Art Market Blog – Collecting Artists’ Books

Art Market Blog – Collecting Artists’ Books

center-three-cages-cover.jpgThe old saying ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ could not be more true in the case of artists’ books, which are a relatively unknown and under appreciated collectible. As the name suggests, the general definition of an artist’s book is a work of art realised in the form a book, but not the sort of book you find at a library. One of the main characteristics differentiating artists’ books from everyday books is the utilisation of the book’s physical form and appearance as a work of art, which means that the artist is involved in the design and production of the book.

When referring to a book we usually think of the standard codex format, but artists’ books utilise the book in all its various forms such as scrolls, fold outs, loose boxed pages etc. As well as using different book formats, book artists use techniques such as altering the format and structure of the pages, using unusual/original materials and printing techniques, experimenting with different forms of binding and creating sculptural book structures. To provide further recognition of the artist’s book as a work of art, and not a commercial product, the artists’ books of today are usually created as ‘one off’s’ or in limited editions and are often hand made.

Artists’ books started to become popular in the 60’s during the emergence of the conceptual art movement, which promoted the idea or concept of an artwork as more important than the art object. These ideas or concepts were often presented in written form such as with Yoko Ono’s ‘Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings’ which gives instructions in poem form for various activities that are meant to invoke a higher state of consciousness and artistic enlightenment if carried out. The increased popularity of sculpture in the 70’s and the emergence of installation art in the 80’s influenced the creation of books that incorporate the sculptural and three dimensional elements that are now a common feature of artists’ books. The 80’s also brought more advanced printing techniques which allowed for easier access to production facilities and an easier production process that led to an increase in the number of artists utilising the book as an art form.

There is plenty of information on artists’ books online as well as online stores such as
‘Printed Matter’ (http://www.printedmatter.org) that sell a wide variety of fantastic artists’ books such as ‘Three Cages’ by Joyce Cutler Shaw, which is a triangle shaped accordion book that incorporates the symmetry of the triangle into it’s structure. ‘Three Cages’ is an edition of 250 with each book signed and numbered and can be purchased for only US$45.

With prices ranging from $20 to several thousand dollars, artists’ books are an affordable way to start collecting art. With the increased interest in collectibles as a form of alternative investment and the growth of the art market there has been a revival in the popularity of artists’ books which I hope will continue to result in greater recognition and appreciation for artists’ books.

Further Resources:

http://bookartbookshop.com/
http://www.centerforbookarts.org/
http://www.wsworkshop.org/_art_book/artbook.htm

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

The Art Market Blog – Past, Present and Future

The Art Market Blog – Past, Present and Futurehand_with_reflecting_sphere.jpg

As the art market prepares for the final round of sales that signify the end of another year I thought it a good time to reflect on the last six months and give a bit of an insight into what the next six months will bring for the Art Market Blog.  Since starting the Art Market Blog in April I have been overwhelmed by the positive response and encouragement that I have received from people all over the world which really makes the effort and late nights all worth while.  Recent mentions on the New York Times website, the Wall Street Journal website, the Conde Nast Portfolio website and many others, have confirmed my original belief in the need for a resource that revealed the inner workings of the art market in a way that was easy to understand and useful to people interested in investing in art

In between dealing with all the request that i get to give my thoughts and opinions on tv, radio, in magazines and newspapers and on websites, I have been working on a video which will give my views on the future of the art market and my predictions for 2008 which should be launched in the next couple of months.  I have also been working on some exciting projects and reports which will change the way you view the art market and hopefully revolutionise the world of art investment so be sure to check back regularly so you don’t miss out.  My addiction for art has seen my own art collection grow in size in recent months so you can expect to see some posts on my art collecting exploits in the very near future. 

