Adam Reeder and Pan’s Ipod – artmarketblog.com

Adam Reeder and Pan’s Ipod  – artmarketblog.com

"Pan with his Ipod"

"Pan with his Ipod"

If I am going to be honest I have never really been a big fan of classical figurative sculpture but after being introduced to the work of California based artist Adam Reeder I may have rethink my position. Judging by the pictures on his website, Reeder is a very accomplished artist with a particular talent for classical style sculpture and drawing but it is his most recent project titled “Socio-Technic Evolution” that really caught my attention. As you would expect, classical themes and subjects are an integral part of Reeder’s artistic practice but with his latest series he has taken the conventions of classical sculpture and added a 21st century twist. “Sleeping Gamer”, “Atlas With his iPhone” and “Pan With His iPod” are the titles of a few of the sculptures that are part of the “Socio-Technic Evolution” series which, as the titles suggest, are no ordinary classical figures.

I was so impressed by the “Socio-Technic Evolution” series that I thought that I would ask Adam to explain the concept behind these works and how he came up with the idea.

This is what Adam has to say about his work:

They are all based on the concept of how technology changes the way western culture interacts with it’s world. To display this, I have combined technological objects with Greco-Roman gods, or iconic Greek sculpture. This is because the Greco-Roman period is the root of western civilization. My work is not about the change that takes place but the change in interaction, facilitated by technology.

Pan with his mp3 player is the first in the series. It has won first place in the spring show at the San Francisco Academy of art university, as well as getting into other shows. My goal was to combine iconic Grecian images, and god’s with well known technological objects. The Grecian images and god’s were to represent western culture. The Greco-Roman empires are known as the root of western culture. I avoided using anything from the Cartesian time periods so as to keep the religious contexts out of the discourse.

The technological objects should change the context of the original image, but not the nature. Arguably, any change could change the nature of it. However, my thought was that the nature of the interaction between the image and the object, would not change the way the image would have originally interacted. I used Pan with his mp3 player as the example for my final proposal. The Greek god Pan, used a flute which he played in the wood and danced with nymphs. My depiction shows Pan, still dancing as before, but no longer playing his own music. Thus, the technology changes the context, but not the nature.

This work is not about consumerism, or commercialism. Rather it is about how technology changes the way in which Western culture interacts with it’s world. This body of work should remind the viewer of pop art, because pop art showed viewers what they were consuming in popular culture. It should also feel like an ad campaign.I like the fact that the initial reaction upon viewing (even for me) is, “oh great, another classic figure”, then upon closer inspection, the viewer recognizes these iconic technological objects and it all comes together.

I have seen that process happen in the eyes of viewers, and have been told about it from museum directors, gallery owners, exhibition organizers, and art agents. This thesis stemmed from an internal reaction I had to my 6 year old daughter’s request for an iPod for her birthday, as opposed to a Barbie, or easy bake oven. I became acutely aware at that moment, that technology was changing the way western culture interacts with its world.

To clarify, this is not a series of sculpture about a little girl, or about how I feel about the change which is taking place. My Thesis is simply a playful reflection of that change.

To see more of Adam’s work go to http://www.adamreeder.com

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

Boo Saville at Trolley Gallery – artmarketblog.com

Boo Saville at Trolley Gallery – artmarketblog.com

'Residual Condition' biro on paper

'Residual Condition' biro on paper

There is no doubt that British artist Boo Saville has a fascination with death and the effects that different causes of death have on the human body and it’s appearance. The latest solo exhibition of Boo’s work titled ‘Butter Sunk’ is currently on shown at London’s Trolley Gallery and consists of a new body of work that explores the symbolic and ritualistic images of human remains and archeological remnants.

To get an idea of the sort of images that inspire Boo’s work all you have to do is check out her blog which contains many images that are definitely not for the faint-hearted. The works of art that she has created as a result of these rather disturbing images are, however, not anywhere as gruesome or gory as her blog would suggest. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Boo has managed to extract a sort of beauty from the macabre. By removing the colour from the images of bodies in various states of decay Boo also seems to have removed the elements of the images that would normally evoke a reaction of disgust or distress. Without the distraction of an overwhelming emotional response the viewer is able to interact with the image on a whole other level as well as appreciate the exploration of shapes, textures and surfaces that is a major part of Boo’s work.

