Generally reserved for the artistic elite, international art fairs are a trading playground for prominent galleries, high-flying collectors and successful, established artists. Fairs such as Frieze and Art Basel show off the latest work from the world’s most sought-after artists.
But a new art fair is turning this elitist concept on its head. Developed in the UK by Ryan Stanier, and appearing for the first time in Sydney this year, The Other Art Fair is an artist-led event, putting emerging talent up front.
“Instead of rows of highbrow galleries showing off their highest-selling sculptors and painters, a committee will select 100 emerging and unrepresented artists to exhibit and sell their work in an otherwise typical commercial fair setting,” says the fair’s co-director Zoe Paulsen. “[Artists] will man their booths for the duration of the fair, which means visitors and art buyers can come and actually interact with them. It is a great point of difference.”
Over four days, The Other Art Fair will exist as an unofficial satellite to the greater Sydney Contemporary art fair. Its program will include artist talks, live art performance, immersive theatre and a pop-up bar. “The fair will be an affordable art fair, but we want to be careful with the word affordable, it’s also about quality work,” says Paulsen. “We want everyone to think this could be the place where potentially they can discover the next big thing.”
The Other Art Fair will run from Thursday September 10 until Sunday September 13 at a location TBC.