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Touring the Affordable Art Fair


Seasoned collectors and first-time art buyers will head to the Affordable Art Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea from September 28 until October 2. While pieces at mega fairs like Frieze and Art Basel come from art-world superstars and can fetch millions, art at this New York fair sells for a more manageable maximum of $10,000. Consider yourself a novice? Not to worry—here’s how to tour the Affordable Art Fair like a connoisseur.


Take a tour

Beginners can start with one of many guided tours. On October 2, art world expert Susan Mumford will lead Women Artists to Watch—spotlighting six women artists from the exhibiting galleries at the Affordable Art Fair. Get Mumford’s top-notch advice on collecting contemporary art before exploring the fair.

This fall, the Affordable Art Fair team-hosted Collect Yourself tours will return—with each tour focusing on an artistic topic or theme that the tour guide finds personally engaging. This year’s topics include Asian art, photography and, perfect for New Yorkers, finds under $500 for your tiny apartment.


Recharge and refresh

Pace yourself—you can’t rush finding the perfect piece of art. After starting the day with a tour, break for the food at the café. The catering is by New York’s legendary Butterfield Market, which started as a small grocery store in 1915 that delivered to the likes of Brooke Astor and John Rockefeller. The food is freshly made on-site every day, so be sure to break to enjoy a sandwich, salad or refreshment before starting your search.


Start small

The bigger the artwork, the more expensive it’s likely to be. Starting with a more modest price tag isn’t just an economical choice—more budget means being able to acquire more than one piece to start building your collection. Some small, featured pieces from the collection include:

A Day at Rockaway, 2016

Medium: Oil on paper, 14 in x 11 in

Price: $425

Artist: Kristin Texeira

Gallery: Uprise Art

Nocturno, 2012

Medium: Silkscreen with collage, 10 in x 14in

Price: $650

Artist: Miguel Olivares

Gallery: Harris Stanton Gallery

Untitled 4 (house series), 2016

Medium: Acrylic on board, 10 in x 10 in

Price: $750

Artist: Negin Dastgheib

Gallery: 3walls

And remember: a modest collection that matches your tastes and interests is more important than simply a large one.


Keep these artists on your radar

Wondering who will be the next art world big shots? From Guno Park to Yunhee Lee, fair director Cristina Salmastrelli (ELLE Magazine’s April 2016 Coach of the Month) forecasts five up-and-coming artists who should be on every collector’s radar.