Visiting the Other Art Fair last week was a perfect way to spend my Sunday afternoon. Now promoting its eighth edition at Victoria House, the show continues to advocate an outstanding selection of artwork. 130 artists from 14 different countries were selected from 700 applications by a committee of established individuals within the art world, including Curator of Drawings Dr Stephanie Buck from the Courtauld Institute of Art, Mary Rozell who is Programme Director of the MA in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and Gavin Turk, whose founded children’s arts charity House of Fairy Tales was also featured at the Other Art Fair.
With a vibrant buzz and fantastic atmosphere, the exhibition was as exciting as ever. It is such a delight to be able to speak with exhibiting artists about their practices as well as simply viewing their collections. As the rooms were over-flowing with talent, it is not possible to write about them all. I will however, highlight a few of the artists that stood out to me the most, starting with Alexander Korzer-Robinson.
Korzer-Robinson has a most intricately unique practice, creating artistic book sculptures entirely from the images in the book. The sculptures were mounted across the walls, giving us a clear view of the detailed intricacy of layered illustrations. Made purely from the image within each book, Korzer-Robinson opens a fantastical window into the visual narratives. The effect of assortment of layered hand-cut prints is absolutely gorgeous and is certainly a desirable treasure anyone would want to own.
The next artist I would like to mention is Elena García de la Fuente. I first met García de la Fuente last year at the Wimbledon Open Art Studios, where she works and is based. Her paintings initially drew me in due to the magnitude, vibrancy and depth portrayed in the delightful landscapes. This spring however, sees a new collection called Looking at Art. Although there is still a likeness in the application of paint, there are differences with the artist’s previous artworks in terms of colour and subject. Contrasting the luscious, natural outdoor landscapes, Looking at Art depicts indoors views of art galleries, and as made obvious by the title, visitors viewing the art. These pieces are particularly intriguing as García de la Fuente has painted well-known masterpieces in her illustrated galleries, including works by Rembrandt and Velaquez. As a secondary viewer and in accordance with the painted viewers, the attention and focus remains on the replicated paintings. These hold more detail, three-dimensionality and contrast than the surroundings, but all together have a balanced and complimentary composition.
A completely alternate practice that captured me was Delphine Lebourgeois’ illustrations. Repetition and strong defined lines and colours are Lebourgeois’ formula for creating punchy, attention-grabbing images. The message that the artist is sending out is of power in numbers and how a collective voice is far more effective than one sole opinion. She also has a main focus of the female sex, partly as a form of self-representation, which she designs in a slightly contemporary art nouveau style. Repetition is frequently used in Lebourgeouis’ images such as The Inner Child, which hints at the loss of individuality among some groups and societies. One of the most captivating features of Lebourgeouis’s illustrations is the interesting contrast between the soft, attractive, feminine beauty and the cold violent weapons that some of them are holding. Guns seem to creep into the beautiful designs, which is unexpected and thought-provoking.
Finally, the last collection I found to be extremely impressive was photography by Gina Soden. The subject of Soden’s photography is dereliction of abandoned buildings. This is a wonderfully interesting focus, as these buildings are not only visually beautiful from an architectural point of view, but they also cause the view to consider their history; what they would have looked like and been used for in their prime, and how and why they have become to be ruins. I was very glad to be able to speak to Soden about her practice, as she explained how the research into finding these locations takes up the largest part of her work, with the actual photography coming second. Her collection has been captured from various places over Europe, and Soden divulged that moving forward, she is planning to venture further afield to uncover more hidden and neglected gems in Asia. Her photographs are so astoundingly gorgeous, with fantastic composition and amazing demonstration of texture, colour and natural light. It is impossible to convey the beauty and impressiveness of these detailed photographs in words, so do take a look at her website – although they are best viewed in full scale!