Art Barter, an exhibition curated by Lauren Jones and Alix Janta, hopes to deconstruct the hype, pretence and petrifying prices often associated with big art names, and which can often taint the appreciation of the art itself. At this show, money will be useless as buyers will have to barter for art – making offers of whatever they want, based purely on the works’ aesthetic value, as buyers will have no idea who created each piece until after the show ends and their offers are in.
Artists selling their art through this bartering system will include well-known names such as Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Mat Collishaw, Gary Hume, Abigail Lane, Polly Morgan, Boo Saville, Abigail Fallis and Paul Fryer. The element of mystery is the most interesting part of the auction for Phoebe Collings-James, one of the artists selling work at the show. “It is a real challenge for all of the artists and the people bartering,” she says. “The artists will be on an even playing field, and any status they may have will go out the window and the audience will actually have to engage with the work and not a name or price tag.”
Henry Bell Hudson, who is also showing his work at Art Barter says, “It’s quite funny, I’ve only thought of it now but it would have been brilliant to have done an artwork very similar to a well-known artist such as Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk or Matt Collishaw. Imagine the look on their face as I’m stepping on to the yacht!”