Mei Moses Art Market Index Update –

Mei Moses Art Market Index Update –

A tracking report on the year-to-date value of the Mei Moses All Art Index has been issued by Beautiful Asset Advisors. According to the fall art market insight report, as of 10/31/2008, the value of the index was 270.58** which, as one would expect, is down on the 2007 year end value of the index which was 279.42. Although the value of the index is published annually, according to the people at Beautiful Asset Advisors® LLC who calculate the index “We are now getting sufficient incremental data during a year so that at periodic intervals we can recreate our index with the sales that have transpired during the year up to that date. If we assume that these periodic sales have taken place at the end of the year than the index numbers we would get would be the ones that would be achieved at the end of the year if no additional information was collected. We have employed this technique to generate the summer and fall tracking results.


Marilyn Monroe image copyright Andy Warhol

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Mei Moses Index before it is basically a number that represents the rate of return of fine art for a particular year. The rate of return can basically be defined as the annual percentage return realized on an investment. If you haven’t heard of the Mei Moses Index before or have heard of the index but wondered how it is calculated then read on. The Mei Moses index is calculated using data collected from repeat sales of the same work of art which is then used to determine the annual return of that particular work of art. For example, if a painting was purchased in 1990 for $50,000 and then sold in 2000 for $150,000 the total return would be 200% over a 10 year period which could then be broken down to 20% per year. The problem with using the average increase in value per year calculated from the total increase in value according to the two sale points is that the assumption is being made that the work of art increased (or decreased) in value by the same percentage each year which would not be the case. To combat this problem the Mei Moses index uses a special formula to determine as accurately as possible the yearly increase (or decrease) in value.

A simplified example of how the index is calculated is given by Matthew Spiegel who is a finance professor at Yale university. Spiegel’s example is:
Painting C sells in years 1 and 3 and during that time returns 5% per year (10% total for two years). Painting D sells in years 2 and 3 and returns 3% (3% total for one year). The repeat sales index would start by estimating the return from years 2 to 3 at 3% in order to perfectly fit the return on painting D. Given this it would then estimate the return to art from years 1 to 2 at 7% (3%+7% equals total of 10% return as per return of painting c), which will then allow the model to also fit the return to painting C. The index would then have the following values:
Year 1: 100
Year 2: 107 (+7%)
Year 3: 110.21 (+3%)
Spiegel emphasises that “This is a very simplified example and hides quite a bit of the mathematics involved when there are many more paintings” In other words, when calculating the index using 13,000 repeat sales things get rather more complicated.

At the current time the Mei Moses index database has approximately 13,000 repeat sale pairs to which approximately an additional 1000 pairs are added each year. According to the creators of the index, JIANPING MEI & MICHAEL MOSES, “To insure transparency for our art indexes we only collect data based on public auction results. We gather data continuously on the New York art market from Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses and have gone back to 1925 to start our analysis. If the object has been held for at least a year and we have successfully found both the sale and buy prices including the relevant buyer’s premium we include it in our database”

To read the full fall market insight report go here:

and for more information on the index go here:

**This value incorporates sales which occurred this year as of the above date and which will be included in the year end value of the All Art Index. The tracking value of 270.58 DOES NOT include sales that have occurred SINCE 10/31/2008 or WILL OCCUR in the balance of the calender year.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

The Rise of Rothko –

The Rise of Rothko –

Mark Rothko

TITLE: No. 1 ARTIST: Mark Rothko

London’s Tate Modern is currently holding an exhibition of Mark Rothko’s later works through to 1st February 2009. The collection plunges the viewer into his deep “colorfields” – chromatic spaces for meditation. Marcus Rothkowitz was born in Latvia in 1903 and his family moved to the United States when he was ten. He devoted his life to art in the 1920’s, founding the Artist Union of New York and then in 1934 he mixed with the future major artists of the New York school, including Jackson POLLOCK and Adolph GOTTLIEB. For simplicity Mark ROTHKO (his name was americanised in 1940) is often associated with the American abstract expressionist movement. However Rothko was outside its sphere of influence by the end of the 1940s when his artistic approach broke completely free of figurative depiction, limiting himself to the creation of zones of vibrant colour that he considered spaces of living energy – materialisations of the spirit – and not abstractions. Described by Clement Greenberg as “Colorfield Paintings”, Rothko considered his paintings as “spiritual substrata”.

At the end of the 1950s, his colours became darker. Heavy reds, browns and blacks dominated his palette until his suicide in 1970. This sombre vein of work was less appreciated by collectors than his brighter colours until 2007 when an Untitled work with various shades of black painted just a few months before the artist’s death fetched more than USD 10 million (14 November 2007, Sotheby’s).

