Artexpo New York Proves to Be a 'Colorful Event': Bold Originals, Metal Works, Celebrities and Pooches, Were a Few of the Trends at the Art World's Main Event

Article excerpt

They came. They saw. And they bought--a lot. But most Importantly, 39,200 attendees of the 27th annual Artexpo New York experienced the emotions evoked the works of 2,600 artists shown by 500 exhibitors on the 294000 square-foot show floor of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, during what is considered to be the world's largest fine and popular art fair.

Among the established artists at this year's event were Charles Fazzino, Stephen Holland, Christian Riese Lassen, Bill Mack, Zvonimir Mihanovic, Markus Pierson, Pino, David Schluss, Mackenzie Thorpe and Yuroz, to name just a few. Celebrity artists such as former rocker Grace Slick, actress Jane Seymour and Playboy playmate and model, Victoria Fuller, were there. And, celebrities such as heavyweight boxing great, Larry Holmes, comedian Jackie Mason, TV personality Joy Behar (ABC's "The View"), and NBC news correspondent, Kelly O'Donnell, were in attendance. And, of course, there were the parties, such as the one held at Lot 61, in honor of the event's SOLO (unrepresented) artists, whose works could be found in the 15,250 square-foot Artexpo SOLO Pavilion, where 150 artists were exhibiting. (See page 14 for SOLO coverage.)

In Search Of ...

Chris and Kathy Maloney, brother-sister owners of Fine Art and Soul, Stevenson Ranch, CA, were among the trade attendees that came looking for new talent, works and contacts. While visiting the Collectors Editions booth, where Steve Weitzel, director of creative development, was showing the works of 20-plus artists, the Maloneys said that they came to Artexpo looking for originals that they might not otherwise see anywhere else. For example, works by two Collectors Editions artists--Ron Chesley (a plein air painter of landscapes) and Jim Rogerson (jazz art) (see February ABN, page 42)--were being shown for the first time, as were the colorful works of Collectors Editions' Disney artists, including Alison Lefcort.

Throughout the exhibit hall, companies were upbeat about networking opportunities and overall business.

At Nan Miller Gallery (Rochester, NY), owner Nan Miller said this was her company's "best Artexpo ever."

Hap Willard, president of Corporate Canvas, LLC, a Wilmington, NC-based publisher, said that as a result of Artexpo, his firm is talking to six SOLO artists and expects to sign at least four of those.

Joanne Chappell, owner of Emeryville, CA-based Editions Limited said that her business was "absolutely nuts" (in a good way).

Tolla Inbar, an Israeli sculptor, whose work is represented by galleries in Israel, Germany, France and the United States, said that for her, "Artexpo is absolutely the most important show."

SOLO artist Patricia Hansen was pleased at selling 10 limited edition giclees in a single day.

L.A.-based hip-hop artst, Justin BUA, was hoping that his first Artexpo appearance would help grow the market for his "brand" of art, which he refers to as "urban realism."

Jack Rosen of Bruno Publishing, Wellington, FL, was pleased with the interest in works by newly signed U.K. artist, Gary Benfield (see March ABN, page 26).

Japanese and European buyers were back in force. Keith Tomaszewsky of [S.sup.2] Art Group, Chicago, for example, said that his firm signed 40 new dealers, including new accounts in Japan, Germany and London.

Mark Muller, owner of Kennebeck Fine Art, Louisville, CO, reported a 33 percent jump in dollar sales due to his firm selling more originals and enhanced canvases. Muller also voiced "concern" over instances of "$30 art being shown next to, or across from, originals selling for $30,000 and up."

Some might argue, however, that this diversity of art for sale is what makes Artexpo, well ... Artexpo.

Stopping by the ABN booth were Mike Woolsey, owner of Marina Fine Arts in Marina del Rey, CA, and Richard Roberts, owner of R. Roberts Gallery in Jacksonville, FL. …