Portraits as Art Market Currency Pt. 6 – artmarketblog.com

Portraits as Art Market Currency Pt. 6 – artmarketblog.com

As the final post in this series I want to summarise my findings, but before I do I want to reiterate the reason that I wrote this series of posts on Portraits as Art Market Currency. The catalyst for this series of posts was, and still is, the continuing saga relating to the supposed instability of some of the world’s most significant economies. Economists and journalists have been making predictions for quite some time regarding the supposedly impending crisis that range from “the extent of the crisis is being grossly exaggerated” to “it is only a matter of time before we experience a catastrophic global financial crisis”. Even though opinions relating to the extent of the crisis vary greatly, it seems that a majority of experts believe that there is at least a significant chance that there will be a series of negative events relating to the economic status of some countries in the near future. Although it is unlikely that a complete global financial meltdown will take place, hypothesising on the effects that such an event would have on value of the art market reveals extremely interesting information regarding the way fine art is valued, and the way we assign value to art objects. This information is extremely useful for investors in fine art as it highlights the importance of having a strategy, and provides indications of how that strategy should be structured.

The reason I made the comparison between portraits and currency is because the way we assign value to currency can tell us a lot about the way we assign value to fine art. For several decades there has been heated debate surrounding the way currency is valued – a debate that stems from the global change to a fiat money system from a Gold Standard. To recap , the Gold Standard “was a commitment by participating countries to fix the prices of their domestic currencies in terms of a specified amount of gold” (US Library of Economics and Liberty). The benefit of the gold standard is that currency essentially had intrinsic value because it was basically able to be exchanged for a certain amount of gold. According to gold expert Paul Nathan in an article on Kitco.com “The intrinsic theory of value holds that worth or value is contained within an object. It holds that economic goods possess value inherently, innately, despite the market, despite supply and demand, i.e., in spite of men’s values, choices, and actions”. The Fiat money system, on the other hand, is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, despite the fact that it has no intrinsic value and is not backed by reserves. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith. Because fiat money is not linked to physical reserves, it risks becoming worthless due to hyperinflation. If people lose faith in a nation’s paper currency, the money will no longer hold any value.

What I found particularly interesting when researching this topic is that the art market can essentially be divided into two different markets – one market that has similarities to the Gold Standard, and another market that has similarities to the fiat money system. Just like the fiat money system, the contemporary art market relies very much on faith in the artists whose work is being bought and sold. The value of the work of contemporary artists is dictated by the galleries who sell the work with buyers basically expected to have faith in the valuation set by the gallery. Just like with fiat currency, if people lose faith in a contemporary artist then their work is severely devalued, or even rendered worthless. The market for classical figurative works of art, on the other hand, resembles the gold standard because of the intrinsic value many of these works contain due to their physical characteristics and their status as historical documents. Regardless of what happens to the art market or to the reputation of the artist in question, such classical figurative works of art (portraits in particular) will always have significant technical, historical and documentary value; just as currency backed by gold will always have value regardless of what happens to the economy of the country whose currency is backed by the gold. When it comes to art investment and wealth preservation, the security and stability of the value placed on a work of art is extremely important. Although the glamorous world of contemporary art market speculation may seem to be the most popular and most viable method of profiting from the purchase and sale of art – fine art is, by the very nature of the art market, a long term investment. In fact, the benefits of investing in art can only really be taken advantage of when a long term approach is taken.

To finish with there are three important points that I want to emphasise:

1. the long term value of a work of art is linked to a certain degree to the extent to which one can disassociate the work of art from the artist, and the extent to which one can assign value to the actual characteristics of the art object as an independent entity.

2. the value that can be placed on portraits because of their status as historical documents is the sort of future proof intrinsic value that will always remain with the portrait and cannot be disassociated from the portrait. It is this sort of intrinsic value that makes the portrait a good candidate for use as currency.

3. when it comes to art investment and wealth preservation using fine art, it is possible to take a strategic and mathematical approach that virtually guarantees success over the long term. This sort of approach requires, however, require discipline, patience and objectivity.

