Andy Warhol once said: “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art”, reminding us that artists too need money in order to produce their work. They need to start somewhere, but in a world full of talented people, how many of them will achieve success?
During London’s renowned but high-priced Frieze Week in Regent’s Park, the East End provides a prestigious counterpoint for unknown artists to show their work at more affordable prices than in the west, thanks to art events such as The Other Art Fair and the Moniker Art Fair.
Many emerging artists and recent graduates struggle to set up their own exhibitions in London due to the high cost of rent and so are forced to hold the events in the outskirts of the city – places that will not attract important gallerists and big collectors.
“I find it so depressing that these artists produce such amazing shows but no one goes apart from their friends,” says Ryan Stanier, director of The Other Art Fair in Shoreditch. “So I thought, by creating a fair like this, putting it in London where it is very accessible for journalists and collectors, it enables artists to get their work seen.”
Shoreditch is considered by many to be the creative centre of London and is now becoming the satellite arts hub to Frieze and Frieze Masters. During Frieze week (October 14-17, 2015), The Other Art Fair and the Moniker Art Fair will exhibit independent and gallery-represented artists at The Old Truman Brewery from Thursday to Sunday (October 15-18, 2015), hoping to attract important collectors and curators from the events in Regent’s Park, but also welcoming everyone from art experts to newcomers.
“Bristol and Shoreditch have been the home of street art in the UK”, says Frankie Shea, director of the Moniker Art Fair. “In Shoreditch the scene grew and developed with many street-art galleries springing up in close proximity. We were all part of this scene with a ton of resources in the area. We didn’t really think about holding the fair anywhere else back in 2010 when it all begun. We’re keen for as many people to see the art we’re passionate about and hope all the Frieze goers jump in a black cab and head down the Euston Road to sunny Brick lane. Moniker has firmly put East London back on the art fair map.”
Curiously, art collectors could benefit from attending the fairs. Even though it is true that they might not be very interested in unknown artists, they should definitely be interested in the important investment they would be making. A current emerging artist’s work could be worth an impressive amount of money in two or three years’ time.
An example that Stanier points out is the artist “Ernesto Canovas, who’s done the fair two or three times, each time you could go buy a painting from him for £1500, he then got signed by the Halcyon Gallery and they’ve recently done a sell-out show of his work and I think the entry point for his work is maybe about £15000 now.” If this does not attract them, hopefully this year’s fairs’ new features will.
This year there will be new great installations at The Other Art Fair, one of them being the Green Room: “the idea is that for people within the fair who discover this black curtain and draw it back, they then go in this intimate space and it’s quite an immersive space,” says Stainer. “We’re working with this neon artist called Rebecca Mason and the room is literally filled with her neons, so it’s quite of intense. She’s then in character and the idea is that you go in, she sells you an absinthe, you then drink it and give a confession, and then she will do a big art piece made from all the confessions, but they’re anonymous.”
Another interesting fact this year is Tracey Emin’s presence and participation with limited edition works exclusively available for the fair, one of which is a £50 signed print.
The Moniker Art Fair will also have exciting new features. “One of this year’s fair highlights is the ‘The Art of Patron Cocktail Cantina’,” says Shea. “A food and drink pairing experience set within an immersive setting featuring a new body of artwork by legendary stencil artist Nick Walker and multidisciplinary artist Lauren Baker”.
“We’re also curating and producing a 50ft Bitcoin inspired Installation, supported by Kaspersky, with original art by Schoony, Eine and Toonpunk integrated into the street scene. There will be a daily talks programme, hosted by FAD magazine, a mural programme supported by Montana Cans featuring Kid Acne, Inkie, Ellannah Sadkin and Bom.K, affordable prints that include a brand new edition from Ben Eines Letter series and of course, 20 national and international galleries showcasing a diverse range of art,” explains Shea.
What better place than Shoreditch to buy new, innovative art from emerging and unknown artists? The Other Art Fair and Moniker Art Fair prove that giving artists the opportunity to showcase works and be a starting point can be a prestigious and rewarding experience for both exhibitors and visitors. They invite everyone to attend the events, whether an important art collector or a newly discovered art fan.
“Always new, always fresh … Hope to see you all there” says Shea.