Staged at the Barbican and described as “the most radical departure from art fair commercialism”, the Free Art Fair returns this October as the everyman's alternative to the commercial art fair frenzy.
Now in its third and final year, the fair, where all the work is given away at the end, is curated by maverick artist Jasper Joffe. “I thought we should do something different from what everyone else is doing at this time of year," he explains. "This gives anyone the chance to own a serious piece of art.” Thus far he has created an unlikely new group of owners – finding new homes for Rose Gibbs sculptures and Stella Vine portraits, among many others.
Last year saw artists give away more than £100,000 worth of artwork, and more than 50 artists, including the likes of Martin Sexton, Harry Pye, and Caroline Mortimer, are among the contributors in 2009. Our advice: be prepared to camp outside the Barbican on October 17. William Parry
Free Art Fair is at the Barbican Centre, London, October 12 – 18 www.freeartfair.com
(Clockwise from top left: "Vincent Van's Cock" by Caroline Mortimer; "The Lot" by Marlene Dumas; prospective art owners join the queue)