The Affordable Art Fair begins Thursday, offering great deals on sweet work from hundreds of worldwide artists -- but what's the point of dropping coin on pieces that aren't pricey unless, one day, they'll be very pricey? To guide your investment strategy, we brought in gallery owner and art expert Kipton Cronkite, who inherited his relative Walter's stentorian trustworthiness, but not his moustache. Kipton's picks: Roos & Chris These Dutch artists create oft-disturbing, cartoonish porcelain sculptures of coital couples and anthropomorphic animals they describe as "parodies on human behavior", e.g., pigs smiling, and a pair of bulldogs wearing racing helmets, as if they were jockeying for...poop position?
Check the face oddities at AmstelGallery.com Matt Hoyle An internationally-acclaimed photog, Hoyle shoots eerily detailed portraits for glossies (Rolling Stone, New York Mag) and ad agencies (Saatchi, Arnold), plus does idiosyncratic personal projects, e.g., "Encounters": photos of Americans who claim to have witnessed UFOs, ghosts, or monsters (not to be confused with "Casual Encounters", which is monsters-only). Creepily awesome photos at SousLesToilesGallery.net Chen Jiagang This Chinese architect-cum-photog shoots bleak urban and industrial landscapes, e.g., "Mine Debris Vehicle", showing a young woman standing before immense machinery, and "Gong County", showing a mountain village apparently blighted by overexposure to Chuck Barris. Intriguing starkness at ChinaSquareNY.com Valeria Nascimento Originally from Brazil, this London-based sculptress creates large wall installations of complex organic forms (roses, sea urchins, etc) with porcelain and perspex, an acrylic glass known for its brittleness, and for sounding like something you shouldn't take without consulting your physician. More albino flowers at ValeriaNascimento.com Paul Beliveau In his acrylic-on-canvas series "Humanities", this Canadian painted arrangements of the tattered books in his library, e.g., Art of the Renaissance II and Love Me Thunder, from the author of the highly-unacclaimed memoir, I Was a Nubile Stable Boy. Bro, the Humanities at PaulBeliveau.com