Set up in the wake of Joshua Compston and the original wave of East End artists taking hold of things and doing it themselves, some would argue there was a more than healthy Easy London Art Scene well before Compston’s legendary fates, his ideas of a “better Woolworths” and art reaching out to engage with those outside of that slightly elite slightly too polite comfort zone art likes to stay within. The Art Car Boot Fair has been around for something like a dozen years now, a highlight on the callender and an annual London event, this year the fair slips over the river and away from the East End’s Brick Lane to take up residency next to the rather impressive Newport Street Gallery over in Whitgift Street in Vauxhall, London SE11. It all happens this Sunday afternoon….
The Art Car Boot Fair has always been about art and artists letting down their hair and engaging, a day when artists take to their car boots, their gazebos and their colourful stalls, a day when artists like Gavin Turk, Sir Peter Blake, Vic Reeves, Kristjana S Williams, Tracey Neuls, Polly Morgan and such, are just there to chat to, engaged with, and yes, buy from should something take your eye (we artists do like to sell our work, paint costs money, studio rents are high, oh yes, we like to make a sale or two). The Art Car Boot Fair is a day when the barriers are down on both sides of the stalls, we artists really do enjoy the relaxed nature of the day and the getting to meet the people who come to see our art, we don’t tend to meet too many people at gallery shows, this is a rather unique event and we artists will all be there enjoying it all.
A carefully curated considered event, where most London art Fairs are about cynically charging the artists big fees to be involved and to have a small space, the Art Car Boot Fair really is artist-friendly. At most fairs there’s no selection process, the organisers happy to feature the art of anyone willing to stump up the often very high fee artists or galleries are charged to take part in their events – no selection policy, no quality control, just anyone willing to pay the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds the other fairs we won’t name here charge the artists to take part. The Art Car Boot Fair has always been refreshingly different, participating artists don’t pay a fee to take part, involvement is strictly by invitation, there is a careful curation process, and yes, it is consideredquite an honour to be an artist invited to take part in the Art Car Boot Fair…
So the 2017 fair is upon us, what are you going to find once you’ve paid you £5 entry fee this year?
Well lots and lots of art of course, you’ll also find food, performance, music, there’s lots of people watching t obe done, there’s the classic Vauxhall cars – you have to love those 60’s Victors and those beautiful F-Types, the slight more sedate finless British version of the 57 Chevy or so it is said). You get bands, marching music, live art, this year we’re told there a vintage clothing area as well as everything else.
Mostly the day is about enjoying the art and maybe treating yourself to a piece or two, and yes you can grab a very reasonably priced original painting or hand-made print, you might catch Pure Evil grinning away while he screen prints on-site and sells you a piece directly for as little as thirty or fourty quid. In past years we’ve bought pieces directly off Tracey Emin for £20, I’ve bought art directly from Billy Childish, a Julia Maddison monoprint for a fiver, I’ve had a chat with Peter Blake about pop art and the Beatles, there’s the delight of the Binnie Sisters, there are names like Bob & Roberta Smith, Polly Morgan, Rachel Howard, Pam Hogg, the Chapman Brothers are said to be doing something, Vic Reeves is always happy to talk about his painting (or an obsscure band or two he’s hear eing played oN Resonance FM). there’s Carrie Reichardt’s ceramic anarchy (will Lady Muck be with her again this year?), Ryca has a set of yellow and black smilley faces waiting for you, there’s the blue and red wordery of Quiet British Accent, there’s art and artists everywhere.
Okay, you could argue that the slightly higher limited edition print releases some people bring out at the fair aren’t quite in the spirit of things, but no one is forcing anyone to buy anything, just go enjoy the day and keep your cash in your pocket, just enjoy it, maybe throw a cream pie at a painter? The Art Car Boor Fair is a relaxed fun day out, an event thats about a lot more than just buying art…
Of course the real delight is in finding something painted by an artist you’ve never heard of, spying something in an artist’s “car boot” and just treating yourself. There’s plenty of exciting engaging art available direct without the artist having to pay a cut to a gallery, lots of original art for as little as £20 or £30 a go, indeed you can find a piece of original art for a lot less than twenty quid if you really explore, it is possible to leave the Art Car Boot Fair with several pieces of art and still have change from a tenner. Do remember to bring gold old hard cash though, cash is king at the Art Car Boot Fair (and yes you can haggle, you can barter).
