After a bit of sun worshiping on the South bank this weekend, the beau and I decided to head over to Somerset house and check out the new Pick Me Up, the UK’s first annual graphic art fair. We’ve been looking at a lot of graphic art lately as we’ve been keen to put up some interesting prints in our new home, so, the event seemed the perfect opportunity to check out some new talent and original work.
“Pick Me Up Selects is an exhibition of 20 international rising stars of the graphic arts world specially selected by an industry panel. Each artist will be producing new, exclusive work to see and buy” – Somerset House
Although not all the artwork was to my taste it was really interesting to see how the style of works varied between nations. My favourite artists were Paul X. Johnson, Kristjana S Williams, Martin Nicolausson and Sarah Maycock who’s Bear painting below was my most desired.
Amusingly, on reading an interview with Sarah on It’s Nice That when asked if her portfolio was on fire and she could only save one piece/project to salvage, which would she choose and why? Sarah replied “It’s too big to fit in my actual portfolio, but it would have to be the Bear painting I made for my final exhibition. I stood/sat/lay/crawled on the paper to paint him, so he and I are quite intimate now.”
I obviously wouldn’t have taken away her bear from her but I did walk away with a cheeky print copy!
Looking around the exhibition you really do get a craving to be creative so the gallery wisely invited the most innovative graphic art collectives, galleries and organisations to design site-specific spaces to exhibit, make and sell artworks, offering visitors a chance to experience a behind-the-scenes studio atmosphere.
I had never been to the contemporary graphic art fair before but will not hesitate to go again next Spring when the show returns for its fourth year. I think the gallery has done well to host a dynamic line up of established artists whilst also providing a platform for emerging artists too. So, if you get a chance the exhibition is still on until the 1st of April, go on, be cultural!
(Images: We Hold Secrets by Niki Pilkington & Bear Illustration by Sarah Maycock)