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Affairs of the Art: It’s Valen-time to Turn on the Contemporary Style this February

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, what better time/way to convey your undying love for that someone special than to introduce them to the gift of contemporary art. Forget all about the tried and tested methods of winning the heart and mind of your heart’s desire; instead why not focus on the art’s desire. What’s that, you’re not quite sure what we mean?? Well, let us explain. Year in, year out many people panic about what to get their partners once Valentine’s Day homes into sight, often leaving the decision to the last minute and then left with no other choice than to present them with the *YAWN* the dull and predictable options, traditionally including boxes of chocolates, a pseudo romantic meal at a restaurant (which hopefully isn’t McDonald’s), a bunch of pitiful flowers (if the recipient is REALLY unlucky, plucked from service station forecourt obscurity in the wee small hours of the day of romance itself) and/or edible/non-edible sexy underwear, God forbid. Or, if the boat’s been really pushed out, one of those ‘unique’ gifts where a star in the sky above (with certificate as proof) has been named after them.

Now, call us what you like, but there’s nothing remotely ‘unique’ – or overtly romantic and thoughtful – about receiving any of the above, let’s be honest here. The same accusation of which can’t be levelled when that someone special is handed a piece of contemporary art on the big day. And yes; we know exactly what you’re going to say at this juncture; something along the lines of “I can’t afford that!” or “What do I know about contemporary art??!” Firstly we’d like to point out that contemporary art is more affordable than you might otherwise think, while secondly you don’t need to know anything about contemporary art. As it’s the job of contemporary fine art supplier and dedicated galleries to advise and guide you on this particular specialist subject, so don’t fret. There are any amount of galleries out there who are well versed in suggesting what type of art would appeal to the love of your life, if you weren’t entirely comfortable making your own decision on the  matter. What’s more, there are vast amounts of limited editions available by some of the UK’s best-loved artists, which needn’t break the bank this February; providing you take the time to do a bit of research.

The New Old-fashioned Romantics

In terms of which of the best-selling contemporary fine artists who are releasing brand new compositional pieces in the lead up to Valentine’s Day 2018, and there’s one particular name which stands out; that name being Peter Smith. If anyone of the current crop of art practitioners habitually taps into the romantic psyche – not just this time of year – but throughout the normal one, then it’s the critically acclaimed Smith. Elsewhere the equally sought after – and award-winningDoug Hyde tends to put in an appearance with a new release or three around now, while the likes of Caroline Shotton and Jennifer Hogwood are no strangers to making the moooooost out of the romantic season now upon us. The latter two being contemporary animal humour exponents, who view a sense of togetherness through more bovine-esque eyes.

If you’re seeking something a little less, how can we put it, obvious, then Fabian Perez definitely knows how to put a different slant on romance. The sort that requires a bit more parental guidance, let’s just say. Nic Joly works in a similar vein; in as much as he has a heart of gold offset by a slightly soiled mind. But if visual humour floats your lover’s boat, then well worth taking a ganders at both the aforementioned. Meanwhile, Kerry Darlington certainly knows how to draw a crowd in with her fairytale compositions, which typically feature a full visual compliment of hearts and flowers for those on the look-out for something more magical. By the same token, Paul Horton is another for the more faint-hearted amongst you, and is the widely-regarded contemporary landscape artist you can rely on for painting pure, unadulterated escapist vistas; always tinged with love and belonging.

Last, but by no means least, and should you prefer your art more old-fashioned and cinematically romantic, then the two contemporary practitioners instantly spring to mind; namely Richard Blunt and Jeff Rowland. A hugely successful pair who deliver a healthy illustrative shot to the heart in pretty much each and every pictorial they create for their adoring public. Captivating iterations which envelope a feeling of yesteryear, and a time and a place when falling in love was all that really mattered in the world. Need we say more. Aside from reiterating that there really is no excuse not to put a bit of thought into Valentine’s Day this year.

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