Part 1:
http://artmarketblog.com/2010/08/10/portraits-as-art-market-currency-pt-1-artmarketblog-com/

Part 2:
http://artmarketblog.com/2010/08/19/portraits-as-art-market-currency-pt-2-%e2%80%93-artmarketblog-com/

Part 3:
http://artmarketblog.com/2010/08/31/portraits-as-art-market-currency-pt-3-2/

Part 4:
http://artmarketblog.com/2010/09/10/portraits-as-art-market-currency-pt-4-artmarketblog-com/

Part 5:
http://artmarketblog.com/2010/09/17/portraits-as-art-market-currency-pt-5-artmarketblog-com-2/

**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

How Artists Can Get Noticed NOW !!! Update 7 June 08 – artmarketblog.com

How Artists Can Get Noticed NOW !!! Update 7 June 08 – artmarketblog.com

Several new avenues for artists to promote themselves and their work have recently popped up so I thought it was a good time to update this list. Enjoy!!

Seesle
http://www.seesle.com
Seesle is intended for all visual artists (professionals and leisure artists) who wish to bring their work to the attention of a large public. (Private) art collectors may also advertise work.

WebArtEx
http://www.webartex.com
Thanks to WebArtEx you can obtain widespread information on art exhbitions; gain access to artistic data and technical and economic data, as well as locations, services and supplies linked to an event with a view to creating and increasing the opportunities for exchange between the parties concerned. WebArtEx enables sellers to easily identify potential buyers and the latter to know the exhibitions and works-of-art available on the whole national territory.

GoZabo
http://www.gozabo.com
GoZabo gives artists an inexpensive portal to promote and sell their art online whether it’s jewelry, pottery or any mixed media! Gozabo also gives buyers the opportunity to save time from getting frustrated navigating thousands of artists’ individual websites AND the ability to go to one site where they can view products AND purchase them with secure shopping cart capabilities while shopping at home!

Zibbet
http://www.zibbet.com
A ‘Zibbet’ is the name for your art shop on Zibbet.com. When you name your ‘Zibbet’ you will receive a personalized web address. For example http://www.zibbet.com/mybeautifulart. You can fully customize the appearance of your Zibbet with a photo, bio and you can even display a YouTube video if you wish, as well as many other great features.

MutualArt
http://www.mutualart.com
MutualArt.com has a completely new approach to art on the web. Members can track categories of art – even individual artists – and receive new information on these from thousands of sources. They also receive advance notification of art events in the categories they choose – from exhibitions and lectures to opening parties and galas, to auctions offering works by their preferred artists.

MutualArt.com includes the world’s largest online archive of over 150,000 art related articles from over 250 quality magazines, newspapers and journals, as well as providing a conduit for galleries, museums, auction houses, art fairs and publishers to reach their target audiences over a single, global platform.

Time for another list of opportunities for artists to promote themselves and for art lovers to check out some talented artists.

Artist Rising
http://www.artistrising.com/
According to their website, Artist Rising (http://www.artistrising.com) invites you to mingle with emerging and established artists from around the world and browse their fine art and photography. Offering original artwork, fine art prints and limited edition works for immediate sale, Artist Rising allows for the discovery of creations that can express a mood, a space, or an appreciation/;.

Digital Painting Forum
A forum, gallery and shop for digital artists and mixed media artists
http://www.digitalpaintingforum.com/

Art Crazed
Network for photographers, collectors, artists, models and friends
http://www.artcrazed.com/

Pieronymus Art Network
A social network for artists
http://pieronymuskosch.ning.com/

WORLDWIDE ARTISTS Facebook Group
Facebook network for artists
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2258055248

Surrounded Art Competition:

You now have the chance to win signed copies of SURROUNDED’s latest album ‘The Nautilus Years’ and a limited edition poster. All you have to do is submit your favourite artwork/movie footage and the best entries will be included in the bands’ projections at their live shows. They can be works that either you have created yourself, or just admire by other artists. The images will then be taken by the band and sequenced in with their own videos and projected onto the back of the stage.

High resolution images should be submitted via email to info@surrounded.se or via this MySpace. Alternatively you can upload the videos on YouTube and email us the URL link. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to become a part of the band’s performance and be a part of their visual spectacle. Even if you can’t make it to a show, submit something anyway as chances are high it will still appear.

**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.

How Artists Can Get Noticed NOW !!! Update 5 (April 08)

Time again for another list of websites that can help an artist get noticed. If you are not an artist but are interested in art then you should enjoy checking out all the talent that is being shown on the websites below. Something for everyone !!!

Expat Arts Network
http://www.expatarts.com
Expat Arts is a growing global network for people who live between cultures. Our mission is to bring the world closer together through creative endeavors. We have been developing the network since June 2007.

Art Break
http://www.artbreak.com
Artbreak is a community marketplace for artists and art lovers. It’s a place for artists to share and sell their stuff, tell the world about themselves, get feedback, and make connections with other artists and people who like their work. It’s a place for art lovers to find incredible work from emerging artists from all over the world.

Art Log
http://www.artlog.com/
Artlog is about connecting people through art.
You can break the Artlog idea into four basic parts:
– Catalog: Discover new museums, galleries, alternative spaces and not-to-be-missed exhibitions, parties, openings and lectures
– People: The social layer tying the other parts together
– Focus: Tumblelog- Quick way to stay current
– Portfolios: Allow users to manage their own websites through the Artlog app

Concept Art Forum
http://www.conceptart.org
Conceptart.org is a web community of artists who are here for one purpose. We want to help each other learn about art, provide the best place to showcase work, further our art educations, and to meet other artists from around the world.

Fine Art Studio Online
http://www.fineartstudioonline.com
FineArtStudioOnline is a revolutionary web site creation tool that allows an artist to create his or her own art website in a matter of minutes!

How Artists Can Get Noticed NOW !!! Update 4 Feb 08p1010058.jpg

Well, I have come across some fantastic new promotional tools for artists in the last couple of months so it is time for another installment of “How Artists Can Get Noticed NOW!!!.

Art Review Digital:
http://www.artreview.com

artreview.com is an exciting new social networking site for the artworld, creating a global forum for discussion, interactivity and debate. Our members are artists, galleries, collectors, critics, curators and the curious. As a members of artreview.com, you can:-Post artwork, blogs, videos and audio and have members rate and comment on it
-Find exciting new artists from around the world
-Sniff through last night’s party pics and post your own
-Keep up to date with news and access ArtReview magazine archives
-Find the galleries that represent the artists with ArtFinder
-Create your own discussion groups and forums
-Promote yourself and make friends

Lab For Culture
http://www.labforculture.org

LabforCulture provides services to artists, cultural managers, producers, programmers, researchers and policy-makers.
We provide:
-Information, research and analysis related to cultural cooperation and collaboration, including funding opportunities, critical perspectives, research, news, and contacts (organisations and networks).
-Online networking tools to enable and strengthen the capacity for cultural collaboration within the cultural sector.
-Promotion of the players engaged in cultural cooperation and their activities across Europe and beyond.
-Spaces for connections, exchanges and knowledge sharing between organisations and individuals.
-Platforms for discussion and discourse on current issues affecting the cultural sector.

Artmakr
http://www.artmakr.com

The Goal of artmakr, is to bridge the gap between amateur and hobby artist, and snooty art galleries. Artmakr aims to take the vast and barren middle ground. It is our Mission to provide resource and inspiration to help more people, make art, and get paid for it. As well as to encourage more people to buy original art.

I Send You This
http://www.isendyouthis.com

for the artist we provide:
-Own independent website: artist-controlled image and information upload.
-Promotion within the isendyouthis.com advertised and marketed website network.
-A secure credit/debit card payment facility that can be used in the studio or on-line.
-Art opportunity notification service
-Exhibition promotion service
-Gallery submission service
-Artwork cataloguing and sales recording
-Mailing list and press release services
-Work shown in online art galleries and online art fairs

The Art List
http://www.theartlist.com

Since 2003, TheArtList.com has been a leading online resource for visual artists and photographers
who are looking for income and exhibition opportunities to enter. TheArtList.com’s searchable database of art contest and opportunity announcements includes a wide spectrum of content submitted by art galleries, institutions and art organizations.

