Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cheap Art & Laughs: Affordable Art Fair & ASSSSCAT

I had a hankering for art on Sunday afternoon, so I headed down to Chelsea for the last day of the Affordable Art Fair at 125 W. 18th. St. The show had received a lot of good promo press, but I'll confess my expectations were pretty low. Quality canvases for under $10,000? Unlikely. Perhaps my experience at Sotheby's had tainted my love for the cheap artiste. Fortunately, the mammoth art extravaganza restored my faith that there is exceptional contemporary art available to collectors on a budget. The work displayed was all over the map - traditional, decorative, provocative - and more than 70 galleries were represented. Shows are held in New York City annually in June, and there are upcoming shows in the UK and Australia.

After gazing at great visuals there, I wandered around the block and happened upon the Chelsea Antique & Collectible Flea Market at 17th St. & 6th Ave. A different kind of aesthetic on the cheap, these booths were home to vintage jewelry, beads, clothing, collectibles and the requisite cast of thrift shop junkies. The wares were of a consistently good quality, as were the prices. Though smaller than many of NYC's more famous flea markets, this is definitely worth a visit.

To top off the evening, I headed to 307 W. 26th St. to check out the Upright Citizens Brigade's improv/sketch comedy act ASSSSCAT, hosted by Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live fame. On this particular night, fellow cast members included SNL's Seth Meyers, Colbert's Peter Gwinn, Old School screenwriter Scot Armstrong, and others from hot & humorous media. This comedic experience is wildly popular and had popped up on my cultural event radar with too much consistency to ignore. Besides, the 7:30pm show cost a mere $8 and the 9:30pm show is free. Lines formed around the block, however, so get there well in advance.

Bonus: Standing in line for the show and having an elderly gentleman ask me to hold his pet parrot Ed while he went into Gristedes to get a soda. Happy to say that Ed was talkative but exceptionally well behaved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank-you Mary. I am going to call and find out how one can show with this group. (I'm already in London doing may universe paintings before I even call.)