As head of Range & Research, an important part of what I do involves keeping informed about what is going on in the wider art world, forecasting and spotting trends to inform the art we publish at East End Prints. Art fair season has begun and my first port of call is Affordable Art Fair in Battersea.
On Friday afternoon a friend meets me at the East End Prints shop in Brick Lane and we take the bus all the way from Bishopsgate. We walk through Battersea park, with the blustery weather blowing blossoms around so it looks like snow, to the large white tent. As we enter, there is immediately a display of artwork exploring Pantone’s Colour of the Year: Living Coral.
The first piece that grabs me is three pears on a plate, its composition and strong use of black adds a intriguing edge to the soft colour of coral. We will soon begin to see pears everywhere, so much so that it becomes a running joke to spot the pear in every artwork. With their delicate shades of green which compliment coral so well and their feminine curves, we can see why pears on trend. Move over watermelons, papayas and pineapples; pears, lemons and cherries are the fruits of choice for 2019.
It's not only fruit, vegetables are also making a big comeback this year, with beetroot being top of the list. Its deep wine hue and beautiful veiny leaves cropped up in a couple of works, most noticeably these beautiful painting by Nettle Grellier. We'll be watching out for what she does next!
Moving away from the kitchen, circles were a big motif, in particular incomplete circles, which we will be taking note of for our research this year.
It's not all serious in the art world. We also had a major giggle at these terrifying bunnies and nearly died of embarrassment when I exclaimed to man 'That's awful' to which he calmly replied 'That's mine.'
Look out for pears, cherries and plenty of circles from East End Prints in the coming months! In the meantime you can check out our coral collection here.