In 1961, the Museum of Modern Art of New York gave Rothko a major solo exhibition. Four years later, one of his Colorfield paintings from 1955, Two dark rectangles on a red background (204 x 107 cm), sold for 10,000 dollars. In 1966, a similar painting, Red Number 22 (1957), sold for USD 15,500 … 20 years later, his better works were fetching over a million dollars and in 1999 his vibrant N°15 yellow and red fetched more than USD 10 million at Sotheby’s, his first auction sale above that threshold. In May 2008, the same painting came up for sale again at Christie’s where it fetched no less than 45 million dollars! However this was not Rothko’s most spectacular auction sale: on 15 May 2007 a piece entitled White Center generated the highest bid of that year when it sold for 65 million dollars at Sotheby’s, a sum representing the highest hammer price for a post-war work of art. Moreover, during 2007 his price index was considerably boosted by six works selling above the 10 million dollar line, taking his annual sales revenue to 207 million dollars. Until 2007, the final balance in the best years was somewhere between 35 and 50 million dollars. Between January and November 2008, the total Rothko auction sales revenue stood at close to 50 million dollars, largely thanks to the above-mentioned USD 45m sale of No.15 (1952) Indeed, 2008 would have been another exceptional year for Rothko 2008 if his 1956 painting Orange, Red and Yellow (205 cm x 175 cm) had not been shunned by buyers at Sotheby’s in May… It was one of the highlights of the Post-War and Contemporary Art sale on 14 May 2008… when the market was still relatively euphoric.

The only record set by Rothko in 2008 has been his bought-in rate: 26.6% of his works offered from January to November remained unsold. This is three times the usual rate (average of 9% between 1998 and 2007).

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers 08 –

Top Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers 2008

wild-blue-yonderLawrence Weiner “Wild Blue Yonder” DVD from Printed Matter

Lawrence Weiner
“Wild Blue Yonder”
[Deluxe Edition]
New York, NY: Printed Matter, Inc. and Moved Pictures. 2002
Synopsis: This is the deluxe edition of Printed Matter’s book and DVD movie by Lawrence Weiner. Packaged in a Japanese silk covered folio with embossed cover, each copy contains a unique drawing on the DVD sleeve by Weiner. “It’s indescribable, ” said Weiner, “it’s ‘Wild Blue Yonder.'” Elegant and excellent. Produced with special funding generously provided by Art for Art’s Sake.

Category: Printed Matter Edition
Pages: [112] p. ; DVD
Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 38 x 25 cm.
Cover: Paperback
Binding: sewn bound
Features: slipcase
Process: combination
Color: color
Edition 100
Signed: Signed and Numbered
Price Info: $650.00

blekbook3-thumbBlek Le Rat limited edition print and book from Wooster Collective

“The Man Who Walks Through Walls”
Limited Edition Print of 300
10.5″ by 13.5″
Acrylic Silkscreen Ink
3 Color Screenprint on Archival Lennox 100 Paper
Signed and Numbered by Blek Le Rat – 2008.

Limited Edition Box
FiberMark’s Black Elegant Touché Cover Paper, matte finish
10 5/8 by 13 5/8
Hand stamped gold foil rat
Getting Through the Walls
128 page paperback
300 illustrations, 290 in color
Sybille Prou and King Adz

$300 US
Shipping US: $35
Shipping EUR $45

stackLimited edition print of “Stack” by Mauricio Alejo from Eyestorm

Mauricio Alejo Stack, 2006
Born in Mexico City in 1969, Mauricio Alejo’s photographs record everyday objects, often cut or painted, set up in absurd arrangements.
Work size: 51 cm x 40.5 cm (H x W) Notes: Edition of: 20
Signed by the artist
Digital c-type on crystal archive matt paper
Published 2008
20 x 16 ins

Price £ 331.91 (£ 389.99 inc. VAT)

wind-chimesWindchime by Pierre Huyghe from Parkett Art


All But One, 2002
Windchime for outdoor use, 5 hand-tuned aluminium tubes, 1 3/8″ (6,1 cm) diameter each, top hanging ring 2″ (5,2 cm), black cord, black wood striker,engraved aluminium wind plate, 4″ (10,2 cm) diameter, overall length 55 1/8″ (140 cm), overall diameter 8″ (20,5 cm), manufactured by Jeff Kile, Grace Note Windchimes, Mariposa, California, Ed. 70/XXX, signed and numbered certificate

$ 1700.00
Euro 1200.00
CHF 1800.00

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton from

In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie’s auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami’s studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton’s entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture. (

art-and-architecturePrints of retro Arts and Architecture magazine covers


The cover designs on the Arts and Architecture magazine website are some of the most amazing Mid-Century Modern graphic art available anywhere. Choose from over 260 retro-edge cover prints from 1945–1967!

The A and A Collection features cover art reproductions designed by Twentieth Century graphic design masters Herbert Matter, John Follis, Alvin Lustig, Saul Bass, Charles Kratka, and Paul Rand among others. Select covers are available as fine-art prints you can purchase very reasonably.

These fine-art prints on 100% rag watercolor paper make the perfect gift for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and any other special occasions, or just to hang in your home or office. Make your selection now and start enjoying the pleasures of modern art by visiting our site.