Over the next few months I will be guest blogging at the Absolute Arts website where I will be focusing more on writing about art as opposed to the art market so if that sounds like something you would be interested in stay tuned for for further information.  Speaking of writing about art, some of you may already be aware that I write the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit (and have done for two years) but for those that don’t you can check out the magazine’s website here: http://www.acpp.com.au

On a different note, I spend last weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney where I saw an absolutely amazing exhibition of work by Australian artist Julie Rrap called Body Double which according to the MCA website “explores the persona of the ‘trickster’ in Rrap’s work, the theme of the ‘body double’, and considers the ways in which the artist oversteps the margins of bodily representation”.  If you are in Sydney then I highly recommend seeing the exhibition otherwise you can see the details of the exhibition and some pics here: http://www.mca.com.au/default.asp?page_id=10&content_id=2977 

To finish this post I would like to say that if you would like my views on art, art investment or the art market for tv, radio, magazines, newspapers, websites etc. or if you just want to ask a question or say hi then please feel free to contact me at info@artnotice.com

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

Buying Affordable Art Online – Ten Awesome Online Art Galleries

Buying Affordable Art Online – Ten Awesome Online Art Galleries

cash-register.jpgGet those credit cards ready because you won’t be able to resist all the fantastic artworks available at the awesome online galleries below.

http://www.newbloodart.com
Newbloodart offers affordable, original artwork by artists who are currently studying or have recently graduated from art courses in the UK.

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/blogon/build_your_own_collection/
List of limited edition works available for purchase

http://www.photographerslimitededitions.com/index.php
The outstanding gallery for the most famous art, fashion and celebrity photographers.

http://www.acria.org/store/store_artwork.asp
AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA), a collaborative and independent not-for-profit organization, studies new treatments for HIV/AIDS and related diseases, and conducts a comprehensive HIV health literacy program. The artists listed on the website have donated artworks to help ACRIA raise funds for their important AIDS research and treatment education programs.

http://www.20×200.com/
20×200 introduces two new pieces a week: one photo and one work on paper. Each image is available in three sizes.* The smallest size is reprinted in the largest batch – an edition of 200 – and sold at the lowest price – $20. Hence the name 20×200. (200×20 just didn’t sound as good.) We also offer bigger prints for bolder collectors – medium-sized editions of 20 for $200, and large-sized editions of 2 generally for $2000 (some of the large sized editions will actually be original pieces of art and prices will vary a bit). Every single print is delivered with a certificate of authenticity numbered by the artist.

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/saleroom
The online saleroom for the Saatchi Gallery Website. The site takes no commission from artists and charges no commission to buyers. You simply buy the work you like directly from the artist, using Paypal or a suitable alternative payment method.

http://creativetime.org/programs/store/
Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm. From their base in New York, they work with artists who ignite the imagination and explore ideas that shape society. They initiate a dynamic conversation among artists, sites, and audiences, in projects that enliven public spaces with free and powerful expression.

http://www.ugallery.com
Alex Farkas, Greg Rosborough, and Stephen Tanenbaum are the founders and managing partners of Ugallery.com. The three developed Ugallery.com to provide art enthusiasts access to affordable original artwork while offering young trained artists a platform to launch their careers.

http://www.countereditions.com
Counter Editions commissions and produces prints and multiples by leading contemporary artists. The editions are exclusive to Counter Editions and each is created in close collaboration with the artist. They are produced by leading printers such as Thumbprint Press, Coriander Studios and Goldenshot.

http://www.artistsspace.org/
Since Hans Namuth produced his photographic portfolio edition for the organization in 1973, over fifty contemporary artists have generously donated editions for publication in support of Artists Space’s programs, including Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Ellen Gallagher, Sherrie Levine, Tom Otterness, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson and Kiki Smith.

