The first Art Car Boot Fair was held in London in 2004 with a line-up of around 30 artists including Gavin Turk, Abigail Lane, Mat Collishaw, Fiona Banner and Bob & Roberta Smith. The ACBF has been held every year since, except for 2005, and it currently takes place twice a year and features an invited line-up of 150 artists with Turner Prize winners pitching next to rising stars, fine artists next to street artists and everything in between. The art is exclusively commissioned for the event and presented at fabulously reduced, just-for-the-day prices by the artist in person.
The main aim of the Art Car Boot Fair is to be a day when the artists let their hair down and for visitors to engage with art and the artists in an informal way, and to pick up some real art bargains to boot. The Art Car Boot Fair is an exciting and energised one-day event, widely regarded as the most democratic and fun way to buy art.
Founded and produced by Karen Ashton, a curator and independent art consultant and writer, and originally produced with Helen Hayward, the ideas behind the Art Car Boot Fair developed out of Joshua Compston's 'Fete Worse than Death' and Gavin Turk's 'Livestock Market' and 'Articultural Shows', Hoxton-based events that blazed a trail in the late 90s. The first Art Car Boot Fair picked up where they left off with the intention of re-introducing some summer fun and frivolity into a thriving but increasingly commercial London art scene.
This year the organisers of the Art Car Boot Fair have risen to the challenges posed by the global pandemic by developing an online version of their famously exuberant one-day event, bringing the anarchic spirit of the ACBF to digital life. The first Viral Art Car Boot Fair will take place on Sunday 4th October 2020. It will act both as a "lockdown" iteration in response to the Covid-19 crisis and also as our digital counterpart for all our future events, keeping the artist at the centre and extending our event to a new global audience.