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Takeaways from Expo Chicago 2023

Oh, such a beautiful day in Chicago! I went to Navy Pier to go see Expo Chicago 2023. It was sunny and warm and lots of art, all in all, a great day. It’s supposed to snow on Sunday, so enjoy it while it lasts.

But on to Expo, which runs through Sunday, so go before it snows! You can get tickets here: I have three takeaways from this year’s show.

No real stand out trends

Art, fashion, design, all seem to be in flux. I see trends waning, but not really anything rushing in to fill the void. Frequently at these big art shows, one sees a particular artist or group of artists who appear in multiple booths. Or, a certain style or movement that is everywhere, but not this year. It was a diverse and disparate group of art.

Conservative and safe

No one was showing anything really out there or controversial. The dealers made conservative and safe choices. I think this is due to the economy and an impending recession, so dealers are appealing to the market a bit. It also, from a buyer’s point of view, was a very affordable show: there’s a lot of art under $10,000, even under $5,000. That’s nice for the art consumer but it’s also a response to the shaky economy.


While I could not point to a particular artist or style that dominated the show, lots of the artwork presented is sustainable. Many of these artists are utilizing found materials and reworking them, combining them to create new works. This is following a general trend towards sustainability and vintage items.

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