The Buy Art Fair is a chance to see how the other half live. Those with a fistful of fifty pound notes to throw around.
It must be a bit of a coup to get it at Urbis, that stunning building in the centre of Manchester, just across from the hell hole which is the Printworks and Next, the screaming baby and harried mother magnet. Urbis: It's shiney, it's cool, it's the Pompidou Centre with it's guts tucked it.
Even if you don't have a sweaty fistful of cash to sink into some 'art', the Buy Art Fair is an interesting experience. there is just so much art, compartmentalised into odd sized booths. A lot of it is quite cheesy, there are rather a lot of naked women and flowers in acidic colours on milky smooth surfaces. Dull and frankly rather 80's... In a bad way.
Richard Scott - 'pick an orange' from Beyond The Sea
But other stuff is rather lovely and cute, there are some glorious painterly pop-y images, birch trees and now and then stunning miasmic combinations of colour and form. It is interesting to see lots of images in a gallery space removed from that pernicious didacticism. Among the cacophony of images it is surprising what pictures take your fancy.
My scrubby art date was transfixed by photorealistic renderings of rivers and forests. If he had a pocket full of fifties he would have brought something. Perhaps, since he was headhunted by a model agency to photographed as Jesus, after his modelling debut.
Buy Art Fair is at Urbis until the 12th. There are various talks and 'debates', but these seem so aimed at those with purchasing power, they look pretty pointless for the rest of us.
Look... not a single mention of the credit crunch.