The most intriguing and spectacular works in the show are undoubtedly the monochrome ballpoint pen drawings that are created using a technique that Boo pioneered and continues to experiment with. According to the press release “Her focus is also the texture and surface of drawing, harnessed through her intuitive use of simple biros and pens: fine details of bones and hair are coupled with layer upon layer of shaded lines to produce tones and depths that resonate the shadows and amplify the echoes of these post-human forms”

'Undefinable' oil on canvas

'Undefinable' oil on canvas

In contrast to the pen drawings, Boo uses a lack of detail to create the ghostly images that appear in her minimalist oil paintings which have titles such as ‘Grey Screen’, ‘Veil’ and ‘Shroud’. According to Boo “The new paintings are suggestions of an idea rather that the illustration which is achieved in drawing. The paint has a much more lucid quality which I want to exploit.”

Unlike some artists who rely on shock tactics to attract attention to their work, Boo has used creativity, technical skill and an obvious dedication to her craft to develop what can only be described as a extremely impressive body of work that is both challenging and intriguing. It is artist’s such as Boo Saville, who are genuinely passionate about their work and don’t go after the sort of artificial fame that plagues the art world, that are the true art stars.

If you want to see an exhibition of work by an artist whose work displays a combination of technical skill, talent and dedication rarely seen in the contemporary art world then get down to Trolley Gallery quick smart.

BUTTER SUNK
Boo Saville

29th January – March 14th
Trolley Gallery
73a Redchurch Street
London
E2 7DJ
tel +44(0)20 7729 6591
http://www.trolleynet.com

For more information on the show and a virtual tour go to:
http://www.trolleybooks.com/gallery.php?gallery=272

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

Important New Limited Editions – artmarketblog.com

Important New Limited Editions – artmarketblog.com

ARTS Bristol Artist Nick Walker 1Several new and important limited edition prints by some top artists have either just been launched or are about to be launched.   The Black Rat Press will be releasing the latest print by the incredibly popular graffiti artist Nick Walker at the London Art Fair which starts on the 13th of January.  The print titled “Empire’s State” from the Morning After series is expected to be so popular that a queuing system has been devised to ensure that no inappropriate behavior occurs in the rush to get a print.  Those international admirers who can’t attend the London Art Fair had to take part in a lottery to get the chance to purchase one of the prints.  If you fancy your chances of getting one of the 175 prints which are priced at 475 pounds at the London Art Fair you can find out more information about the launch of the edition here:
http://www.blackratpress.co.uk/news-37.php

print from 'The Venice Suite' by Peter Blake

print from 'The Venice Suite' by Peter Blake

Also being launched at the London Art Fair is the new Peter Blake suite of prints called the “Venice Suite” which consists of twenty silkscreen prints which are signed and numbered by the artist. According to the Paul Stoper website “Peter Blake, known to many as the father of British Pop Art, and influence on many younger generations of artists has created twenty new prints published by Paul Stolper, entitled ’The Venice Suite’, inspired by his recent experiences in the Italian city.” Individual prints are priced at 690 pounds or the whole set can be purchased for 10,000 pounds.

The Venice Suite
Portfolio of 20 silkscreen prints
Sheet 40.65 x 30.5cm (16 x 12”)
Image 21 x 13.5cm (8.3 x 5.3”), 2009
Signed & numbered by the artist
Ed. of 75, +5 Artist Proof portfolios, +3 H/C portfolios
Printed on 400gsm Somerset tub sized

More info on “The Venice Suite” can be found here:
http://paulstolper.com/press_release/2009_blake/index.html

Measuring the Universe, 2008 (Installation view) by Roman Ondak

Measuring the Universe, 2008 (Installation view) by Roman Ondak

The work of the Slovakian performance artist Roman Ondák has been purchased by the Tate Modern and now you can purchase one of the artist’s performance works at a very affordable price.  How do you purchase a performance I hear you ask?.  Well,  “Measuring the Universe (2008)” actually involved the buyer of the edition in the performance and in the production of the edition.  The edition is a result of a project of Ondák’s that was completed in 2007 and involved museum attendants measuring the height of  exhibition visitors which was then recorded on the gallery wall.  According to the Wattis Institute’s website “For the period of one year, the owner of this edition will mark the height and name of each visitor to their home, along with the date, on a large paper against the wall and at the end of the year the work will be framed”

The work is an edition of 10 and costs $1200 unframed. Ordering information can be found here:
http://www.wattis.org/store/editions/

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

Photography Collection Wows Market – artmarketblog.com

Photography Collection Wows Market – artmarketblog.com

$5,000-7,000),

Photo by Erwitt, Winogrand (estimate: $5,000-7,000),

The Constantiner Collection of Photographs went under the hammer on the 16th and 17th of December at Christie’s New York. A total of US$7,721,875 against an estimate of US$7.5 million to US$11 million represented a very successful sale especially considering that the collection achieved the highest total for a single owner dedicated photographs sale at Christie’s. As I have reported in previous posts, a trend has become evident in recent months where sales of single owner collections are achieving extremely good results both in terms of the percentage of works being sold and the total value of works sold.  The results of the Constantiner Collection suggest that this trend is continuing.  To read an explanation of this trend see these posts:

