Art lovers queue up to get hands on free artworks

LONDON (Reuters) - If there is no such thing as a free lunch, some of Britain’s leading contemporary artists are doing their best to prove there is such a thing as free art.

During the last week over 50 artists, including Gavin Turk, Chantal Joffe, Bob and Roberta Smith and Bruce McLean have been showcasing their work at a central London gallery and at the end of Sunday art lovers will be able to take away a piece for free.

Founder of the Free Art Fair Jasper Joffe said the idea was to provide an antidote to the hype that surrounded the September auction of Damien Hirst’s new works at Sotheby’s that fetched 111 million pounds.

“I thought we should do something different from what everyone else is doing at this time of year and non-commercial, and something that excites people and values art not selling,” said Joffe on the Free Art Fair’s website.

“This gives anyone the chance to own a serious piece of art.”

However, Hirst still made his presence felt at the Free Art Fair with one of the exhibitors Paul Harris offering a piece of paper said to have been touched by the multi-millionaire artist.

This is the second year that Joffe has run the Free Art Fair, with people having queued up overnight to get their hands on the free artworks.

Reporting by John Joseph; Editing by Christina Fincher