If you have never been to the Art Expo, in the past is has been a great show to see the "World" art market. A few years back, this was a very impressive show. Well established artists from all over the world would come to show their art and sell to international galleries looking to fill their walls with the latest and greatest trends in fine art. It truly was a great forum to learn about how the art market works and what sells. Unfortunately this show, as with many other art shows over recent years, seems to have been deserted by the movers and shakers in the art world and has been reduced to a sampling of local art markets from around the US and Canada with a small group of European artists.
Since the show moved from the Jacob Javits center to Pier 94, it has lost it "glitz". I remember being amazed at the wide range of art that had a quality that deserved the attention of national galleries and art buyers just 5 years ago. This year, I was amazed by the lack of art that made me say Wow! Yes, there were a few artists who fit the bill. I am proud to say Bogdan Miscevic and George Sakkal (both clients of Archival Arts) were a sight for sore eyes. They were truly part of a very small group of fine artists in a sea of mediocre decorative art.
As for trends, I would say the only real trend I found this year was a surprising flood of art with high gloss, very thick acrylic resin as a final varnish. This was used on everything including original paintings on canvas, originals on masonite, giclees on both canvas and watercolor, cheap prints mounted on Foam Cor, and many other combinations. I was astounded a the amount of high gloss we saw! One representative mentioned that it was a trend that has been popular recently but they have been asking the artists they represent to discontinue the use of resin. I find it very interesting that we haven't seen this type of finish in the Maryland/DC markets.
The show wasn't a total disappointment, there was still a lot to see and learn, but it definitely did not have the high end feel it used to have. I have a feeling the internet has had a huge impact on the world art market. Gallery owners no longer need to go to these big expensive shows to find talent. I guess we'll have to find our glitz somewhere else!
Collage by George Sakkal
Mixed-media by Bogden Miscevic