Art is in fashion and no self-respecting wall in a stylish home is complete without a painting, photographic print or canvas. You can, of course, buy mass produced prints from stores like Habitat and Ikea but increasingly people are looking for something original and individual that expresses their own taste. There's no need to feel nervous about stepping into the world of art for the
first time. With a huge range of art fairs now, you're bound to find
something that appeals whether it's a limited edition print or a canvas.
Favoured by celebrities such as Will Young and Davina McCall, as well as TV
home show gurus like Linda Barker, on the hunt for pieces by up-and-coming
artists, and big names like David Hockney searching for new works to add to
their collections, you‚ll certainly be in good company.
Director and independent artist, Jo George, 34, who runs Inspired Art Fair,
states: "There is enormous interest in art but all too often people are
intimidated about what to buy and where to find it. Our venue at Old Truman
Brewery was chosen especially as it provides a more intimate and social
environment for more interaction between buyers and artists whilst having
the benefit of being more interesting than larger purpose built venues."
Set in the heart of London‚s eclectic and creative East End, Inspired Art
Fair is set to take over the Old Truman Brewery for a second year in
November and will house work, to be bought, from more than 80 either
undiscovered, new up and coming graduates or more established artists.
The work ranges from sculpture, painting, drawing, and photography. A
selection committee chooses all featured artists and their decision is based
on quality, technical ability and originality. This year‚s committee
includes Ivan Massow (ex chair ICA), Jo George founder IAF and Sandra
Higgins London art dealer.
Prices range from around £50 to a maximum of £2,500, with the average paid
A feature of this year‚s fair is the print on demand service, where you can
purchase high quality limited editions and reproductions of the artists
work. The quality is so good that the National Gallery have there own
service on site.
Jo George's advice is: "Don't try to conform to anyone's expectation of what
you should buy or buy purely because you think it might turn out to be an
investment. If it goes up in value then it‚s a bonus but it‚s always
difficult to predict. Quite simply you should buy a picture because it moves
you. If it evokes an emotion, stirs a memory, or makes you feel good then it
is probably right for you. If you get that same feeling every time you look
at it, then it will be worth every penny you pay for it."
She promotes websites as a useful guide to what‚s out there, but warns that
it‚s vital to actually view the art as well. "Colours can be distorted on a
website and it is difficult to appreciate the scale of the brushstrokes and
impact of the painting without being in the same room with it."
As many homes follow the fashion for neutral colour schemes, she believes
that paintings are a vital finishing touch: "Rooms can look rather similar
in style so people choose art as a way of expressing and defining their
individual taste. Others notice art used in hotels and realise how
successful it can be in introducing colour and drama into an interior."
Abstract art is usually the top choice. Jo highlights that "Art used to be
seen as a luxury but now it is viewed as a necessity. Everyone seems to be
looking for one large painting - usually an abstract - that makes a
statement in a room. A few years ago people favoured a line or group of four
pictures. Lots of people want their pictures to complement their colour
scheme and will even bring in fabric swatches to match colours."
At this years Inspired art fair visitors can also gain free expert advice on
how to hang and frame paintings from an interior design service providing
them with guidance and inspiration. This "up close and personal theme" is
carried through all aspects of the fair and members of the public will even
be invited to vote for the artist that appeals to them the most, who will
receive a cash prize.
Whatever you do - get in the picture.