When IDOL thinks of Brixton, leafy avenues lined with contemporary art is not the image that springs to mind. To our delight this is what IDOL found at Josephine Avenue this weekend, the perfect location for the open air art fair, ‘Urban art 2010’.
This fantastic contemporary art fair actively involves the very street using the railings as the hanging space which is an extremely appropriate means for displaying the predominantly urban art. This unique display method was also very fitting with the informal affable ambience which this art fair exudes. The laid back vibes of the art fair were really refreshing and far from the often intimidating and pretentious ways which are so often associated with the art world.
Urban Art also lacks the extremely intimidating price tags usually attached to works of art. It was great to feel that most of the art on display was affordable and within ones reach, if I’d had any spare funds I would definitely not of left empty handed! The railings of Josephine Avenue were embroidered with an impressive array of paintings, prints and photographs accompanied by the artists themselves. Accompanying the traditional contemporary art were displays of active/ live art. In two different areas the artist’s Jpart and Soulful gallery could be found creating live pieces of graffiti on specifically built walls. This is something one wouldn’t get the opportunity to see everyday and an experience you wouldn’t get from a typical white cube exhibition.
The artists are all very approachable and it’s a great opportunity to meet and talk to the artists face to face. We met some really fun interesting people including the pop artist Marty Thornton who was displaying only a handful, or in his words: "one Chinese laundry bag full," of his paintings but also had some of his amazing jewellery for sale. Whilst admiring his fantastic bejewelled earrings we discovered that we was holding earrings which had been previously handled by none other than the ‘queen of pop’ Madonna. Marty used to make jewellery for the exclusive shop Voyage which is how he gained such famous clientele as the shop was accessible to only a select few of the rich and famous who were eligible to be members.
Another refreshing artist was Lene Bladbjergs, a graphic and print designer from Denmark. Her pieces crafted out of razor blades and scalpels were particularly impressive – other than that she enjoys creating anything colourful and a little quirky.
If one loves weird but wonderful prints then the work of Dan Hillier is a must. By focusing on attention to detail rather than colour, his drawings can display anything from a bird with a human head or a human body with a horse’s head. This juxtaposition of shapes and combined with the usage of skulls demonstrated a vivid play on life and death.
Urban Art is a fantastic free day out that can be enjoyed by a variety of people and different ages it’s a friendly affordable art fair.