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by Stephen Charlton
London Art Fair returned earlier this month from, featuring more than 100 galleries from across the UK and overseas to present the best of modern and contemporary art.
As an artist myself, I’m always intrigued and inspired by the diversity of artwork from all corners of the globe. Here, I want to provide some insight into five emerging artists that I hope will inspire you too.
As I toured the fair, it was so enjoyable not to battle with the crowds as on the second day, it was relatively quiet. It gave me the headspace to consider each gallery and to seek-out the artists that stood out for me.
My first challenge was to establish the criteria of the elusive ‘emerging artist’. Is it only associated to a younger age profile?
Wearing my Life/Redefined hat, I wanted to find artists who, like myself are in their mid- to later years but are still at the foot of the stairs in their art career.
Until I had this clear in my own mind, I could not select the artists for recommendation. So, I asked a variety of gallery owners at the show and discovered a spectrum of opinions and some even reconsidered their opinion during our conversation. This brief research gave me the confidence to shine a light on the ‘older’ emerging artists who were making headway and trying to gain visibility and recognition.
Once I had my viewpoint straight, I was able to choose artworks that appealed to my heart as well as my eye. With over 100 galleries with many artists it was both a challenge and a delight to experience a rich variety of oils, watercolours, sculptures, ceramics, etchings and techniques I’ve never seen before.
These five emerging artists demonstrate the life and vitality of their subjects and techniques that I can visualise hanging on any wall. I hope they inspire you to look further into their work and potentially into a purchase or investment.
Ben’s unique style and content really jumped out at me as soon as my eyes hit the canvas and would be the artist of the show and the piece I would love to have in my home (but had sold!). It’s a rare thing for me to really smile on the inside when I experience art, and this piece certainly did it for me. Ben’s use of pink hats has relevance to drawing on figures from the Old American West, he touches on what feels familiar yet from a by-gone era.
Lizzie’s recent series of portrait ‘anomalies’ with people portrayed in Elizabethan and Jacobean clothes with a contemporary element really caught my eye. For me, these two large paintings have a timeless presence through her interpretation and detailing.
Lizzie also undertakes commissioned paintings, usually portraits executed in her own imaginative style.
Using the medium of photography, Kathrin translates the concept of wabi-sabi (Japanese ink-wash painting) into pictures. Each image is an encounter with a particular object at a particular time, which takes weeks and months of intimate observation to find.
These limited-edition archival pigment prints are the result of years of experimentation and testing: capturing fading moments of transience with the lightest possible touch.
They appealed to my feminine side, and with such delicate imagery, I think they would look amazing on any feature wall.
All I can say here is wow. I was so impressed with the detail, expression, technique and the time Olivia has invested in all her work and this piece is no exception. I love black and white expressed through line, it appeals to the ‘graphic’ side of me and by using only a monochromatic palette, is a real challenge to get right.
Most of the places depicted in Olivia’s works are known to her, but which she then turns into something ‘other’ through the processes of remembering and drawing. It is memory in action, an attachment to a physical place that is fired by imagination: specific and particular, whilst at the same time sprawling and continuous.
When you experience this piece, it will captivate you forever.
British-French artist, Galina Munroe, adopts an approach to painting that is both organic and liberating. Her large ‘still life’ paintings really made an impact on me with the textured surface of her canvases and the layering technique she uses.
Galina has become renowned for her bold, tactile approach to materiality. Galina describes her abstract method of layering oil paint as a process in which the work “ebbs and flows” through multiple stages and conceptual evolutions.
I really love and appreciate the simplicity of Galina’s work.
Galina has exhibited both solo and group exhibitions internationally and widely across Europe, including London, Berlin, Cologne, Copenhagen and Milan.
To discover more about Stephen and view his wonderful art, visit his website here