It’s Art Fair Season! October is a key month for fairs in London, at all levels of the industry; from the spectacular phenomenon of Frieze, to the more shoppable - and less intimidating - Affordable Art Fair. Fairs are buzzy and exciting - but can sometimes feel overwhelming. Here are my top tips for how to make the most of the experience, and find the perfect artwork for you…
Come prepared. Do some advanced research!
Go to the art fair’s website and take a look at the exhibitors participating. Find the galleries whose work most resonates with you, and then dig deeper and learn about specific artists. You’ll walk into the fair knowing where you’ll want to spend most of your time, and with a handful of questions to learn more.
Make friends. Speak with the gallerists/artists.
Gallerists are a wealth of knowledge and will gladly wax poetic about their artists and the artwork on sale. Don’t be afraid! They know that not everyone is ready to buy, and will enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion with you. There are many collectors who are there to learn… just like you.
Use your camera. Take pictures of the artwork & note the gallery/title.
Take your time to walk around and absorb everything. Take photos of the artworks you love, and see where your own taste lies! Be sure to snap the exhibition card which will note the gallery name, artist and title of the work. That way, you’ll be able to refer to it later – even after the fair, if you decide not to make a purchase in the moment.
Note your reactions. Buy what you love.
Most importantly, listen to your gut! If you walk away from a work and 10 minutes later start panicking that someone else may get it before you, that’s a sure sign in my book. Always purchase artwork based on your emotional reaction, rather than on what you consider to be its worth. The most valuable works are those that bring you joy every day.
After Nyne Contemporary will be at Stand E3 at the forthcoming Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park from 20-24 October.