$140 each minus 20% discount until 26 December

Enter promo code 122608 at:

Limited edition t-shirts from Common Threadz

Your purchase of hip, limited-edition tees provides school uniforms for orphans in Africa, helping them get an education that can make the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity. A uniform is not just a requirement there, but essential to building confidence & academic success

Garment washed, limited-edition tees designed by the world’s most talented artists for a great cause!

A tremendous amount of care goes into each t-shirt, rendering unique hemlines, detailed stitching, and precise cuts. All our products are garment washed, yielding super-soft fabrics with a vintage feel. Our lightweight, fine gauge and innovative fabrications are combined with sleek, modern silhouettes, and the result is a collection of apparel as unique as the individuals wearing them. In addition, all of our designs are donated from leading artists and we print only 250 of each design. Given the fact that we give a school uniform to a child in need as well, it’s $38 well spent

wanders_crochetThe Crochet Table by Marcel Wanders from Minima Design

Crochet Table

Mooi darling Marcel Wanders classic design piece. Well published design, the Crochet Table here is offered at half the regular internet price. 11.75 x 11.75 x 23.5 inches


Other objects available at

lamp-set-sergio-silva-oyuleOyule Lamp by Sergio Silva from 66 Degrees

Oyule, a Lamp Set by Sergio Silva

Industrial designer Sergio Silva works in a variety of mediums to showcase his creative work. From aluminum chess sets to wood cinder blocks, Sergio blends industrial themes, modern aesthetics, and classic materials to make his creations must-haves for any home.With his Oyule lamps, Sergio has transformed an idea into a limited run production. Working with reclaimed light bulbs, Sergio has tried to “send the bulbs back in time”, introducing a modern-day icon as a traditional light source. As the incandescent light bulb gives way to new technology, Sergio has repurposed it as an elegant oil lamp — the Oyule lamps use non-flammable paraffin oil and a wick replaces the filament. Machined parts are used to ensure strength and safety, without betraying the original look of the light bulb. But the true elegance of this piece comes from the way these light bulbs interact with the base. By placing a strong spherical magnet inside the bulb (which responds to a steel component embedded in the acrylic base), Sergio has liberated the lamps from any visual obstruction, allowing the viewer to appreciate the form in all its beauty. This two-bulb set, on display at Sergio’s studio since 2006, has attracted the interest of several media outlets, including the popular blogs Core77, Ecogeek, and DesignSponge.

power-of-art3Simon Schama’s Power of Art on DVD

Watching Simon Schama’s Power of Art is like taking an Ivy League course in art appreciation, with the folksy but knowledgeable Schama as guide and interpreter. A collection of hour-long films on eight seminal artists and their groundbreaking works, which originally aired on British television, this boxed set is as entertaining as it is enlightening, with Schama doing for Western art what, say, Steve Irwin did for Australian natural history. Eight artists are featured–Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rothko–and each portrait of the artist weaves biography and historical context to help explain the true power of his works.

tomaselli-treeSelf-adhesive Christmas tree wall sticker by Fred Tomaselli from Art Ware Editions

For A Green Holiday Tradition 08, celebrated artists Fred Tomaselli, Phoebe Washburn, and Markus Linnenbrink have each created a die-cut vinyl wall-sticker Christmas tree. These life-size, self-adhesive vinyl trees can be applied directly to the wall by either removing the paper back or simply pinning it

Fred Tomaselli

Tree, 2008
self-adhesive Christmas tree wall sticker
72 h. x 17 w. inches
limited edition

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Catherine Opie at Side Street Projects –

Catherine Opie at Side Street Projects –

Catherine Opie Untitled (Side Street Projects' Mobile Headquarters) (2008)

Catherine Opie "Untitled" (Side Street Projects' Mobile Headquarters) (2008)

Side Street Projects is an artist-run organization that helps visual artists negotiate the baffling terrain of the contemporary art world and provides art related youth education services. As part of their fundraising program Side Street projects are selling prints of works by some of the top contemporary artists including a work by the world renowned photographer Catherine Opie which can be viewed here:

According to the website: Arguably one of the most important living American photographers, Catherine Opie’s work is an ongoing investigation into the identity of contemporary America and its cities, communities, and people. The structure of urban and suburban space and how communities begin to form and the identities that surround these communities is the connective tissue found within her work. Opie’s work has always investigated the figure in relation to the landscape – she is an expert in both portrait and landscape and her work disregards the polarities typically found within these approaches. Opie’s work offers reflection upon the authority vested in photography to communicate specific group parameters within a society and conversely how images amplify human individualization.

Her acclaimed mid-career retrospective, Catherine Opie: American Photographer, is currently on exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York through January 7th, 2009. . She has been the subject of exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. Recent solo exhibitions include Regen Projects, Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis; Photographers’ Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

>About This Print
The image is of the new mobile headquarters of Side Street Projects which consists of a pair of restored vintage travel trailers, manufactured by J. Paul Getty’s Spartan Aircraft Corporation which now house a wireless communication system which runs on a 3,000 watt solar energy array which is (of course) also on wheels. Side Street Projects recently refurbished these vintage travel trailers and turned them into their first-ever “permanent” facility.

Details of print:

Catherine Opie
Untitled (Side Street Projects’ Mobile Headquarters) (2008)
Archival Pigment Print (From a Digital Photo)
Archival Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Paper (20″ x 16”
Limited Edition of 50
$1,000 (CA residents add 8.25% tax)

There are only a couple of the Opie prints left so if you would like to purchase one visit

There are also other works available which can be viewed here:

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Milan Contemporary Art Sale Success –

Milan Contemporary Art Sale Success –

twombly-milanIn a market where a majority of the major art auctions being held since the beginning of the financial crisis are experiencing far from positive results it is important to be aware that there are still many promising signs of art market resilience. One such sign is the Milan Contemporary Art Sale held by Sotheby’s on the 25th and 26th of November which raised a result of 70.6 % sold with excellent prices set for good quality works with updated estimates. Although 70.6% may not seem like a great result when compared to the 50-60% of lots being sold at other major auctions the 70.6% by the Milan sale is very positive. Even more positive is the fact that this sale was the highest ever total for a contemporary art auction in Italy at EUR 25,083,080 which is 4% higher than the total achieved for the 2007 sale.

Many of the works in the sale achieved excellent results including Cy Twombly’s “On returning from Tonnicoda” which sold for EUR 432,750 (EUR 348991 without buyers premium) which was well above the 200,000—300,000 EUR estimate and ENRICO CASTELLANI’s “SUPERFICIE BIANCA” which sold for EUR 198,750 (160,280 without premium) against an estimate of 75,000—95,000 EUR. According to Sotheby’s, good results were also achieved for works by Jean Dubuffet, Yves Klein, Sam Francis and Gilbert and George.

Considering the current state of the art market and the global financial crisis this sale shows that there is still plenty of drive left in the art market especially in countries that have not been as severely affected by the global financial crisis as the US and UK have.


LOT 247

N. 1928

200,000—300,000 EUR
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium:  432,750 EUR

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Art Fairs, Exhibitions, Auctions and Other Stuff –

Art Fairs, Exhibitions, Auctions and Other Stuff –

I often get sent emails and press releases for art fairs, exhibitions, gallery openings etc. and would love to be able to post them all however, I just don’t have the time to promote every single event that I get notified about.  What I have decided to do is single out the best of the events that I get emailed about so below is a list of the top twelve events that I have received information on all of which are well worth taking notice of.

The myartspace Miami Basel Competition

Myartspace, along with Bridge Art Fair sponsored a competition juried by a world class panel from Bridge Art Fair, SF MOMA, San Jose Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of Art. The registration and submission period ran from September 1 through November 15, 2008. Fifty finalists will be selected and three winners will have their work represented at the the Bridge Art Fair in December in Miami.

See winners and finalists here:

Peter Alwast at Gallery Barry Keldoulis

Alwast’s practice engages the construction of ‘reality’ in both the digital and painterly worlds. His seamless stitching together of the various modes of virtual reality which won him the recent new media award is in this exhibition contrasted with his paintings, which show a fondness for what many now see as the quaint naivety of the medium, and the foibles of humanity the painted surface exudes when compared to the clinical exactitude of the virtual world.

Phillips De Pury December 17 Design Auction

Phillips de Pury & Company is pleased to announce our upcoming auction of Design to be held in New York on 17 December 2008 at 2pm. Phillips de Pury & Company continues its mandate to offer discriminating examples of contemporary and modern design, including architectural pavilions and ceramics. Significant early works from star designers Ron Arad, Marc Newson and Zaha Hadid are presented in dialogue with mid-century masterworks from Gio Ponti, Serge Mouille, Alexandre Noll and Jean Royère. Phillips de Pury & Company continues to influence design’s debates by introducing work from cutting-edge contemporary designers such as Jurgen Bey and Aranda\Lasch. This sale notably re-investigates the radical practices of futurist designer François Dallegret, whose eclectic works, though neglected by the history books, clearly resonate within the design community.

AUCTION 17 December 2008 2pm

Viewing 10 – 16 December

Reception 11 December 6-8pm


Los Angeles—The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Contemporary Projects 11: Hard Targets—Sport and Masculinity, from October 9, 2008 through January 18, 2009. The exhibition features photographs, sculptures, video, and installations by artists, including Mark Bradford, Harun Farocki, Brian Jungen, Shaun Leonardo, Collier Schorr, and Joe Sola— all of whom suggest through their work that the male athlete is a far more ambiguous, multidimensional figure in our collective cultural imagination than ever before.


The London Original Print Fair returns to its old home in the main galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House on Piccadilly next year, from 22-26 April 2009. Over 50 international dealers, galleries, publishers and print workshops have been accepted to show work at this, the longest-running specialist print fair in the world. Now in its 24th year, the fair is the largest event of its kind in Europe.

Death By Basel – December 2-7, Fredric Snitzer Gallery Miami

The Fredric Snitzer Gallery is pleased to present DEATH BY BASEL, an exhibition featuring artists from Japan, France, Norway and the US. The exhibition, selected by Agatha Wara and Antonin Gaultier, will coincide with this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, from December 2 – 7, 2008.

Fredric Snitzer Gallery FRED’s Projects
2248 NW 1st PL Miami, FL 33127
t. 305.448.8976 f. 305.573.5810

GSK CONTEMPORARY @ Royal Academy of Arts

A multidisciplinary season of cutting-edge visual culture at the Royal Academy of Arts supported by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

This autumn, the Royal Academy of Arts will launch GSK Contemporary, a new season for experimentation, discussion and debate within contemporary visual arts, made possible thanks to the generous support of GlaxoSmithKline, the Royal Academy’s first title sponsor.

The second part of the season, Collision Course, reflects the winter timings of the programming with a bleak and austere aesthetic underlying the three main exhibitions; Burroughs Live, Sudden White and Dark Materials, as well as the accompanying programme of talks and cinema screenings.

Royal Academy of Arts, 6 Burlington Gardens
31 October 2008 – 19 January 2009

Part II: Collision Course
16 December 2008 – 19 January 2009

Blacks, Jews, Muslims, and Naked Women United….STILLLIFE in Miami


STILLLIFE at Bridge Art Miami 2008 curated by Rebecca Weber
Artists exhibiting include: William Betts, Leslie Furlong, Eric Robert Parnes, Phillip Thomas,Walter Tschinkel, Reuben Wu.

Building off of the success of Berlin this exhibition will continue to examine the current state of cultural and world affairs with an aesthetic that examines not only current political concerns, but the concerns of man within the natural world. View Berlin Tagesspiegel on STILLLIFE Oct 29th

Keith Coventry @ Haunch of Venison

Painting and Sculpture Part I: Early Groups

10 December 2008 – 31 January 2009

Haunch of Venison is delighted to announce the first of two major exhibitions presenting work by the acclaimed British artist, Keith Coventry, for the last exhibition at Haunch of Venison Yard prior to the London gallery’s move to 6 Burlington Gardens in spring 2009. Coventry is known for his paintings and sculptures which manipulate the legacies of Modernism in order to address the conditions of contemporary urban life. Many of the art historical references that Coventry deploys are defined by the utopian ideals of Modernism. Coventry plays with these beliefs and shows them to be misconceived; the gulf between belief and reality stimulating a series of powerful and troubling undercurrents in his work.

Sheba Chhachhi @ Bose Pacia New York

Chhachhi’s Winged Pilgrims series is an innovative take on the questions of new media and globalization. Images of migrating birds, the robes of Buddhist pilgrims, and the exchange of technological aesthetics create a platform for these questions. By exploring the sort of reverse evolution of digital technology and migration the artist makes space for a discussion of globalization where traditional trajectories of advancement are can be destabilized and opened for discussion.

Originally created for the Singapore Biennale in September 2006, the work has also been exhibited at the ZKM Center for Art & Media in Karlsruhe, Germany as part of the exhibition Thermocline of Art: New Asian Wave (June 15-October 21, 2007), at the Hangar Biccoca in Milan, Italy as part of the exhibition Urban Manners (October 9, 2007 – January 6, 2008), and at Nature Morte in New Delhi (December 22, 2007 – January 19, 2008).

Winged Pilgrims: A Chronicle from Asia
November 13 – December 23, 2008
New York

Simryn Gill @ MCA Sydney

Opening this Thursday 20 November and running throughout summer, the MCA presents a solo exhibition of new and recent work by leading Sydney-based Malaysian artist Simryn Gill. The exhibition, Simryn Gill: Gathering, includes photography, objects, books and text works by this internationally renowned artist.

Born in Singapore in 1959, Gill lives and works in Sydney and Port Dickson, Malaysia. She has exhibited widely throughout Australia and internationally, including at the Biennale of Sydney (2002 and 2008), the São Paulo Biennial (2004) and the Venice Biennale (1999). Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (both 2006).

Art Perform @ Art Basel Miami Beach

Since 2005, Art Basel Miami Beach has supported artists working in the sphere
of performance and live art through the Art Perform program. Curated by Jens
Hoffmann, Director of the CCA Wattis Institute in San Francisco, this platform
features a selection of international artists who are invited to conceive and present
specially commissioned site- and context-specific artworks. All presentations will
take place on the Art Perform stage at Art Positions.
Participating Artists:
Christian Jankowski (Germany), Adriana Lara (Mexico), Yoshua Okon
(Mexico/United States), Jordan Wolfson (United States)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
8pm Jordan Wolfson
Friday, December 5, 2008
8pm Christian Jankowski
Saturday, December 6, 2008
8pm Yoshua Okon
Sunday, December 7, 2008
8pm Adriana Lara

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Next Star Artist Update November 08 –

Next Star Artist Update November 08 –


It’s been a while since I posted an update on Herb Williams who won the inaugural Next Star Artist competition so here’s the latest goss. The most exciting news is that Herb was chosen to create the album cover for the mega popular rock band The All American Rejects ( who have just released their latest album titled “When the World Comes Down” which is to be released on the 16th of December. For the cover (see image), Herb really stepped up and created what I think is an absolutely astonishing and extremely evocative image that uses the crayon in ways that I never would have imagined it could be used. Herb’s use of fire and melting crayon is really effective and extremely innovative as well as being just plain cool.

herb-williams-exhibition1Herb’s work is currently being exhibited at the The Rymer Gallery in Nashville Tennesee as part of the galleries current exhibition called “Colour is Relative” which runs from the 1st to the 29th of November.
You can see the works by Herb Williams that are being exhibited here:
The website featured a selection of photos from the opening reception for the exhibition which can be viewed here:
According to “Artist Herb Williams, Tonia Trotter and Neil Ward show off Herb’s colorful shoe art made completely of crayons. Herb, the curator of the Rymer Gallery downtown, showed several pieces to collectors in Pink Slip, the hotel’s bar.” (see image)
The Rymer Gallery is located at 233 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219 (

herb-williams-uniteEven more exciting is the print that Herb has produced of the amazing portrait that he recently completed of President-Elect Barack Obama to celebrate the momentous victory. If you would like to get your hands on one of these awesome prints you can bid on a signed copy currently being auctioned on ebay by Herb. This is a signed print of the original portrait of President-Elect Barack Obama, that Artist Herb Williams constructed from over 50,000 crayons. The portrait is based on a photo that famous portrait photographer Richard Avedon took during the ’04 Democratic convention, where Obama gave his infamous, “red and blue states” speech. The archival print is mint, 20″ x 16″, and signed in pencil with the artist’s name in the lower right hand corner. You can view a short segment where NBC interviewed Herb and featured the original here: You may also view more of Herb’s original works in crayons here: Herb was just awarded the Next Star Artist award ’08, and did the album cover artwork and cd artwork for the new All-American Rejects album, “When The World Comes Down”, to be released December 16th. This signed copy of the print is currently being auctioned by Herb on ebay which you can bid on here:

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

SF Camerawork Benefit Auction 2008 –

SF Camerawork Benefit Auction 2008 –

112 Laurent Millet Untitled, 1999; from the series Mon Histoire Avec Les Pierres; toned gsp, 24 x 20,” AP, signed on verso, $1,800/2,800. Donated by Robert Mann Gallery, NY.

112 Laurent Millet Untitled, 1999; from the series Mon Histoire Avec Les Pierres; toned gsp, 24 x 20,” AP, signed on verso, $1,800/2,800. Donated by Robert Mann Gallery, NY.

The 2008 SF Camerawork benefit auction includes some absolutely fantastic works that should appeal to all collectors of photography and art investors. With 183 lots and a wide range of works there is sure to be something to interest anyone so take a look at the catalogue now to ensure that you don’t miss out.

Founded in 1974 San Francisco Camerawork encourages emerging and mid-career artists to explore new directions in photography and related media by fostering creative forms of expression that push existing boundaries. Camerawork has presented almost 400 exhibitions highlighting local, national and international contemporary photographers in its thirty year history. Camerawork is also instrumental in bringing traveling exhibitions to the Bay Area. In addition to photography, Camerawork exhibits artists working in installation, video, film and related media.

On the 6th of December SF Camerawork will be holding their annual benefit auction of vintage and contemporary photographic art the proceeds of which support SF Camerawork’s exhibitions and educational programs.

Highlights of the auction include works by: Berenice Abbott, Uta Barth, Richard Barnes, Marco Breuer, Ellen Carey, Binh Danh, Judy Dater, Robert Dawson, Robert Doisneau, Kota Ezawa, Larry Fink, Jim Goldberg, Doug Hall, Ann Hamilton, Todd Hido, Pirkle Jones, Michael Kenna, Dinh Q. Lê, Michael Light, David Maisel, Richard Misrach, Herb Ritts, Jack Spencer, Catherine Wagner, William Wegman, Edward Weston, and many others.

Auction catalogs are free and available at SF Camerawork and other local galleries. Catalogs also may be ordered by telephone, fax, or e-mail.

Absentee bids may be submitted online via our new secure online bidding feature, or printed and faxed or delivered to SF Camerawork.

Auction Date:
Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 1 pm (Registration begins at 11 am)

Preview Exhibition – free
November 6 – December 5, 2008,
12 to 6 pm

Special Evening Reception – free
Thursday, November 6, 5 – 8 pm

657 Mission Street, 2nd Floor
(between Third and New Montgomery Streets)

$40 for the general public;
free for SF Camerawork members

The full catalogue can be viewed here:

and absentee bid forms can be found here:

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Paris Photo Auction Bucks Trend –

Paris Photo Auction Bucks Trend –

Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (1793-1870), Vue du salon du Baron Gros, vers 1850-1857

Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (1793-1870), Vue du salon du Baron Gros, vers 1850-1857

As one of the most important private collections of 19th century photography to have ever been assembled, the sale of the collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes by Sotheby’s offered collectors and investors the opportunity to acquire some of the most historically important photographs in existence.  The importance of this collection was highlighted by the final of the four part sale that took place on the 15th of November achieving a total of €2,029,876 total from 192 lots which equated to 72.4% sold by lot and 79.6% by value – an extremely positive result at a time when sales that total less than 60% by value have become the norm. Highlights of the sale included a full-plate daguerreotype (c.1850-57) by Baron Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros which sold for €216,750 (lot 7, estimate €150,000-200,000), an 1850s wax-paper negative by John Beasley Greene that sold for €48,750 (lot 3 estimate €15,000-18,000) and a daguerreotype by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey titled “Great Mosque in Jerusalem” which fetched €55,950 (lot 21 estimate €25,000-35,000). The collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes was sold by Sotheby’s in four parts the first of which went under the hammer in 1999 in London achieving a total of US$12.3 million for 265 lots. The second and third parts of the sale of the collection took place in March of 2002 and were devoted to Charles Nègre and French 19th Century Photography. The combined total of parts two and three was €11,814,210 which included the sale of the first-ever image made using a photographic process for €489,750

Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes were Antiquarian booksellers in Paris who developed their collection over a period of more than 40 years acquiring works from industry contacts, dealers and collectors.
According to a Sotheby’s press release from 2002 “André Jammes had the vision of building a study collection of early photographs in 1955, when he was still in his twenties. Continuing a family tradition, he had, from a young age, developed a passion for books and the processes of creating them. He was especially interested in the evolution of typography and calligraphy, and has published important research in these subjects. Such interests became a stepping stone into the then largely neglected field of the history of photography. Jammes was drawn to the medium and soon recognised that the early history of photography deserved to be better effectively researched and better appreciated. Monsieur and Madame Jammes justly regarded the invention of photography as a development of enormous importance, comparable to that of printing in the 15th century.”

More information on the Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes can be found here:

The fact that Jammes sold the best part of his collection to the J. Paul Getty Museum prior to auctioning off the remaining works through Sotheby’s makes on wonder what the results of the sale could have been had the very best works from the collection been sold.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

The Price and Value of Contemporary Art –

The Price and Value of Contemporary Art –

contemporary-art-auction-2The problem with the market for contemporary art is that the perceived value of the work by a contemporary artist (especially emerging artists) is often reliant on someone taking the risk of backing that artist which then adds credibility to their work thus prompting other people to buy their work as well.  With the work of contemporary artists (even more so with emerging artists), the price of their work and the value of their work are often virtually one in the same because it is likely that there will be little or no other factors with which to determine the value of their work.  The reason that I refer to the value of work by emerging contemporary artists as perceived value is because it is a value based on the opinion of who ever is purchasing the work. It is unlikely that an emerging artist’s career or their body of work would have had time to develop or progress enough for someone to make a justifiable judgment regarding the value of the work based on the characteristics that are most often used as indicators of value. These indicators include: provenance, contribution to art history, rarity, exhibition history of artist, critical analysis, significance of particular work in artist’s oeuvre, recognition by scholars and academics etc.

In a nutshell, the contemporary art market is driven by people’s perception of value which is, in turn, based on other people’s perception of value which is basically what people refer to as the domino effect. One person gets the ball rolling and others keep it going. This trend is evident with the likes of Charles Saatchi who can make or break an artist because of the influence that he has on people’s perception of an artist’s work. Saatchi’s influence is so great that people mimic his actions regardless of their own point of view and regardless of what Saatchi’s motives for purchasing that artist’s work may have been. By the very act of purchasing an artwork Charles Saatchi or anyone with a similar level of influence can, by purchasing a work of art, give value to that work of art and the artist that painted it. Because there is no real set of factors that dictate what determines the value of a work of contemporary art by an artist whose career is still in the developing stages we often have rely on the opinion of experts such as art critics, gallery owners, museums, collectors, dealers etc. to provide an opinion of the value of the work of a contemporary artist. An opinion which, in the case of gallery owners and dealers, is quite likely going to be at least somewhat biased and subjective.

