Monday, March 24, 2014

The Fountain rises! NY Art Fairs 2014

     I've been attending the Fountain Art Fair in NY (and Miami) for many years, going back to the tugboat days (yes, tugboat, as in the fair was held on an actual tugboat in the Hudson River). I always thought of it as the more DIY venue of the art fairs because it had several booths by individual artists hawking prints, magnets, and sketches in a very street way. Fountain has its own unique energy compared to other fairs. With its move a few years ago to the Armory on Lex, Fountain gained room to spread its wings and have more of a conventional layout leading to a better (and warmer!) experience yet still retaining its flavor.

     More galleries are exhibiting at Fountain now, and a few veterans of the fair put on mighty fine showings, particularly Mighty Tanaka Gallery of Brooklyn. One of their up-and-comers is (left) Hannah Faith Yata. Pop Surrealism has moved away from the more cartoony side of it and these days a very  painterly realism with elements of surrealism and fantasy is the hot ticket.

     On the straight up realism side is this beautiful painting, "Lark Sparrow," 18x23, by Herb Smith.

Elizabeth Vallenilla "Terrain Painting No.1" - Mighty Tanaka Gallery

     Arch Enemy Arts from Philadelphia, a growing presence on the scene, had several mixed media pieces and plenty of painting (they, too, showed the aforementioned Ms. Yata). Maria Teicher had these impressive and disturbing portraits of people wrapped (suffocating?) in plastic bags.

Sheri DeBow's "Crazy Like a Fox"  morphed two figures into one, both creepy and amusing.

Archer Dougherty  "Windows" - Arch Enemy Arts
     My father was a homing pigeon flyer. Not the ratty city pigeons, these were thoroughbreds and homing pigeon racing was referred to as "the poor man's horse racing." This piece was in the booth for Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, unfortunately I couldn't locate the artist's name.

     AHA Gallery of Brooklyn presented this piece by Jeremiah Johnson, whose work I became familiar with a few years ago via ada Gallery from Virginia. Photo's a bit blurred, but "House of Worship" is composed mainly of presecription bottles.

The "Print Posse," Fatherless, represented with live painting and lots of prints:

     Painter Michael Hurt had his own booth, and this is a detail from a sprawling piece titled "9 Months, 3rd Shift" 69x32".     

     CK. Art Space from Korea presented a booth of paintings by Tae Ryang, Lee. Clearly inspired by Basquiat -interesting to see how his work influenced artists worldwide.

Fountain really impressed this year! Below are more images from it:

Stikki Peaches  "Bat Bond" - Station 16 (Quebec)

Brandon Friend & Jason Douglas Griffin "Flyover" Gentleman's Game
WIA  (title unknown) - Station 16 (Quebec)

Nat Joslin

Nicholas Holiber "Your Protector (War Cry)" - 81x24x30"

Thomas Buildmore "Dragon" 20x13

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