Sapphira (2005) by Nick Jeffrey

The Affordable Art Fair Spring 2011

Georgie Grandy prepares for Battersea Park’s increasingly popular Affordable Art Fair

Spring approaches and the Affordable Art Fair is back in its marquee in the middle of Battersea Park preparing to play host to over 20,000 visitors in just four days. It’s going to get busy.

As a dealer I love this time of year.  All the preparations over the last couple of months are kick-started into action and exhibition season is underway again.

In my opinion AAF is a refreshingly smoke-and-mirror free look at the London art market. Prices are capped at  £4000 and go as low as  £50, so it plays beautifully into the hands of the savvy British bargain hunter and follows my own mantra that you don’t necessarily need to spend huge amounts of money to buy quality art. Although as every bargain hunter knows, you need to know your market and it’s often not a place for the faint-hearted, but this is at least an ideal place to explore it.

Worlds away from the hushed white walls of gallery spaces marketed on exclusivity, the fair has lead the way in creating an accessible and straight-forward way-in to buying art by living artists. Every picture has a price tag and everything is made as easy as possible for the buyer. You can turn up, buy your picture, have it wrapped up and take it away with you there and then. Job done.

As an exhibitor the appeal lies in never knowing who is going to walk around the corner, from first-time buyers to the more experienced collector making the most of pictures being sneaked in under the price limit. The main thing is that people do come round the corner, all the time.  At the 10th anniversary of the fair last summer its founder Will Ramsay announced that in 10 years over 350,000 visitors have been to AAF and spent  £62 million of art. A force to be reckoned with by anyone’s standards.

So with cries of ‘Brace, yourselves’ AAF is off again for four days and two evenings of artists, collectors, dealers, day-trippers and ultimately sales, which is after all what keeps the art-world going round.

Above image: Sapphira (2005) by Grandy Artist Nick Jeffrey, a regular seller at the Affordable Art Fair

Georgie Grandy, Art Consultant and Director of Grandy ArtGeorgie Grandy
is Director of GrandyArt: With a background in promotional and online marketing strategy, Grandy set up her own Art Consultancy, Grandy Art, working in partnership with emerging British artists, hosting exhibitions, assisting with the promotion and marketing of the artists’ work and presenting clients with a resource of up and coming young artists. Under her guidance an early (unknown) artist, Nick Jeffrey is now artist in residence at the London InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, where his work hangs alongside Damien Hirst and Bruce Maclean. After a number of similar considerable successes Grandy quickly went on to establish the ‘Under a Grand’ annual exhibition.