Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Arty Farty

This past weekend, I went to the Affordable Art Fair. It's basically modelled after the same one in New York and London.

Simple premise: every single art piece there is between €100 - €5,000. Not cheap, but still... it's "affordable" (or more within the reach of mere mortals).

The day before I got there, I wandered into a spectacular art gallery (Amsterdam is littered with sooooooo many different galleries). This place was basically a jewellery art gallery and had so many beautiful pieces (and seriously, this stuff's not for daily wear!) The gallery owner informed me of a scheme the government here has where they want to make art available to EVERYBODY. Essentially - all you need to do is pay for 10% of the artpiece, and the remainder can be paid in monthly installments over 3 years, INTEREST-FREE.

Wow! The more I learn about this country, the more impressed by how progressive it is. :)

I had ZERO intention of buying anything at the art fair however, I was just interested to see what's out there and what people are creating. Also, I really appreciate anything that's hand-made and crafted well.

The exhibition space itself was an artpiece in itself. I think it used to be a gas station or some kind of industrial something-or-the-other. It was pretty awe-inducing (great space for a rave party. HAHA!)

I realized this weekend that I'm completely drawn to anything that has an urban feel to it, a little bit subversive or whimsical. I'm interested in the thinking behind the piece too - the story, philosophy or concept that's behind it is almost important as the piece itself.

I liked the gritty, graphical nature of Maayke Schuitema.

What made me laugh was this piece by Mr. Brainwash. If you watched Banksy's documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop - this is the crazy documentarian-artist-wannabe himself, Terry, aka Mr. Brainwash. Is this a Banksy RIP-OFF or what? (€1,800, if I remembered correctly. The green dot next to the label means someone is thinking about buying this piece.)

A bizarre wall of faces.

I ended up thinking about 2 pieces. I'm still thinking about them. I like this piece titled "Trophybear" by a Dutch artist. It's so cute! And kinda small too, as you can see it in reference to the rest of the other pieces by the same artist.

(I sent a picture of it to my best friend for her opinion, but she wasn't really feeling it. She said "It's one of those conversation pieces for the bathroom." HAHAHAHAHA! Gotta love her.) (I don't agree with her point of view though. I love how ridiculous it is.)

I googled his work and he makes beautiful sculptures - like an edgy fairytale. Brer-Rabbit goes wrong kinda vibe.

And then of course I came across MY FAVOURITE!!! Laser 3.14. See previous posts here and here. I think it's a sign. It's time I take the next step and have a Laser in my home.

I can't decide which piece to get (the one I kinda sorta really liked was already sold at the fair). So... I'm gonna meet the gallery owner again to discuss where to begin. This sounds so very adult... BUT... I'm kind of excited that I'll get to support a street-artist I love. Plus the fact that he's Dutch will also be a nice reminder of the time I've spent here in the years to come.

Practice Update: I still haven't had follow-up visits to the MWF Shala. Long hours at work have started up again, and my insomniac bouts are back. I seem to wake up after 3 - 4 hours sleep and can't get back to bed again. 2.30am seems to be the magic "I'M AWAKE!" hour. This led to a 5.30am home practice one morning. I'll take what I can get.



  1. I have to say I'm with your friend on the 'toilet conversation' piece, although I'm not sure how your house guests might react to seeing a two-headed sculpture when they stumble into a dark bathroom at night :D I get the grittyness in his sculptures though, there's a darkness to it that's intriguing.

    How fun to have these artistic events to go to! I think that's my favorite bit about Amsterdam (I visited a few years ago), the abundance of an arts experience everywhere, by both major and independent artists. Keep us posted on your Laser 3.14 quest!

  2. Awesome.

    I vote for Laser 3.14 for SURE. Seems like it's meant to be.
    I read MWF Shala and my brain translated that into MotherFuckin' Shala. ha ha!! What's wrong with me?

  3. Hey Danielle - I like how the Trophybear's a piss-take on hunters/ hunting. This weekend, there'll be "Museum Night" in Amsterdam - twice a year, all the museums and galleries stay open till 2am, various events are organized at all places (including DJs with live music at some places)... And basically everyone just gets drunk and cycles from museum to museum to check out what's on. I AM SO THERE!! :)

    ELP - MOTHERFUCKIN SHALA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Now I'll forever be thinking that whenever I write it out. I have a confession to make: every time I see your acronym, I think of "Eat Pray Love". Y'know... ELP/ EPL? You'll probably slap me now. BAHAHAHAHAHA!

  4. dear Jaime i wrote a comment and the machine ate it. and i have to go to sleep. my friends who where a couple collected art in Mexico for years and took their collection back to Amsterdam. Hans Dame and Theo Vandervaart. Somewhere in your city there is an amazing collection of Mexican art. Theo's brother is a famous ceramicist whose work is in museum collections. i learned so much about art from them when I would visit them weekly when they lived in Texas. we would discuss art. hugs, Arturo

  5. Eat Pray Love.
    Oh, you know how I looooooooooooooooooved that book! ha ha!! That's okay, I'm Evelyn now anyway. Elizabeth Gilbert can't ruin that!


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