The LA Art Show wasn’t the only art happening going on this past weekend Downtown. Just a hop over from the Convention Center was the Affordable Art Fair, held at the event deck (ahem, the top of a parking lot) at L.A. Live. The fair was modestly sized and had some decent things to show but was it that exciting? We’re still unsure about that
This was the group’s eleventh showing and it was OK. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good: just very OK. Here are some thoughts…
First off, the crux of the show is boasting affordable art for all to consume and snatch up, priced from “$100 to $10,000.” Of course, most of the art was at the tail end of the price range, making me wag a finger, mouthing, “In this economy?” at much of the work. Certainly, it was a younger and more affordable option to the LA Art Show’s swollen, college tuition rivaling prices for art; however, a lot of the art there was something you would save a few pennies to purchase. Here? Much of it was worth passing up, unfortunately, save for a very, very small handful.
Moreover, the price of admission was equally inflated, asking people for twenty dollars, more than one ticket to the Arclight and a cocktail at the same theater–and five dollars more than the LA Art Show. It didn’t seem very affordable either and not even the free issues of Paper Magazine could make up for it (which, like the New York Times booth, was manned by invisible people who definitely were not very helpful). It was dumbfounding that there wasn’t a 20X200 table or something from local artists: it was just galleries with really OK things to share, none of which were particularly alluring or inviting. All of them also seemed bitter that they weren’t a part of the LA Art Show, too.
The only places that were captivating were Cape Cod’s Rice Polak Gallery and Melrose’s own Toy Art Gallery. Polak’s contribution were some delightfully off pieces with particularly good efforts from Patrick Webb and Edward del Rosario. Toy Art had their usual array of sculptural oddities, packed into their stand and attracting much attention from passersby because everything they had was literally bright and shiny. The MakerBot Replicator area was kind of cool but, again, was somewhat unnecessary and surely pricey.
The Affordable Art Fair was not bad but it could have been so much better. If you have loads of money that you can spend on art, this is your show. If you want things that are affordable and art, I would say to try the Rose Bowl because you will definitely be able to find things that are within your price range there.