Single Owner Art Auctions Defy Downturn – artmarketblog.com
http://artmarketblog.com/2008/12/15/single-owner-art-auctions-defy-downturn-artmarketblogcom/

Single-Owner Art Sale Success Part 2 – artmarketblog.com
http://artmarketblog.com/2008/12/17/single-owner-art-sale-success-part-2-artmarketblogcom/

Included in the sale of the collection which was assembled by Leon and Michaela Constantiner were works by Warhol, Newton, Mapplethorpe, Penn and others. According to a Christie’s press release “this spectacular collection focused on photography as a key shaping force within the media worlds that have, for over half a century, celebrated fashion, style, celebrity and desire”. The collection included a particularly large and impressive selection of works by Helmut Newton as well as a number of photographs of Marilyn Monroe who was the focus of the collection. The highlight of the auction was a work by Newton titled “Sie Kommen, (Naked and Dressed)” which sold for US$662,500 (estimate US$400,000-600,000) which is a new auction record for Newton.

See Constantiner Collection results press release here:
http://www.christies.com/presscenter/pdf/12182008/124223.pdf

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

Rarity is Driving the Art Market – artmarketblog.com

Rarity is Driving the Art Market – artmarketblog.com

rarityOne of the trends that has emerged since the art market began to soften is the increased desirability of works of art that that have not appeared at auction for a long period of time or have never appeared at auction. Such works are usually given the term “fresh to market” by the auction houses although an exact definition for a “fresh to market” work is unclear. This means that the use of term can be abused by unscrupulous dealers or auction houses who wish to lure buyers to a particular work . Technically, a work that is “fresh to market” would be a work that has not appeared at auction more than once but it seems that if a work has not appeared on the market for twenty years or more that the term “fresh to market” can legitimately be used in relation to that work. Another term you may see used in relation to art is scarcity which has a similar meaning to rarity except that scarcity is used more to refer to a lack of supply that does not usually take into consideration the characteristics of the object it’s self. Scarcity is used to describe antiques more than original works of art because most antiques were produced in significant numbers making the number still in existence particularly important to value.

The longer it has been since a work of art appeared at auction the more buyers will be attracted to a work. This is mainly due to the fact that many buyers equate a long period of time since a work of art was last put up for sale with rarity as well as a certain level of urgency.  This urgency is brought about by a perceived possibility that the work may not be put up for sale again for another long period of time or may never appear on the market again as may be the case if snapped up by a museum or public gallery. There is also a particular level of prestige and desirability associated with works of art that have been in the possession of one person or entity for a considerable period of time. When a work of art is referred to as being rare it is usually because it is rarely put up for sale as opposed to the more common definition of rare which refers to the existence of a limited number of a particular object. Since an original work of art is rare by it’s very nature the number of times it has been put up for sale becomes one of the defining characteristics of a work’s rarity. Works that have been in the possession of one person for a long period of time also tend to have better provenance than those works that are constantly being bought and sold. It is also quite common for works that have not been on the market for a long time to have been part of a single owner collection. Works from significant single owner collections are always highly prized as the collectors have usually made an extra effort to get the highest quality works and the most significant works as well as works that have excellent provenance all of which are characteristics that make a work of art more desirable.

At a time when people are having to justify their purchases far more than they did prior to the financial crisis one of the determining factors when deciding whether or not to make a purchase is the rarity. The question that people are asking when deciding whether to buy a work of art that is having the greatest affect on the art market is “If I do not purchase this work at this current time due to the financial crisis how likely am I to be able to buy a similar work once the financial crisis has ended?”. The answer to this question may very well depend on whether that particular work of art appears on the market on a regular basis or whether similar works appear on the market on a regular basis. In a nutshell, a buyer is more likely to purchase a work regardless of the current financial crisis if the purchase of that work represents an opportunity that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon. There are of course many other factors that can give the perception of rarity but you will have to wait for a future post to hear more about those.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, 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 – artmarketblog.com

The Price and Value of Contemporary Art – artmarketblog.com

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 http://www.artmarketblog.com, 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 – artmarketblog.com

Trailblazers at Boutwell Draper Gallery – artmarketblog.com

jesse-hogan

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 http://www.boutwelldrapergallery.com.au 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 http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.