Affordable Art Fair, the event that aims at making buying art easier for all, has been a feature of the art world for years now, in parallel with the major modern and contemporary art fairs that also became open cultural events, welcoming all art lovers and art buffs, and not just exclusively collectors anymore. The project was launched in 1999 by Will Ramsay. When he organized the first edition of the fair in London, he did so with a fun, friendly attitude, introducing small revolutions like setting a price limit, and the obligation to state this price in the captions placed next to the art, to show that you don’t have to be an expert or a millionaire to be able to appreciate and buy artwork. This was how Ramsay filled the gulf between the public’s growing curiosity and hunger for art, and the closed, walled in attitude that the world of fine art occasionally has. Just like limited editions in fashion, design and modern antiques became very sought after over the last decade by the Instagram generation, that doesn’t mind making an investment if that gives them access to paintings, illustrations, photos and sculpture.
Affordable Art Fair’s formula is simple and unique: the ambience is relaxed and stimulating, and it allows the public to see a large variety of works by emerging, as well as more famous, artists. Affordable not only in economic terms, then – nothing can cost over 6,000 euros – but also on a psychological level, thanks to an easy approach to collecting. Fall in love, then? No, fall in art, fall in love with art. This was the claim of the fair’s 2017 edition in Milan, organized with the support of 85 galleries, in the spaces of Superstudiopiù. Masters of illustration, like Massimo Giacon, and street art, with installations by Urbansolid, Paco, NOBA and YuX, attracted some of the attention. Tomoko Nagao provided some Japan-made pop splashes of color, and photography clearly became the go-to choice for those looking for home decoration, with custom-made compositions for entire walls, and innovative supports. The fair also gave particular attention to the production of young emerging artists in its Young Talents section, in the exhibition “Quando, quando, quando” [“When, when, when”, in Italian]. The works collected in this exhibition shared a theme, analyzing today’s zeitgeist and the differentiation of perceptive experiences, showing in works being filtered through a computer screen, a smartphone or a TV, but also by a canvas, photographic papers, or sculptural material.