Being an artist also means having to visit expositions, art fairs and galleries. I know, my life truly is a vale of tears where curiosity and wonder hold hands as they hop-step-twirl over the carcass of desperate monotony. It’s a miracle I’ve survived this long.
All jokes aside, though, looking at wonderful work created by talented artists is a great way to spend a free evening or afternoon. And I wish I had more time to do so. But alas, illness gets in the way. Or – as my mind translates this: Excuses, excuses.
Now, I’m only familiar with the situation in my own country, so things might vary across the border. But here, art fairs are usually reserved for galleries and auction houses only. Artists who aren’t represented aren’t allowed to sell their own work here. There are only two exceptions. With The Huntenkunst (http://www.huntenkunst.org/en/), being the oldest and the largest.
“Huntenkunst,” the website proudly states, “ is an annual international art event where you will find work by artists from more than 30 countries.” Well, if that doesn’t spark my interest! And knowing full well that, even if I suddenly crank out a sizable portfolio, my personal situation will still provide a hick-up or two when searching for my own representation, it’s always smart to bet on more than one horse. Being the forward thinking lady I am, I decided to take a look.
In A Factory Hall, Far Far Away
If I have to sum up my impressions of this year’s event with one word, it’s “beige”.
For one reason or another, the artists exhibiting thought ‘t was the season for the off-whites. If not beige, one would use cream. Or a very light bronze. It gave the exhibition a very modest, almost shy mood.
The vast majority of what was on display was also 2D-art, with photography being the most common and paintings coming in second. Only a few artists were traditional sculptors. This was to be expected: Sculpture is a labor-intensive discipline. It can also get really expensive if the medium used is a special stone or a metal.
That isn’t to say that that I didn’t enjoy myself. Quite the opposite in fact. There were a couple of artists that have really impressed me.
One booth really stood out for me and that was of an elderly gentleman, going by the artist name “Harrem”. Although he had quite an impressive portfolio and you could visit his personal gallery, he unfortunately does not have an online presence, so I am unable to show anything to you. His work was abstract, and cheerful, using mostly primary and secondary colors like yellows, greens and oranges. His paintings were made up of bold shapes with strong, confident lines and every one of his paintings just ooze a zest for life.
Other, younger artists do have a website that I can share, so you can visit them yourself:
Sometimes I saw work that had potential, but where I could understand why the artist wasn’t represented yet. Either because their portfolio lacked consistency, or because they still hadn’t quite mastered a particular skill. It was simply too early in their career. But it wouldn’t be long before they would get there.
That Little Voice
While walking around, I tried to imagine myself among these artists. The longer I stayed, the more I felt a gnawing doubt grow. Cause most of the art exhibited here is either abstract, or figurative, but rarely is it a genre of realism. I’m unsure if my work would be a good fit here.
Picture a visitor. They would see a stand with minimalist abstract landscape paintings – in beige of course – on the left. On the right, they’d see black-and-white photography of raw, inner city life, rife with drug addicts, homeless people and poverty. And in the middle they’d be confronted with an octopus-lady taking the phrase “I love you to death” a bit too literal. The other sculptures also have this fantastical element to them. I’m not exactly creating ‘Serious Art’.
But that is for the selection committee to decide when I’ll apply in the future. First, let’s make sure there’s something for them to talk about, ey?