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

The Dangers of Wealth – A Tale of Two Art Investors

The Dangers of Wealth – A Tale of Two Art Investors

Consider these two scenarios:

wealthy.jpgA very wealth person (Wealthy1) decides that he would like to invest in art and after going through the auction catalogues from the major auction houses for the next couple of months, Wealthy1 comes across a major painting by an extremely well known artist whose work is highly desirable and is always in demand. This particular painting is the most impressive work that Wealthy1 has seen while going through the auction catalogues and the sale of this particular work has received significant press coverage so Wealthy1 decides that this is the best work to invest in. During the auction the bidding for this particular work is very competitive with Wealthy1 emerging as the winner with a hammer price of $1,962,877 against an estimate of $1,700,000 to $1,850,000. Wealthy1 is happy with his purchase even though he paid above the estimate because he has bought a fantastic work of art that he is sure will go up in value.

Another person who is in a more average financial position (Average1) , decides that he would like to invest in art and begins to research his finances to determine an overall budget for how much he would like to invest. After deciding on a figure of $70,000, Average1 researches the art market to find out how to structure a balanced portfolio of art that provides good potential for profit and relatively low risk. The result of the research that Average1 has conducted is a plan that involves the purchase of 5 works in total of which one will be a painting, two will be photographs and two will be limited edition prints. To provide the balance between profitability and risk, Average1 will purchase two works by emerging artists (one photo and one print) and three works by more established artists. Average1 purchases three works from galleries and two from auction after thoroughly researching each artist and artwork while sticking to his plan and not going over the price limits he has set for himself. When purchasing at auction, Average1 identified several works that fit his criteria so that he would not be tempted to bid too high on a work because it was the only option he had identified.

Consider these two scenarios for a moment and then ask yourself which investor has made a better investment. Wealthy1 has purchased a painting that would seem to be a desirable and popular work of art yet he has failed to create a plan or strategy which has resulted in Wealthy1 paying too much for a painting, risking all his money on one artwork, making a purchase influenced by media hype and presuming that an expensive artwork automatically equals a good investment. On the other hand Average1 has done the research and created a plan that has allowed him to make rational, informed and strategic decisions that have maximised his chance of making a profit from his investment. Spending more money doesn’t necessarily get you a better investment in fact the more money one has to spend the greater the potential for complacency and lack of discipline which is why you should always invest as though you are absolutely, 100% bound to a particular budget and in need of a good return, even if you aren’t.

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

How to Approach the Art Market Like a Pro

How to Approach the Art Market Like a Pro

Many art investors make the mistake of approaching the art market as a single entity when in fact the art market is made up of many different and often highly segregated markets. If an investor approaches the art market as a single entity they are basically denying themselves the benefits of trading between the different markets. Different markets have different desires, different demands and therefore value certain artworks differently which means that a savvy art investor can use these variations to their advantage by buying a certain artwork or type of art from a market that attaches a lower value and then selling to a market that attaches a higher value.

As an example of my point, a local Sydney auction house by the name of Vickers and Hoad (http://www.vickhoad.com) that deals primarily in art and antiques recently secured the Faberge Kovshsale of an estate of Russian antiques and art which included a rather nice Faberge imperial presentation kovsh that was estimated to sell for somewhere around the $10,000-$12,000 mark. The auction attracted over 500 bidders from all over the world including 8 phone bidders for the Faberge kovsh which would be a big deal for a major auction house such as Sothebys let alone a small local auction house. A final price, including buyers premium, of $138,000 was achieved for the Faberge kovsh which was more than ten times the estimate and a massive result for Vickers and Hoad. It just so happens that at the same time that Vickers and Hoad were having their sale of Russian art and antiques which had been advertised in the UK, Sothebys cancelled their sale of Russian art and antiques due to the whole sale being bought by Russian energy mogul Victor Vekselberg. A demand for Russian art and antiques combined with a shortage of works on the market resulted in a small auction house attracting many of the clients that would have otherwise gone to the Sothebys auction.

Because the bidders from the Sothebys sale migrated to the Vickers and Hoad sale one can presume that if the Faberge kovsh had been sold at the Sothebys sale that it would have achived a similar result. If the Sothebys sale had gone ahead then the Faberge kosch would not have had these extra bidders and would have sold for a price much closer to the estimate which would have meant that an investor could have bought the kovsh from Vickers and Hoad and then sold it for a big profit overseas at a big auction house such as Sothebys. So as you can see it is not that hard to predict what certain artworks will sell for provided you take the right approach.

