Kate Whisthstandley's Arts blog 'Exploring Art In the City - and beyond' reviews The Other Art Fair 2013, at Ambika P3, London
As art fairs go, The Other Art Fair is a personal favourite. Set in a fabulous warehouse space at Ambika P3, it takes art and the artists back to a place in which they should be, through a dialogue which needs to be happening; that of direct communication between the artists and the public. Breaking these established barriers down ties in with a general shift in culture which seems to be gaining momentum – that of the re-ignition of conversation. You will undoubtedly speak to untold numbers of people who deride (not-so)modern technology as having been the downfall of personal dialogue, but the irony is that speaking to whomever you like has never been easier. Whereas in the past you were unlikely to be able to have a direct discussion with a chosen artist/musician/writer unless you either moved in the same circles, were privileged enough to get an introduction, or lucky enough to bump into them in the street, all it now requires is a quick @ and your message is sent. Of course the recipient may embrace their prerogative and not reply, but the chances of this depend much more on the quality/interest value of your comment than your social standing and ability to get close, as it may previously have been in the past.
The Other Art Fair embraces this modern concept in a traditional manner – face to face contact – but without the (often money-orientated) gallery salesperson. Buying direct from the artist is, to me, ultimately more satisfying as an art lover, as opposed to the sales dance required of an art investor, who are more the clientele of aircraft hanger-scale ventures such as Frieze. Having been to The Other Art Fair in 2011, I then missed the 2012 incarnation but did manage to attend the 2013 artist preview at The Office Space last week. The evening took the form of a taster event, showcasing 3 specific artists in order to whet your whistle for the main exhibition at the end of this month.
Alberto Fusco uses mosaic pattern and collage as his inspiration, focusing intently on the geometricity of colour and form. Starting his career as a teacher, Fusco began working as a professional artist a year and a half ago, after his freestanding sculptures began to dominate his time. By this count he must have still been working as a teacher when I saw him exhibit at the 2011 Other Art Fair, although from the interest I observed him generating at that time, I’m not surprised he soon became a full-time artist. His work is full of positive contradiction – its explicit tactility inspires the urge to touch it, to open it and yet it will not open and cannot be touched. It uses the chaos of newsprint, the dialogue and the imagery, as a visual tool, and yet the strict geometric language by which it is ruled constrains that freeflow of information; hides it behind a wall of glue and varnish. It is constructed from words and images on paper, 2D materials which, in his hands, become contained 3D objects changing as you move around them in a space. Having specialised in mosaics as part of his degree in public art, he takes inspiration from tessellation and pattern, combining it with the manipulation of magazine pages, a favourite pastime as a child. Works such as Enterpe are instinctively reminiscent of fireworks and catherine wheels, tieing in with Fusco’s own description of his pieces as being ‘like a candy shop’; joyful, colourful, uplifting.
FAD magazine 16 June 2012
Alberto Fusco answers Ja-Eun Kang's questionnaire at The Other Art Fair 2012
J.K. If you weren’t an artist, what else would you be?
A.F. Maybe an actor. I am talkative and like meeting people. And when I was younger, I loved cinema and theatre.
J.K. Why did you apply to the Other Art Fair?
A.F. I wanted to show my art works within a context where I can hopefully sell them.
J.K. Is it your first time you have participated in the Other Art Fair? If not, what was your experience last year?
What are your expectations of this year’s fair?
A.F. Hopefully some good feedback and to be able to sell my art works!
J.K. Can you tell us more about the process behind your work? And what are the main ideas you would like to express?
A.F. I construct shapes from folded magazines, the process is playful. As I am a mosaic artist, my art work is inspired by colors and shape. After I fold magazines, I sculpt and paint the works with resins and adorn with glasses from mosaic tiles.
J.K. What defines something as a work of art?
A.F. I think it can be everything. Something that inspires the mind and makes your brain work. I don’t think there is specific term to define art. You know, I think, if there is something that pleases you, then I think that is an art.
J.K. Anytime, anyplace – which artist’s body would you most like to inhabit?
A.F. There is no specific artist’s body I would like to inhabit, but I really like Van Gogh’s paintings. I am inspired by such beautiful colours and his brush strokes. I think it is a beauty of simplicity.
J.K. What is your favourite ism?
A.F. Impressionism. Again, I love the colours that they used and I think impressionism broke the conventions of the past and led emerging artists to contemporary art.
J.K. What was the most intelligent (or dumbest) thing that someone said or wrote about your work?
A.F. Somebody told me my work seems like a woman and another person said that it looked like a mushroom or a face. I have had lots of feedback from people and it inspires me to develop my works further for future versions.
J.K. How have you managed to sustain your practice? Are you represented by a gallery?
A.F. To sell my art work, maybe the most important thing!! ahaha!! I have had a few commissions from two galleries today. I have worked with artists, made mosaics and public art.
J.K. If MOMA or the Tate or the Pompidou wanted to acquire one of your works, which one would you want them to have?
A.F. Yes! I have it called ‘Blueman’. A large-scale piece and I would like to show this work on the big wall in the Serpentine Gallery.
J.K. What’s next for you?
A.F. I want to self-publish magazines, that are autobiographical, that contain photos of myself and my family. Currently I use ready-made magazines within my artworks but if I had my own magazines that acted as the main source of the work, it would be more of a self portrait.
Interview with Ja-Eun Kang
See original article here: http://fadmagazine.com/2012/06/16/alberto-fusco-answers-fads-questionnaire-at-the-other-art-fair-2012-2/
For more information on the artist, please visit: