Art Market Blog – Affordable and Collectible Artworks No. 6

Art Market Blog – Affordable and Collectible Artworks No. 6

man-who-walked.jpgAlthough Bansky is the most popular street artist in the world I would not go as far to say that he is the best street artist in the world. The reason that Bansky is so popular is that he has created a highly marketable and saleable persona that feeds off people’s attraction to mystery, intrigue and controversy. It would be unfair not to give credit to Bansky for his role in the promotion and popularisation of street art but there are other street artists that deserve just as much credit for their achievements such as the Blek Le Rat. Before Bansky had even begun making his mark Blek Le Rat was thinking of ways to translate the artistic graffiti that he had seen in New York into a form that suited the vastly different urban landscape and culture of Paris. What he came up with was the use of stencils to transfer his images onto their architectural canvas, an idea that was influenced by the use of stenciled images as political propaganda by the Italian’s during world war II.

In an interview with Swindle Magazine Blek was asked how he came up with the name Blek le Rat to which he answered:
‘Blek le Roc [Blek the Rock] was a comic strip that I used to read when I was a kid. Blek le Roc was a fur trader or a trapper in the USA fighting against the British invasion army during the [sic] Boston Tea Party era. I used to love this comic strip, [which was] actually written and drawn by an Italian guy in the ’60s. When I started to make graffiti I took this name of Blek and I changed “the Rock” to “the Rat” because I used to paint rats in the street of Paris and also because in “rat” you can find “art.”

This particular work of Blek’s titled “The Man Who Walked Through Walls” is not one the most intellectual or intriguing artworks that I have come across but then again portraiture is an extremely difficult subject to work with because the whole point of a portrait is to display the likeness and personality of a person which limits what can be done. With his goal of getting noticed well and truly completed Blek is entitled to celebrate his success and achievements by indulging in the creation of a self portrait. Although this is a relatively simple artwork it represents a very personal and memorable journey that is worthy of recognition and celebration which is why I like this work so much.  It is also important to note that “The Man Who Walked Through Walls” is the image being used for the cover of the

The now 56 year old Blek (real name Xavier Prou) is revered by street artists all over the world, including Bansky, yet is no where near as popular as many of the contemporary graffiti artists who followed in his footsteps. Street art is such a new market niche that people are still being dazzled by the new and exciting work being produced, but once the street art market matures people will begin looking back at the artists that pioneered the movement. With prices for Blek’s prints still very reasonable I would get in now before it’s too late as is the case with Banksy’s work which has shot through the roof.

“The Man Who Walked Through Walls” can be purchased from Butchers Hook gallery for only 500 pounds. To get your piece of street art history go here

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.

Art Market Blog – Affordable and Collectible Artworks No. 5

Art Market Blog – Affordable and Collectible Artworks No. 5

gries.jpgDigitally manipulated or enhanced images are becoming a more popular form of art with communities such as Renderosity, which is a huge online art community for artists of the visual mediums with special emphasis on computer-generated 3D graphics, proving testament to this. If you are thinking that it isn’t that hard to digitally manipulate a photograph then think again. Most of you have probably made your digital photos look better on your home computer using a photograph enhancing program but to create the sort of work images that professional digital artists produce takes huge amounts of skill, experience and talent.

There are two types of photographic image manipulation the first of which involves the use of more traditional techniques such as collage to alter an image or create a new image. The second type of photographic image manipulation uses digital technology to create an image that shows no signs of being altered and is made to look as real and as natural as possible. It is the digital manipulation of images that has really taken off and spawned this exciting art form.

One of the problems with digitally manipulated works is that there is a tendency for the artist to spend too much time with the special effects and not enough time and effort on creating a work of fine art which results in a work that is all show but lacks soul and
Another problem is the difficulty digital artists face in maintaining a balance that results in an image that seems plausible yet is altered in away that stretches the imagination and challenges the viewer which is why I was so excited to come across an artist who has achieved this balance.

This particular work is by the German photographer Gero Gries and is simply titled “Zoo” which leaves plenty to the imagination, just as the image it’s self does.
Gries is an extremely talented artist who has created an absolutely astonishing and mesmerizing work that is both visually spectacular and challenging. The interior design concept of bringing the outdoors indoors takes on a whole new meaning with this work which challenges our perceptions of space and the way we interact with our surroundings. Gries’ use of shadows, lighting, colours and reflections are masterful and highly effective which results in a realistic and natural looking image.

Gero Gries (born 1951) has worked with 3D renderings since the early 1990s and has made crucial contributions to shaping the technique of spatial rendering of two-dimensional objects. Gries’ fascination for the sheer, unlimited possibilities of digital photography can be seen in the painstakingly designed surfaces of his digitally drafted objects. Numerous scholarships, exhibits, and publications have accompanied his career up to today. It seems that Gries’ is not that well known outside of his native Germany but I hope that this will soon change because his work is absolutely fantastic.

Gries’ work “Zoo” which is an edition of 100 and can be purchased for $720 from Lumas Editions

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.

Art Market Blog – Don’t Panic, The Art Market is OK !!!

Art Market Blog – Don’t Panic, The Art Market is OK !!! 

emptypockets.jpgUnless you’ve been unconscious for the past few weeks you should all be aware of the major stock market fluctuations that have been dominating the finance headlines. Any sort of economic or financial rift is going to cause people to make speculations and predictions about how the art market will react, and this time has been no different. These wild stock market fluctuations are indications that there is a lack of confidence in the stock market which means that people have begun to question whether the prices being reached and the state of the market is justified and This lack of confidence was obviously not severe enough to prompt a major panic because no sooner had the market dropped considerably than it bounced back again.

Because the drops in the stock market have so far been short lived the art market has not had time to react and, unless the stock market sustains a more long term drop or experiences more long term turbulence, may not react at all. Unlike stocks, art cannot be traded quickly so any reaction to other financial markets takes a certain amount of time to take place, at least six months according to the figures. The first sign of problems with the art market would have to be related to the sale of art at auction since auctions are regular events that sell large amounts of artwork in one sale thus giving an indication of how whether the number of people buying art has dropped or whether the price people are willing to pay has dropper. I would like to emphasise that one bad auction is not enough of an indication that the art market is slipping because there are other factors that could cause an art auction to not be as successful as was predicted. One also needs to remember that the art auction season has not really got into full swing as yet which means that the full effect of the stock market fluctuations on the sale of art cannot be assessed properly. The current lack of art auctions also means that there are less opportunities for people to sell their art should they loose their confidence in the art market thus emphasising the importance of timing in people’s

So what does all this mean I hear you ask, well, short term turbulence in the stock market is unlikely to have any effect on the art market especially at this time of year but if the turbulence continues people may begin to panic and question the long term viability and stability of their investment portfolios. Having said this it is also important to remember that if the art market experienced a major drop in the prices being paid for artworks then there would most likely be a sudden wave of buyers coming onto the market hunting for bargains and taking advantage of the lower prices thus pushing the price of art back up again. This scenario is especially relevant in the current market because of the large amount of foreign wealth that may not be affected by problems with the financial markets in the world’s major economies.

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.