Saturday, November 2, 2013

Affordable Art Fair Seattle 2013

Join us at the fair, November 6th - 10th, 2013. 

The Affordable Art Fair is returning to Seattle for its second year.  The AAF is an internationally recognized art fair that produces exhibitions in New York, Hong Kong, Milan and London.  These events allow new and established art collectors to view, in one location, the works of emerging and established artists.  Moreover, all of these works are under $10K with most coming in under $5K by rule. The AAF presents a great opportunity for us to work with galleries from our region and around the world.  What is better is that it opens the door for new collectors to enter the market and established collectors to view works of great pedigree.  

Hall Spassov Gallery is participating again in 2013.   We will feature new work from our existing roster of artists such as James Key, Daniel Ochoa, Mars and Pony and Amy Spassov among others.  The Affordable Art Fair is a great forum to introduce new artists that have shown great potential.  Raul Campos, from Mexico, paints poignant, striking human imagery devoid of non-essential information and Sherri Gamble, from Washington, is a glass artist whose work is a salient reminder of our connection with nature.

Below is an interview done by The Affordable Art Fair

Seattle collectors series with Erik Hall & Amy Spassov

This week we have been chatting to Erik Hall and Amy Spassov, the husband and wife duo who run the Hall Spassov Gallery. Erik and Amy started the gallery in 2006 in Bellevue, WA. Here they reveal why collecting art is all about the hunt, as well as give their top tips for starting a collection from scratch. The Affordable Art Fair is returning to Seattle for its second year.  The AAF is an internationally recognized art fair that produces exhibitions in New York, Hong Kong, Milan and London.  
Where did your passion for art begin?Amy: My first experience with art started with visits to my Uncle’s home in NW Portland. He has a distinguished and eclectic style; good taste in my opinion.  He has thoughtfully collected art for many years. In those early visits I made a connection with his art and through the years I would gain new insight from each piece. I may have not realized the importance at the time, but those moments, in hindsight, are where I found my deep interest for original artwork and the need for it in my life.
What’s the best thing about collecting?Erik: I have a few things I collect and what I enjoy about each of them is the hunt. Finding and acquiring an exquisite piece of art, vintage motorcycle, or rare piece of furniture is easily one of the most satisfying things I do.
Amy: I share the same sentiment with Erik, though my emotional connection with a piece of work plays a huge role in why I collect and the majority of time this rules my decision to purchase a piece.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a collection?Erik: Take your time! Those walls don’t need to be filled up today, tomorrow or even in the next ten years. Your taste will inevitably change and if you go too hard too fast you are going to waste money and time. Acquire pieces that haunt your thoughts and let one or two get away so you can understand how bad it feels when they do. It will help guide your future purchases.

“We have a piece being done by Gretchen Gammell for above our buffet, who is one of my personal favorites, and we have a few of her other works in our collection including this piece which is called ‘A Complicated Sounding.’” (Amy)
What was the very first piece of art you bought?
 My first piece was purchased from a photographer named Amy Postle. She and I admired one another’s work and we collectively decided to do a trade. Her piece hangs in our bathroom and my affection for it is still as strong as when I received it years ago.
Erik: The first piece of art I purchased was from an artist who had her work up in a coffee shop. It was a big piece that belied its price, as it was only $800. I still have it and I still like it.
Any top tips for displaying your art?Erik: This is where I become forcefully opinionated! Creating a union between two of the most personal things in your life, your home and your art, is as important a task as any.  I give each piece room to breath. I make sure each piece has been lit correctly and is at a height were an average size person can access the middle of the painting at eye level. It is always a disappointment to see works crammed together, dark and at heights that don’t allow a viewer to engage and connect with it.
Amy: Erik and I have hung a lot of artwork in our lifetime. These guidelines are very helpful. Finding a good center on a piece is the key and will make it easier as you add work to your walls.  Of course there are times when the rules can be broken. Some pieces of art were meant to be rebels and you can have a little more fun with placement.

“Another piece we love by Daniel Ochoa, ‘Moreno and Blanco.’” (Amy)
Do you have favorite piece in your collection?Erik: At the risk of sounding politically correct, I like them all equally. If someone said I had to pick one…a portrait of Waris Ahluwalia by my wife, Amy Spassov. It is equal parts cool, sexy and inventive…I love it!
Amy: Glad you like it Erik. Naming your favorite piece of art is similar to naming your favorite kid. I just can’t do it!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Beast" Bench, 2013

Amy and I will often go to antique stores on Sundays.  On a recent Sunday I found an older fireplace guard  and all I could see was a bench.  This is the sketch I made after purchasing the piece.

A few weeks later Amy and I found ourselves in yet another antique store.  This time we were after an old chair or table we could steal some legs from.  This poor chair had no idea that its life was about to end.  I pulled the legs and stripped the finish to reveal some nice looking mahogany.

Once the legs were off the challenge quickly became how to fit them to the new wood.  The frame of the bench left few options to attach the legs, but this is how it went down.

This is what the side would eventually look like.  The whole idea of the bench was to be classic and antiquated in the back (the claw foot) and modern in the front (clean line maple).

More fitting and mock-ups...

I had to make a template based on the shape of the fireplace guard.  It was not easy as the fireplace guard was not symmetrical, but the bench needed to be.  Clamping the round edge was no picnic either.

This got really tricky as I had to keep the legs parallel to each other and perpendicular to the bench top as I clamped the sides on.  This is some serious duct tape and peanut butter stuff here, but it worked until the glue set up.

Here is the bench pre-sanded and pre-stained.  Now the fun stuff starts...

I wanted the back to be black and the front to be more stained wood.   I dyed the entire bench with a black aniline dye.  After it dried I sanded the wood back where I did not want the black to be.

Here is the backside after the dye and first sanding.

Erik Hall, "Beast", Leather Wood Iron,  2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Studio visit with Cheryl Ekstrom

We recently took a trip to Los Angeles and spent a day with sculptor Cheryl Ekstrom getting to know her and her work.  It was easy to loose track of time once we stepped inside.  Every corner of her space seemed to tell a story with plenty more for you to discover on your own.  She is an exquisite woman and artist. We are thrilled to have a show scheduled with a selection of her work opening July 11th, 2013.

View the video of the making of this bronze piece "Misplaced Heart With A Wolf At Her Back"

Large Beanbag Sculpture- Stainless Steel