Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 Outsider Art Fair

(Above) This “Caballero” by Martin Ramirez sold for a price tag in the range of $250,000.
(Above) A fabulous work by Ramirez, a train heading into a tunnel.
(Above) Martin Ramirez, another exceptional train and tunnel drawing.
(Above) Nice to see this great piece by Edgar Tolson at Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago.
(Above) A rare monumental “Angel” by Raymond Coins, at American Primitive Gallery, NYC. This was an incredible piece, priced at $8,000.

I report without hesitation that the new venue for the 17th Annual Outsider Fair was a huge step forward for Sanford Smith. The booths were spacious, professional looking and well lit, and it just seemed that the work looked better over all. I do not think I spoke to a single person who missed the Puck Building venue—except for the Soho environs, which is just so much more fun than the current location at 5th Ave. and 34th (across the street from the Empire State Building). The one thing that was the same as past years were the grumpy security people and ticket-takers...

The star artist of the fair was, to my thinking, Martin Ramirez, whose newly discovered cache of work was also on display at The American Folk Art Museum. Additionally, there was an extraordinary amount of work for sale by Bill Traylor. Why? One dealer agreed that in our poor economy, past owners of the works are now looking to sell and are consigning them to various dealers.

Art dealers seemed to be quite happy with the event—and while there is never a report overall sales, it did appear that the market for this work is doing OK. Certainly, there are buys to be had because of the economy. In a nutshell, the great art continues to hold their prices or see increases. I saw lots of people—big crowds. One dealer told me that it took two days to break even—and she was counting on the final day (Sunday) to show a profit.


Kim and David said...

Welcome back. Seems as though there were great things at the Outsider, as usual. I posted a spirit photo on my blog a couple of days ago. You might enjoy looking at it when you recover from your trip. Kim

John Foster said...

Thanks, I'll check it out. I am exhausted but recovering. Thanks Kim & David!

Unknown said...

Why did it take so long to pull Martin out of his cell? He told you he wanted to go home. Just keep patting yourselfs on he back soon you'll kill everything.

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