The event, in Battersea, aims to offer a relaxed, inspiring environment with quality contemporary art priced between £40-£4,000.
Art lovers can shop on a budget as the Affordable Art Fair returns to south-west London this month.
The event aims to offer a relaxed, inspiring environment with a diverse range of quality contemporary art priced between £40 and £4,000.
The Duke of Kent will open the long-standing Battersea fair, which runs from October 25-28, in Battersea Park alongside founder Will Ramsay.
“Looking at art is fun, usually free and a great way to meet people,” said Mr Ramsay.
“Everyone has individual taste so everyone can collect art and it doesn’t have to break the bank!
“To make art accessible and affordable to everyone, the Affordable Art Fair provides a relaxed, unstuffy environment so people feel confident to explore.”
Nicky Wheeler, Fair Director, Affordable Art Fair Battersea, said the term ‘affordable’ is clearly open to personal interpretation, but what sets AAF apart from all the other art fairs, where art can sell for millions of pounds, is their ceiling on price.
“We have tried to counter the image of art fairs as very stuffy, elitist events,” she said.
“Affordable Art Fairs were conceived not only as a place to view art but also as an enjoyable day out. We always try to find venues that are in a lovely location rather than a boring exhibition or conference centre.”
Works by household names, from Hockney to Hirst hang alongside young, fresh talent with thousands of original paintings, prints, sculpture and photography in one location.
For first-time buyers, Mr Ramsay advised: “Don’t follow the crowd. The most important thing is your own individual response.
“Don’t just buy the first thing you see – spend some time looking, researching, reading and most importantly, thinking. Of course if you totally fall in love with a work, then just go for it.”
He added: “My favourite work is probably a 5ft fibreglass sculpture by Royal Academy graduate Maria von Kohler. It’s of Clarice from Silence of the Lambs cradling a lamb in a Madonna and child pose. Unfortunately my wife despises it so much that it’s banished to the garage!”
This year, there will be a special focus on art under £500.
These reasonably priced gems will be easier to spot with pink stickers and specially crafted ‘Really, Really Affordable Art’ tours available.
Ms Wheeler added: “A fair is a great place to start as there are so many galleries showing every possible style and medium – from the very trad to the cool and edgy. If you don’t like the look of what’s on a stand, you can just walk on to the next one!
“I would say, follow your heart. Don’t buy what you think you should be buying – just because your neighbour has work by a certain artist, or you have read that, for example, urban art is where it’s at – go with what you love.
Visitors can browse the work of BP Portrait Award shortlisted artists, including James Stewart and Nathan Ford as well as art students at the Recent Graduates Exhibition.
Those who want to do more than buy art can take workshops on topics on painting, print-making, sculpture, collage and more.
Free and informal talks and tours will run on everything from creative techniques to insider information.
Children can get creative with an array of artist-led workshops, talks and Kid’s Activity Packs.
Since its launch in 1999, the Affordable Art Fair has welcomed over 1 million visitors worldwide and sold £155million of art by exhibiting galleries.
Now a global phenomenon, which has democratised the art market, 17 fairs are held every year in 14 cities across four continents.
Don’t worry if you miss it, though, a second fair will take place on Hampstead Heath on November 1-4.
For tickets and information, visit www.affordableartfair.co.uk or call 020 8246 4848.
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