The Affordable Art Fair made its annual spring appearance in New York City this weekend, and we dropped in to check out the scene and to see if maybe—just maybe—we could walk away with a little something. That, of course, is the point of the event (featuring original art priced from $100 to $10,000), the only art event we know of from which a good many visitors leave with something outsized and bubble-wrapped in tow. Well, we didn’t actually buy anything, but we were impressed, as always, by just how much stellar art can be had for the price of a handful of expensive Manhattan meals.
Makiko Azakami, whose particular talent is for making us look anew at “the prosaic objects of everyday life,” had us immediately drooling over a 32-inch red Push Pin, a sculpture so preposterously realistic and perfectly proportioned, it took some effort to not reach out and run a finger over its epoxy gloss. Azakami calls her 3-D work “Paper Toys,” and to be sure, her work induces the kind of playful wonder with which we view Claes Oldenburg’s massive sculptures of objects equally mundane. But mostly, we couldn’t look away from the extraordinary properties that allowed paper, that most prosaic of materials, to be so convincingly manipulated; and, of course, we were wowed by the extraordinary skill required to manipulate it so beautifully that we had to look in the first place.
Credit: Onishi Project