Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pick Me Up contemporary graphic art fair

Last month I went to the launch of Pick Me Up, the first contemporary graphic art fair in the UK. The intention was to bring together the most exciting graphic artists working today and provide opportunities to buy limited edition, affordable graphic art, illustration and design.
Unfortunately, I wasn't overly impressed. While the fair featured inevitably beautiful pieces by Rob Ryan - the most popular name secured by the fair - I thought that the quality of the works on show overall was a little disappointing. This was an affordable art fair that showcased up and coming artists, so you expect there to be some unevenness, but for me, a few too many pieces were amateurish, sparse and uninspiring.

There were some highlights: Rob Ryan hosted an open studio, bringing his paper-cutting tools and printing presses with him from east London, so that the entire process of making his work could be followed.Nobrow Press, a small publishing house in East London, produces fascinating tactile books and several of these were on display at the fair. Bright, bold and diverse, the prints leapt off the page and were amongst the most exciting works on show.Other standout works included Oranges and Lemons by Paul Bommer, Moustaches by Mr Bingo, Ice Creams by Paula Castro and Go For It by Alex Trochut (I also liked his Neo Deco typeface design). However, unfortunately overall I thought these jewels were few and far between.

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