An Afternoon on the King's Road

What better on a cold, windy, weekend evening than to visit an art fair where artists exhibit their own works directly, without a gallery to support them.
On one hand, it is grounds for the unbiased, raw expressiveness of artists who are mostly new to the art market. On the other, it creates a certain amount of confusion to a viewer, like myself, who expects harmony of style and taste.
Of course, the magnificent setting of the Old Chelsea Town Hall is a venue that attracts my attention ceaselessly, and would be an excellent background for any art exhibition.
However, pearls are not found in every oyster, but sometimes it is possible to find a few in a kettle of fish and some artists definitely caught my attention and interest:
Simion Asandi from Romania, is a sculptor who works with the widest range of materials. His bas reliefs are fascinating and powerful. Mainly on wood, he creates the relief in glass fibre through a very personal and difficult procedure. He then inserts leather or other means to the painting/sculpture. Original and enrapturing. 
Babak Mobasheri of Iranian origin, is a painter whose skillful use of the brush brings to life the magical and legendary world of merpeople. The perfection of lines and brushwork, the vivid colours and the harmonious composition are a tribute to life and joy itself. 
Natasha Boast is an abstract expressionist artist who works with resins mixed with photoluminescent pigments. Beautiful, delicate, elegant works by day and glowing, mysterious, surprising ones by night. An intriguing and alluring blend of art and science. 
Nik Burns is a British sculptor who combines nature and machines in a unique and captivating manner. His sculptures of sea life and insects are made from various kinds and states of wood and metal and are exceptionally refined, detailed and articulated. A truly unique artist.
Gerard Byrne, from Ireland, is one of the more established painters of the fair. His landscapes are dynamic and spontaneous. His style is rich with texture and vibrancy, while his scorches and perspectives give an extraordinary depth and movement to the canvases. An excellent plein-aire painter.  
Jas Davidson is a sculptor of wonderful talent whose laminated bronze faces are a blend of the artist’s creative drive and the casting process' natural outcomes that Jas takes advantage of turning his pieces into unique works of expressive value.  
Mary Clare De Pentheny, a painter of pure instinct who often uses her hands to create paintings of extremely rich texture and vibrant dynamism. Her canvases are pure examples of gestural art and exude liveliness and the force of nature itself. 

Amr Fadl is a painter from Egypt whose work is a journey into the exotic and mysterious atmospheres of the Alhambra in Granada or the Mosque of Isfahān in Iran. His fantastic geometries juxtaposed with a more expressionist touch that transpires from his backgrounds, is certainly enticing and exceptionally fascinating.

Monica del Norte is an extremely eclectic artist who combines a rare abstract expressionist style with a blend of Eastern European and Mediterranean culture. Her paintings inspire emotional sensations. A true pleasure to experience. 
Marc Rogoff is a South African photographer whose work is absolutely fascinating. His skill is shown in the incredible effects he invents and immortalises. But his real creative drive is most evident in the disquieting atmospheres and absolutely enrapturing sensations he arouses.
Dean Rossiter is a young and talented British expressionist painter. His canvases translate the full extent of unrestrained representational art in the most refined and elegant way. Undoubtedly interesting and worth keeping an eye on.
Ellie Spafford is another young and talented British expressionist painter. Her canvases are an emotional journey to wherever she intends to take us. She subverts, overlaps, reorganises and recomposes her landscapes with Turneresque style. She leads, we willingly follow. 
Rowena Van de Valle is a very interesting artist who is in herself an exotic and charming blend of cultures that she condenses and transfers onto her canvases with real talent. A deeply felt universal message is represented in her series of veiled women. She paints with colours made herself by mixing the precise pigments she is looking for. Enchanting to say the least.
Amber-Jane Raab is an avant-garde artist whose work is alive with vibrant colours and amazing perspectives. An extremely interesting blend of print and painting that gives us new panorama on otherwise too famous landmarks.
Having warmed my feet, I can now return home. What have I taken with me? The wish for a quiet and relaxing sofa to unwind from all the disarray and visual discomfort, and my handful of pearls to warm the heart.


Karen Lappon
Art Critic