Most people can’t claim to know very much about art. And that’s where they make the first mistake.
Art isn’t a set of facts, like knowing who painted the Mona Lisa or the ability to tease out the metaphors in Salvador Dali’s surrealist works. These rules especially break down when you get into contemporary art, whose meaning and context come from our modern world.
“This is the art of your day; you’re growing up in this city, with this art,” says Cristina Salmastrelli, director of the Affordable Art Fair, going on this weekend at the Metropolitan Pavilion. “One of the most amazing things about contemporary art is you have a history along with it. We encourage everyone to relate to it and find that similar kind of experience.”
The fair also offers an international perspective, with half of the works coming from “all four corners of the globe.” Salmastrelli and her team have curated a show of 72 galleries, with half of the works priced below $5,000, vetted to ensure all of the art is contemporary, original works by living artists.
The fair is also about bringing together the public and artists in a more relatable way. At the booths, you’ll be talking not just to gallery owners and curators, but often the artists themselves. And this year’s artist-in-residence also offers a unique opportunity to see the world as an artist does: New York City-based Shantell Martin will be filling an entire furnished room with her whimsical black ink drawings, to experience what it’s like to see the world as an artist and ask questions about her work.
“It’s kind of a collaborative process: She is influenced by all of the people around her, letting her take her creativity in certain ways,” explains Salmastrelli.