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

Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom is Open for Business !!!

Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom is Open for Business !!!

It is with extreme excitement that I announce that the Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom (http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/saleroom) is now open for business. The Saatchi Online Gallery is the pet project of controversial advertising mogul and art super-collector Charles Saatchi whose entrepreneurial skill is responsible for the rise of artists such as Damien Hirst (we all make mistakes), Tracey Emin, Sandra Chia and Sean Scully to name a few. With the proven ability to make or break an artist with worrying ease, Saatchi is charles saatchi smokingarguably the most influential person in the world art market and the envy of more than a few art world elite.  The physical Saatchi Gallery in London has been closed since 2005 after a highly publicised feud with his landlords which resulted in Saatchi being evicted from the previous gallery location at London’s County Hall.  After several delays the Saatchi gallery will re-open in early 2008 at its new location of The Duke of York’s HQ building on Kings Road in Chelsea which with 70,000 sq ft of exhibition space will be one of the largest contemporary galleries in the world.

The lack of a physical gallery space has allowed the Saatchi Online Gallery to flourish with the number of hits exceeding fifty million per day on most days. Primarily a space for artists to display their work and network with other artists, it was only going to be a matter of time before the ability for artists to sell their work through the gallery was included, and that time has come. The Saatchi Online Saleroom allows anyone to buy art free of commission from artists around the world. The site takes no commission from artists and charges no commission to buyers. You simply buy the work you like directly from the artist, using Paypal or a suitable alternative payment method. The order that artists appear is random and changes regularly so the only way to find what you are looking for, other than searching for a particular artist, is to scroll through each work one by one which can get rather annoying especially when the order changes. There are a few glitches to be sorted out such as the defective artist search and it would be nice to be able to have the works sorted by medium but overall the saleroom is an exciting development that is a great opportunity for both artists and collectors. I can assure you that I will be purchasing works from the Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom in the very near future so stay tuned for a full report once I have decided what to buy.

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

Top Ten Australian Aboriginal Artists

Top Ten Australian Aboriginal Artists

aborigines.jpgAfter the high level of interest in my recent post on buying Australian Aboriginal art and considering that Australian Aboriginal art is one of my specialties, I thought that I would go into a little more detail on the subject and share some more of my knowledge and experience. Having spent many years collecting, studying and being involved with Aboriginal art and working with Aboriginal artists I have been able to gain an in depth knowledge of the movement and an extensive understanding of the market.

Because of the large number of artists and the existence of so many fakes and forgeries, the two most important decisions that anyone will make when investing in Aboriginal art is which artist to invest in and where to purchase the work from. To make the decision easier I have included a list of my top ten Aboriginal artists and my top ten Aboriginal art galleries. I chose the artists based on the potential for their work to increase in value which is why most of the artists I have chosen are from the last generation of full blood Indigenous Australian’s and as such will become more desirable and more in demand over time. The galleries were chosen based on their reputation, commitment to ethical practice and quality of works offered for sale.

Top Ten Australian Aboriginal Artists:

Makinti Napanangka
Kudditji Kngwarreye
Ronnie Tjampitjipa
Judy Napangardi Watson
Dennis Nona
Ngoi Napaltjarri Pollard
George Tjungurrayi
Linda Syddick Napaltjarri
Doctor George Tjapaltjarri
Abie Loy

Top Ten Australia Aboriginal Art Galleries:

http://www.artmob.com.au
http://www.mbantua.com.au
http://www.dacou.com.au
http://www.ikuntji.com.au/
http://www.warlu.com
http://www.balgoart.org.au/
http://www.papunyatula.com.au/
http://www.mukmukaboriginalart.com
http://www.outbackgallery.com.au/
http://www.worldvision.com.au/birrung/

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