Most of all the Art Car Boot Fair is just great fun, a brilliant event to spend a day at, to take part in and yes, if you go, you are very much taking part, you are part of it, this is about everyone, the fair is about people. And this year the fair has moved, we’ve gone overseas, we’re south of the river over in Vauxhall, Karen Ashton, Founder of the Art Car Boot Fair says, “As well as bringing an original line-up to our new location in Vauxhall, we’ll also be drawing on all the talents our exciting new locale has to offer. We’re right at the centre of Vauxhall’s burgeoning creative quarter with a fantastic array of galleries, pop-ups, and established gems like the Vauxhall City Farm, MI6, Beaconsfield Gallery and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – so expect guys and spies, plus the odd Llama and lots of cool art in the mix this year! We’re also hoping for a guest appearance and contribution from the owner of the Newport Street Gallery….”
ELEVEN THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR AT THE 2017 VAUXHALL ART CAR BOOT FAIR THEN….
1: RACHEL HOWARD‘s elegant line is something to watch out for this year. she’s produced a series of beautiful ink drawings or paintings, watch out for the simple elegance of her drawing, the complex expressive style of her simplicity….
2: PURE EVIL will be there again with his wicked grin and his mass screen printing pop art operation, he’s often to be found printing live and selling you a very wet print at a very very reasonable price….
3: THE BANDS – you never quite know who’s going to be performing live, last year Faust were suddenly on stage with Yumi Hara and making something rather magical, The Band of Holy Joy have been a highlight in recent years, meanwhile the karaoke stage is always fun, as are the vodka bars or the disco in the corner and the who knows what else might be there if you’re suddenly all arted out…
4: ARTLYST, an on-line art magazine, will be selling a commissioned original lenticular print by Michael Petry for £100 (they tell us it would usually retail for £280) The work apparently “highlights AIDS awareness, depicting dying roses in a Petrie tray”. Artlyst will also be launching their latest version 3 iPhone App which is the best mobile way to access Artlyst news, reviews and their selected arts listings for London and beyond. “We will be giving away free 300 canvas bags to anyone downloading our App or joining us on Instagram”.
5: Painter EMMA HARVEY always sneaks in under the radar and quietly produces something rather special for the Art Car Boot Fair, something that might be considered a little more light-hearted and fun than the work she regularly shows in London galleries. In 2014 it was her tasty series of individual Art Tart paintings, in 2015 the Art Car Boot Fair theme was “dogs” and Emma invited dog charity All Dogs Matter to join her and her pop art flavoured dog paintings that came with a message, in 2016 it was her rather provocative oil paintings of the paper sleeves of old 78 shellac records. What will it be this year? One thing is for certain, she will have painted something especially for the day, she’s not the kind of artist to just throw whatever she has lying around in her studio in her car boot, she’ll have been cooking up something unique for the day…
6: PEOPLE WATCHING: The Art Car Boot Fair is always fun to watch, to sit with a cold drink and watch people walk by, you never know who’s’ going to go by while searching for a young soul rebel” Come on Eileen, the Art Car Boot Dair is about people and people watching is one of my favourite spectators sports…
7 BOB AND ROBERTA SMITH always has something different to offer at the Art Car Boot Fair, he always has something to say and he does have such a stylish way of saying it. His £50 bank notes for sale at £50 each were impressive feature a few years back, it was it a series of 57 for sale at £57 each? Watch out for his signs and go have a chat. That’s the good thing about the fair, the artists are all there to talk to, go say hello, asK him about Michael Gove and art education, he has quite a bit to say about that….
8: WILDCAT WILL‘s prints are always worth keeping an eye out for, often music related, punk rock flavoured, laced with attitude and “zero f’s given”, here’s one of his recent pieces of work – “Wildcat Will’s most recent artwork revisits his signature psychedelic collage style, with pop culture references. The artist’s eclectic music background has heavily influenced his work, in this case paying homage to iconic British rock band The Who”
9: The VAUXHALL CARS , I love classic 60’s Vauxhall cars, those old Victors (my dad had a beautiful two-tone pink one, I loved it”), Vauxhall cars have been the regular sponsors of the event for quite a few years now and they always scatter the scene with some classic cars and vans. This year the fair heads for Vauxhall of course, back on home turf for the cars, we’ll right by the site of the original 1904 Vauxhall factory south of the river, the 60’s F-types and the 70’s Vivas are always a treat, now if only there was a two-tone pink Victor, they always bring a brown and cream one
10: RYCA – Expect some street art style and a touch of pop art smiling from Ryca, “The special drippy cut outs are for this year’s Art Car Boot Fair, £20-£40 depending on size, all hand painted” or so we jsut read on Ryca’s social media…
11: SOPHY RICKETT will be offering the chance “to pick up one of these iconic Pissing Women prints” at what an Art Car Boot Fair person says will be a “slashed price”. Is that Vauxhall bridge? MI5 or 6? You have to love that print! Oh look, to pick ten or eleve nis impossible, there’s so much to pick frm, jsut g oexplore and see what you can see
And finally, because taking part in the Art Car Boot Fair is always a delight and the idea of an original piece of art being affordable to almost everyone is important (and blowing your own trumpet is something an artist needs to do from time to time), finally, please do watch out for the now almost traditional 2017 One Hundred Pieced Piece from me
“It has now become quite a tradition to produce a One Hundred Pieced Piece for the London leg of the Art Car Boot Fair. A piece of work in one hundred parts, one hundred rather fast pop art flavoured paintings, each one painted on recycled cardboard, each part of the piece for sale at just £1 – and that is a very important part of the piece, the notion of art for everyone, that an original piece of art can be bought by anyone at the fair for a little as one pound, I did get haggled down to 50p last year by one young lad who claimed he only had £1 left….
