Diana, The Queen and Thatcher… Masterpieces created live before your eyes at Manchester’s Buy Art Fair

By Jess Owen

Art is being created in front of people’s eyes at Buy Art Fair in Spinningfields this weekend.

Notorious street artists are bringing their spray cans to the streets of Manchester in a unique chance to see freehand graffiti live.

As the largest art fair in the North, Buy Art Fair, in conjunction with The Manchester Contemporary, are hosting over 500 artists and 70 galleries.

Amongst a number of up-and-coming and local artists, work from Breaking Bad Graffitist Akse-p19 will be showcased.

This year’s Fair has already witnessed an increased interest in street art with works from Banksy, Dolk and Mr Brainwash.

However last night’s guest appearance from Pure Evil, whose street art and prints sell for thousands, solidified this event as the go-to for graffiti.

The world-renowned descendent of the controversial Sir Thomas More used liquid text paint to produce three pieces featuring the late Princess Diana, the Queen and Margaret Thatcher live for the public.

Akse –p19 is to follow in the same fashion, producing a freehand spray painting portrait of a homeless person on canvas on Saturday September 28 and 29. The French graffiti artist of Vietnamese origin relocated to Manchester 15 years ago and now has a fast growing reputation in the North West.

A number of Manchester’s own artists are also exhibiting their work throughout the weekend. MM had the chance to catch up with a couple of budding artist’s at the Buy Art preview.

MOODY MANCHESTER: Janet Kenyon’s paintings of the city (picture courtesy of Janet Kenyon)

Bolton born Janet Kenyon is just one of the budding artists at the Fair. She gained a reputation for her innovative use of watercolour in her subtle yet vibrant cityscapes which depict the ‘pockets of space in the heart of the urban drama around.’ 

Her pieces capture the different artificial and natural light of the night time cityscape and have been exhibited in Salford, Bury and the Lowry art Gallery Manchester. 

Having won a number of competitions, including the notable Sunday Times Cityscape Prize in 2009, Kenyon is an example of the talent on show.

She said: “The Buy Art Fair is a really well organised event. There is something for everybody, for all tastes and variations.”

Katie Hampson, 20, is the youngest artist at the Fair, and has been a commercial artist for four years painting animal watercolours.

She attended last year’s Buy Art Fair and was impressed. “The fair is doing a lot for art in the north,” she said. “It is interested in what is modern. People expect Leonardo Davinci however this brings art to the people. It keeps art modern.”

FRESH FACED: Katie is Buy Art Fair’s youngest exhibitor at just 20

Thom Hetherington, Buy Art Fair’s managing director, spoke of the growing impact of the fair on the art world.

He said: “Over the years, Buy Art Fair has brought original art and the idea of buying work and collecting pieces, to a new and broad audience as well as introducing emerging artists and galleries to existing Northern collectors.

“Our passion for accessing, appreciating and investing in original art has rubbed off and we’re seeing new collectors each year, as well as more established buyers and even curators from national institutions.

“With works starting from as little as £50 and going up to £5000+, we’re hoping the art buying bug continues to catch on and that we can, in turn, carry on supporting some of the UK’s most exciting galleries and talented artists.”

The Buy Art Fair runs from Thursday September 27 2013 till Sunday September 29 2013 in Spinningfields. It is open from 11-7pm and is free entry. 

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