Clio Art Fair’s Fall 2018 edition took place on the ground floor of a high ceilinged space on West 35th Street. Featuring a variety of work by artists from all different backgrounds, the fair highlights this diversity all in one place.
As always, the artists’ common thread is that they don’t have NYC gallery representation.
“The Anti-Fair for Independent Artists,” Clio’s slogan, can be seen prominently on signage throughout the fair. This emphasizes the importance of the artist rather than the gallery. Unlike the standard New York City art fair that has separate booths each curated by a prominent gallery, Clio displays art salon style, allowing for interesting conversations and juxtapositions between work that may not have normally been shown together.
This edition of the fair seems to put less emphasis on digital work and themes of technology, and more emphasis on “traditional” media such as painting and photography. Christina Hewson uses Chinese watercolor ink to create incredibly striking, large scale, flamingos. At almost five feet in height, the expressive brushstrokes and unusual color mixing stand out. Hewson’s flamingos have a stoic regality, imbued with life and movement.
Rony Sidon makes an impression with his mixed media works consisting of paper, cardboard, and acrylic paint. His intricate use of layering and pattern mixing gives the art a unique texture and metaphorical flavor. Sidon’s work is an amalgamation of his perspective and culture. He combines the bright colors and patterns influenced by his Afro Caribbean heritage, and the harsh, angular lines influenced by the Celtic culture of his adopted home, Dublin, Ireland. Together, the opposition between the two results in an unexpected and perfectly compelling marriage.
Other notable works at the fair include Amanda J. Armstrong’s empowering photographic portraits with what would typically have been considered a marginalized body as its subject matter, and Francesca Schwartz’s mixed media, makeshift altar. Both artists chose subjects traditional to the art historical canon (portraiture, religious imagery), and explored something out of the ordinary with them.
Clio Art Fair reminds the viewer to take a step back and focus on what is really most important at a fair: the art. With its one of a kind focus on artists just outside the margins, Clio has the potential to continue growing and to connect art that is outside the norm with a wider audience, twice yearly.