Time to get busy!!!

How Artists Can Get Noticed NOW !!! Update 3

I receive many emails from artist’s asking how they can get noticed by galleries and dealers so I created this post to give artist’s some ideas for ways to promote themselves. The popularity of this post has motivated me to update it regularly as I come across new websites that would be of help to artist’s trying to promote themselves. If you have any suggestions for websites for this post then please contact me via the contact form on this blog.Updated 25/12/07 Online Galleries:

Red Bubble:
http://www.redbubble.com

Art Mesh
http://www.artmesh.org
Invite only: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=462506&highlight=artmesh

Folio Snap
http://www.foliosnap.com

Merchandise:

Printfection
http://www.printfection.com

The Art Group
http://www.artgroup.com

Networking:

Digital Consciousness
http://www.digitalconsciousness.com/

Organization of Independant Artists
http://www.oiaonline.org/

Miscelaneous:

Fine Arts Title Registry
http://www.fineartstitle.com/artists.php
-Capture personal commentary about each work of art: collectors will cherish it and the art’s value will be enhanced
-Certify your work was brought to life through your own creative effort; sign the Registered Certificate to use as your Certificate of Authenticity
-Begin provenance in the online record; it is transferred to the buyer and remains with the work forever
-Document and track your entire inventory with offsite, secure records

International Registry of Artists and Artwork
http://www.iraaregistry.org/
The IRAA is an authority in the registration of professional artists and artwork, and as such, serves anyone interested in art – including museums, historians, commercial galleries, educators, collectors, archivists, scholars, fine art publishers, universities, curators, estate managers, students, art insurers, and of course, artists.

Fine Art Adoption Network
http://www.fineartadoption.net
FAAN is an online network, which uses a gift economy to connect artists and potential collectors. All of the artworks on view are available for adoption. This means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector. Our goal is to help increase and diversify the population of art owners and to offer artists new means for engaging their audience.

Artist Pension Trust
http://www.aptglobal.com
Artist Pension Trust® (APT) is the first investment program dedicated to the needs of emerging and mid-career artists. APT’s long-term financial planning services allow artists to invest their artworks alongside a community of select artists, thereby providing a uniquely diversified, alternative income stream

Update 9/8/07
I have received several suggestions of other websites where artists can promote their work so I have decided to add the new resources to the list. If you have any other websites that you think should be on the list then send me a message using the contact box.

For The Artists: GET NOTICED NOW!!art-show.jpgart-show.jpg

In response to a large number of artists asking me how to market their art I have decided to write a basic guide for artists on how to get noticed online. The internet has opened up endless opportunities for artists to promote and market their work but with so many avenues of exposure it can be difficult knowing which to utilise and which to avoid. To keep things simple I have created a list of the most important avenues of self promotion for artists and links to relevant resources.

Networking:
One of the most important avenues of self promotion for artists is the involvement in, and interaction with communities of artists. By networking with other artists you get the benefit of their experiences, expertise and contacts within the art market which could lead to opportunities to exhibit your work, sell your work or be represented by a gallery of dealer. The internet has allowed global communities of artists to come together through online forums and groups to promote their work and enhance their marketing skills. There are many online communities of artists the best of which are:

Wet Canvas: http://www.wetcanvas.com
Saatchi Online Gallery: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk
Surreal Art Forum: http://www.surrealartforum.com
Artists Network: http://www.artistsnetwork.com
Art Span: http://www.artspan.com
Online Visual Artists: http://www.onlinevisualartists.com
EBSQ Art: http://www.ebsqart.com/forum/
Art Forums UK: http://www.artforums.co.uk
D’art Fine Art: http://dart.fine-art.com/MessageList.asp?intBoardID=7966
Deviant Art Forum: http://www.deviantart.com