During boom times the prices being paid for works by many of the contemporary artists rise at a far faster rate than they should and for reasons that are not related to the actual value of the artist and their work. It is usually the speculators and flippers who push the prices for the contemporary works of art sky high as they try and make a quick buck. However, when the potential for making a quick buck disappears and the art market takes a hit, these flippers and speculators are the first to exit the art market. Because the value associated with a work of contemporary art is a type of value that is dependent upon people’s actions and is not an inherent value that is automatically associated with that work of art, if people stop buying the work work of such an artist then there are no, or very few other factors that give value to the work of art. With the one major source of perceived value no longer in play people then start looking at the traditional defining factors of value such as the ones I mentioned earlier (provenance, contribution to art history, rarity, exhibition history of artist, critical analysis, significance of particular work in artist’s oeuvre, recognition by scholars and academics etc.). Because the traditional defining factors of value become much more identifiable and qualifiable the longer the artist has been working and the longer the artist’s work has been in existence, the work of the old masters becomes far more attractive.

People turn to the old masters and works by more established “blue chip” artists during times of art market uncertainty because the value of works by such artists is much easier to identify and because the value of such works is actually associated with the characteristics of the artist’s career and their body of work and not just based on perception. Because the value of works by “blue chip” artists such as the old masters is much easier to determine, works by these artists are far less prone to the rapid rise and over-inflation of prices like contemporary works are and, as such, represent a far more stable and less risky investment. For this reason it is quite likely that there will be a renewed interest in works by the modern and old masters and a reduced level of interest in works by contemporary artists and an even lower level of interest in works by emerging contemporary artists.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Trailblazers at Boutwell Draper Gallery –

Trailblazers at Boutwell Draper Gallery –


Work by Jesse Hogan

From the 19th of November to the 13 of December, Sydney’s Boutwell Draper gallery are holding an exciting exhibition called Trailblazers which includes work by artists from Australia, Europe and the United States who are considered to be at the cutting edge of contemporary artistic practice.
According to the exhibition catalogue “Content is what unifies the artists in Trailblazers, a show of
international contemporary artists at Boutwell Draper Gallery.The contributing artists, though in various stages of their art practices, produce the kind of content that has plucked them from their respective beginnings in new urban, underground, street and outsider art and landed them in professional art circles around the world. These are the talents that have marched forward and defined new paths for the future generations”
The artists included in the show are:
Kelsey Brookes, Copyright, Ben Frost, Matt Furie, Jesse Hogan, Hush, Ian Johnson, Anthony Lister
Buff Monster, Numskull, 1337, Alex Pardee, Shannon Dmote Peel, Cleon Peterson
Mark Whalen Kill Pixie, Plusminus, Pure Evil, J.Shea, Regan HaHa Tamanui, Andy Uprock
Trent Whitehead, Kid Zoom
Established in 2001, Boutwell Draper Gallery is committed to the promotion of both emerging and established contemporary artists. The artists shown in the gallery work in a broad range of media, from painting and photography to sculpture, installation, video and digital arts. For more information go to or see the catalogue here:trailblazers

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Defining Art Market Movements –

Defining Art Market Movements –

market-movementsRegardless of whether you hear that the art market is just undergoing a correction or is experiencing a full blown crash you can take comfort in the fact that the terminology used to describe the current state of the art market really makes no difference. For starters, there is no real definition of exactly what has to happen for a correction or a crash to occur and secondly there is not sufficient data available to make a judgment even if one was able to define the current state of the at market. When I say that there is not sufficient data available I am referring to the fact that not all sales are publicised with current estimates indicating that only 40% of art sales are auction sales leaving 60% of sales of art to private dealers. Private sales made through galleries, dealers and brokers are rarely publicised meaning that any figures relating to the status of the art market will be missing the data from around 60% of art sales. Yes, it is possible to get an idea of the performance of the private sale sector from dealers but if you are going to make an accurate definition in relation to the current state of the art market you need figures and not just opinions. What all this means is that the perception people have of the market really depends on how much the person (media) making the judgement on the status of the art market is depending on scaremongering tactics to attract attention or create buzz.

I think the most important thing to remember is that a period of consolidation and adaptation will change very little over the long term with prices due to escalate again once the financial crisis ends and people’s confidence in their financial situation and access to wealth increases. This isn’t the first time the art market has taken a hit with the last major shift from a sellers market to a buyers market taking place in the early 90’s. Although the circumstances last time around were far different from what they are today the fundamental climate of over-inflated prices caused by irrational buying remains a constant. Most serious collectors and investors would have learnt from the early 90’s correction but there are obviously still plenty of people who either don’t know their art market history or chose to purposely ignore the past and risk being severely burned in exchange for the potential to make big money in a short space of time by flipping art. Those collectors and investors who have taken the correct long term approach to the art market will hardly be affected by the current situation and will continue to hold onto their works while riding out the storm.

If I was going to use a word to describe the current art market situation I would use the word adaptation, an art market adaptation, because that is what the art market is doing, adapting to the current economic climate. Another term I would use to describe the current art market is consolidating which is defined by as “to discard the unused or unwanted items of and organize the remaining”. I am going to leave you with this quote from that I think defines the way people should be viewing the current state of the art market: “A correction is often considered beneficial for the long term health of the market, in that prices had risen too quickly and the drop put them back to more realistic levels where investors again see attractive value.”

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.