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First ever Love Art Fair arrives in Toronto

Posted by Aubrey Jax / May 8, 2014

Love Art Fair TorontoThe Love Art Fair debuted in Toronto last night at the Direct Energy Centre, where it will run, tucked away in a bit of a corner, until Sunday, May 11. Launched in London in the 90s by Will Ramsay and known in other cities (Amsterdam, New York City, Milan, Mexico City, Seattle, Hong Kong, and more) as The Affordable Art Fair, the Love Art re-brand was necessary in Toronto due to AAF being a trademark of the tragically underwhelming Toronto Art Expo.

Love Art Fair TorontoThe special name suits the vibe of the fair - to quote one gallerist who I'll leave unnamed (I might have been eavesdropping): "Art Toronto is dry, and this one is really fun." Love Art is similar to the Artist Project in its goals of showing and selling fine work under $10,000 (with many works selling for under $1,000 and tagged as such). Unlike the Artist Project, however, galleries are representing artists instead of the artists themselves, meaning booths are curated and the show is much less a haphazard collection of hotel lobby paintings than a fun place to hang out with contemporary artwork.

Love Art Fair TorontoGalleries from Toronto including Bau-Xi, p|m, Parts, #Hashtag, and even old school gallery Roberts were on site beside galleries from LA, NYC, Beijing, Paris, Montreal, Uganda, and more. The appearance of online-only Toronto galleries Circuit Gallery and EYE BUY ART was notable - fairs like these are a rare chance for galleries without bricks and mortar locations to be visible IRL. On the other side of the spectrum, Manifold Editions had some Damien Hirst polka-dots on hand which got the fair buzzing, if mostly with audible eye rolls.

Love Art Fair TorontoEccentric works in China Print Art Gallery (Beijing) were much more enchanting. If I had the petty cash to take home anything from Love art it would have been Feng Ying's Afternoon, a watercolour of a woman leaning over a table in the company of her cat ($3,850), or (as I think most people at the fair would agree) Thou Shalt Die ($1,695) a cozy sweater from Nebraska gallery Darger HQ. There were also some $5,000 Marcel Dzama's on hand - the mark of a good art fair in my unbiased opinion.

Love Art Fair TorontoIf you're not a fair of Hirst polka-dots, wearable sculpture with vaguely Satanic connotations, or contemporary illustration, the fair still more than enough to offer: while the photography selection was limited, there were paintings for landscape and cityscape lovers, contemporary abstract addicts (I will never understand you), and fans of portraiture, pop art, and sparkles - there are always sparkles at these things. The other mark of success was the apparent lack of bacon themed art, though Toronto's Jay Dart veered a little too close with his extreme beard obsession.

Love Art Fair TorontoFacial hair overdose aside, the Love Art Fair is a success. The one issue is the fair's set up: though considerable in size with over forty galleries in attendance, it still seems hidden away at Heritage Court in the back of huge Direct Energy Centre. Still, once you're in the maze of booths, it's time well spent, especially if you've got at least a meagre budget to put toward your art collection. If not, there's always the eavesdropping.

Love Art Fair TorontoLove Art is open at Heritage Court, Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes' Blvd, Exhibition Place) Thursday, May 8 11am - 6pm, Friday, May 9 11am - 7pm (with free Friday hours from 5pm - 7pm only), Saturday, May 10 11am - 7pm, and Sunday, May 11 11am - 6pm. Regular admission is $12.



Launa Bacon / May 8, 2014 at 04:08 pm
Thank you for highlighting Angela Simione's amazing work and Darger HQ. We love Love art fair.
Rebecca Loudon / May 8, 2014 at 06:19 pm
I own a couple of pieces by Angela Simione, she of the brilliant dark and thrilling sweater. All I can say is BUY IT NOW as she steamrolls into the fame she so deserves.
Rebecca Loudon
Marcy Eason / May 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm
I love an art review with good pictures...sounds like a good vibe.
Emily McInnes / May 10, 2014 at 01:11 pm
Hi Aubrey,

I run the online photography gallery you mentioned

Thank you for the great article, and for taking notice that this is indeed a great chance for us to have a physical space. I have to say, it's been a lot of fun to get out from behind the computer, to talk to people, and see how they're reacting to the work.

The fair has been a great chance for us to connect with a local audience, and to see some of the work we sell printed huge and framed!

So. Cool.

Thank you again - I really recommend people come check this out!

Emily McInnes
Founder and Director

Zarmeen / May 11, 2014 at 08:17 am
Awesome article and the art pieces are simply fabulous.
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