Buying your first piece of art is far less intimidating at the Art Car Boot Fair, go buy something and start a habbit of a lifetime, original art is good for everyone. We met these two people at out boot last year, let’s get them art collectors hooked now! I love this photo thier dad took later that day. The Art Car Boot Fair is always incredible fun to be part of, see you there, come and say hello The Art Car Boot Fair happens this Sunday, this year in Vauxhall and not in Brick Lane, don’t be going to Brick Lane, we’re over the river this year, SE11 is the place to be this year… (SW)
The Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair takes place on Sunday 9th July at the Workshop, by Newport Street Gallery, Whitgift Street, London SE11 between 12-6pm. Entry is priced at £5, a bargaid for a day full of fun…
The full list of artists as announced by the Art Car Boot Fair reads as follows: Sir Peter Blake, Gavin Turk, Mat Collishaw, Geraldine Swayne, Bob & Roberta Smith, Polly Morgan, Rachel Howard, Pam Hogg, Marcus Harvey, Vic Reeves, Kristjana S Williams, Tracey Neuls, Keith Coventry, Ian Dawson, Jane Simpson. Charming Baker, Jessica Voorsanger, Ben Eine, Camille Phoenix, ARTourist with Alice Herrick, Rachel Megawhat and Jeffrey Louis Reed, Nina Fowler, Paul Kindersley, Robert Rubbish, Keeler Tornero, Sophy Rickett, Jason Gibilaro, Misha, Richard Clegg, Barry Reigate, Jake Clarke, Carrie Reichardt, Schoony, Pure Evil, Holly Allan, Christian Furr, Original Sinners with Marie–Teresa Gavazzi, India Roper-Evans and Julia Maddison, Paul Sakoilsky, Trolley, Wilma Johnson, The Binnie Sisters, Renaissance Selfies, Bumble & Earwig, X Ray Fog, Kate Knight, James Joyce, James Unsworth, Amelia Troubridge, Carla Borel, Mr Bingo, Tony Beaver, Laura New, Colin Self, Christopher Baxter, Keeler Tornero, Joseph Gibson, Helen Pritchard, Edy Ferguson, Oliver Guy Watkins, Ivan Black, Darren Coffield, Jessica Albarn, David J Batchelor, Dylan Thomas Book Bus, Wildcat Will, Sophy Rickett, Bip Ling, Stephanie Carlton-Smith, Jessica Wilson, Silvia Ziranek, Cullinan & Richards, Cliff Pearcey, David Fenwick, Marty Thornton, Mark Jones, Kelly-Ann Davitt, Paul Hodgson, Dion Kitson, Meanmail, MLBennetDesign, Bethnal Green Working Mens Club, Charlie Evaristo Boyce.
Special single artists presentations from Artlyst, Art on a Postcard with Harland Miller, True Rocks with Bip Ling, House of Fairytales with Ian Dawson, The Idler, Cob Gallery, Moniker with Ben Eine, Insititute of Imagination, Turps Banana & Alumni . Other Criteria & Newport Street Gallery with Helen Beard & Harland Miller . Beaconsfield with Seb Patane. Worton Hall Studios with Bruce McLean .Newport Street Gallery . Alteria Arts with John Isaacs & Jake & Dinos Chapman . Jealous Gallery with Charming Baker. Resort . Flying Leaps with Inkflood’s Robert Clarke and the inimitable Dr D. Outside World. Cultivate with Sean Worrall, Emma Harvey and Quiet British Accent . The Amorist . KIN ART with RYCA & Swifty . Smithson Gallery. L-13 with Billy Childish and MANGeL PrESS. PLUS Black Cow Vodka Bar . Counter . Bean About Town . Vout-O-Reenees Bar . Vintage Vauxhall Market with Mark Hill, Retrouvius, The Brocant Boys and many more besides….