genus-to-genus of urban, photographic, live, printed, filmic, painted, embroidered, collaged, stencilled and oh-so-fine art media! In fact, at every turn, so high a standard of work was on display, that I wondered just how the respective gallerists had chosen which of their artists to showcase. ‘Was this how it felt to choose a favourite amongst a brood of children?’ I wondered! Well, the joy for me, was that I didn’t have to select… I simply succumbed to this ever-more enticing visual fayre, in all of its beauteous glory and let my internal, creative-chorale decipher its own descant of mounted offerings!

Thus, the coloratura of crystallised global-landscapes of Jaykoe, gave way to semi-quavers of surreal photographic re-interpretations of water by Angelika Spranger, in turn, complemented by M.J. Forster’s sotto voce, watercolour wonder-world, followed by the crescendo of Matt Small’s multi-layered car-bonnet creations, Keira Rathbone’s staccato, type-writer-work, the ralentando of 3-D relief, by the outstanding Jo Peel, the harmonies of acute attention-to-detail, wielded by Mark Powell’s pen-art and a collaborative coda of riffs-on-black-and-white, as manifested by Zeus and T.L.P, in their transplantations of outdoor urban-landscapes to indoor art-scapes! A relentless downbeat of hip-hop sonically-booming through the space, often caused my senses to intensely focus-pull upon each moment and, as the days progressed, the revelation dawned that, in fact, each moment was a happening, waiting to unravel… It took a second visit, on a comparatively calm Sunday afternoon, for my own voice to add its bespoke grace-notes, the result of which, are wrapped within this written solo.

Gifts from East-London did not come in the shape of objets d’arts, alone! Oh no! Indeed, my promenade was to continue along the Ridley Road market, to a video-premiere party at a delightfully quirky Carmen-Miranda-esque establishment, by the name of ‘Wu’s’. At personal invitation of synth-pop supremos, ‘M.T’ (which stands for ‘Many Things’), and in defiance of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Jude, I accepted… Well, after all, it would have been Wu’d not to!!

At first glance, what with all of the stalls neatly-housed for the night, you would have been forgiven for wondering whether you had taken an errant turning but I had faith in my East-London chaperone and my faith was duly rewarded with an evening of all-consuming fun, in an intimate atmosphere of warmth and hearty welcomes, more akin to a close-knit family gathering than that of an inaugural video-preview of a critically-acclaimed musical outfit! From the outset, Michael, the lead singer, was the perfect host…A willowy figure, with shoulder-length, chestnut-brown hair and deep pools of super-friendly, yet intense, eyes, he cut a dash in a three-quarter camel mac, opened just enough, to reveal a loose, black, scoop-necked jumpsuit, with its long sleeves hinting at the overcoat’s cuffs. Affectionately-known to his friends as the ‘white, fluffy, cloud’ because of his love of wearing white on-stage, it was evident that his quiet humility had long-inspired many of whom made up the guests that night. As the venue became increasingly filled, I sensed that the overriding energy revolving around the room was of friendship, support and love. The video, was joyfully reflective of just such emotion, evolving from band close-ups, to an all-out party-scene, featuring many of the people in the amassed crowd.  As I left, amidst a flurry of hugs, I remember feeling as if I had been some long-lost member of the family, at a celebratory reunion!

I walked into a waiting evening of sullen storm-clouds, apt for precipitation, M.T’s ‘Alpha Romeo’ the more-than-welcome sonic invasion into my soul’s soundtrack and a heartfelt acknowledgment that, whilst the whirlwind-of-wooing was over, this was no fly-by-night notion of affection. On the contrary, yours truly had been veritably won-over by my dapper-gent that is East London and marks the renaissance of a relationship, the kind of which, I am certain, will last forever.

© AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

www.monikerartfair.com : www.theotherartfair.com : www.pagetpr.com : www.mtmanythings.com

: www.facebook.com/ridleyroad (Wu’s)

*Heartfelt thanks to Paget PR for organising my invite to the amazing event!