Online Galleries:
Online galleries allow you to create your own online exhibition space and also offer your work for sale. Even if you don’t sell anything, having your work in an online gallery is great exposure. There are lots of online galleries many of which are not very good so below is a list of some of the better online galleries:

Yessy: http://www.yessy.com
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com
Art By Us: http://www.artbyus.com
Imagekind: http://www.imagekind.com
Absolute Arts: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolio.html
Empty Easel: http://www.emptyeasel.com
Boundless Gallery: http://www.boundlessgallery.com
Ekaweeka: http://www.ekaweeka.com
Fine Art: http://www.fine-art.com

Competitions:
Art competitions are a great way of getting exposure for your work and allow you to compare your work against other artists. Below are some links to websites that list art competitions.

British Arts: http://www.britisharts.co.uk/competitions.htm
Art Deadlines List: http://www.artdeadlineslist.com/
Art Show: http://www.artshow.com
Saatchi Gallery Showdown: http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/showdown/

Art Marketing Websites:
Art Biz Blog: http://www.artbizblog.com
Art Biz Coach: http://www.artbizcoach.com
Art Business: http://www.artbusiness.com
About Art: http://painting.about.com/

Blogs:
Another fantastic way to gain exposure is to create a blog that documents your career as an artist. Below are some links to free blog platforms:

WordPress: http://www.wordpress.com
Blogger: http://www.blogger.com

Merchandise:
Get your artwork printed on everything from mugs to t-shirts and even create prints of your work using these great customer merchandise creators
Cafepress: http://www.cafepress.com
Zazzle: http://www.zazzle.com
Finer Works: http://www.finerworks.com
Art Cards Wanter: http://www.artcardswanted.com

Happy Creating!!!

**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.

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.

Art News Flash – Damien Hirst Arrested !!!

Art News Flash – Damien Hirst Arrested !!!

bailbond-handcuffs.jpg‘News Flash: Damien Hirst Arrested for Crimes Against the Art Market’ is a headline that I would love to see appear in every news source world wide. Although I am all for artists making money from their art and promoting art as a profitable investment I think that the actions of Damien Hirst have been detrimental to the short term perception and long term stability of the art market. What crimes has Damien Hirst committed against the art market I hear you ask, well, here are five:

1.Exploitation of art market for monetary gain – If Damien Hirst is as committed to art as one is led to believe then why did he sell “For The Love of God” for 50 million pounds when it only cost 14 million pounds to create. The sale of the skull for 50 million pounds makes it the most expensive “artwork” purchased by a living artist but I cannot see how Hirst can justify selling the artwork for this price when the concept is weak, there is virtually no provenance, there are questions about it’s originality and issues with it’s intrinsic value. A profit of one million dollars would have been significant but a profit of thirty six million dollars is ludicrous.

2. Creating false expectations of the art market – $100 million dollars is the price you would expect to pay for an artwork by an artist such as Picasso, Pollock or Van Gogh whose life long dedication to fine art and their contributions to the art world have resulted in a legacy that is reflected in the value of their work. The prices that Hirst is asking for his work do not reflect Hirst’s status, position and ranking within the art world and therefore by asking such a high price in a market that is cashed up Hirst is basically creating an inflationary effect.

3. Plagiarism – Artist John Lekay who claims to have been a friend of Hirst’s in the past, even sharing a mixed show with Hirst in 1994, has been producing skulls encrusted with various different jewels since 1993 which he claims Hirst has copied. In an article in the UK Times Online Newspaper Lekay is quoted as saying “When I heard he was doing it, I felt like I was being punched in the gut. When I saw the image online, I felt that a part of me was in the piece. I was a bit shocked.”

4. Possible collusion with investors – Selling the skull to a group of investors and keeping a stake in the artwork to capitalise on a global exhibition of the work that the group of investors is organising could be seen as a conflict of interest on Hirst’s part especially considering that the price of the work was so ridiculously high that one could question the reasons that this group of investors were willing to pay so much for the work.

5. False classification of skull as an artwork – The Art Review magazine made the comment that: “The diamond-studded death’s head could be a fashion statement, a bejewelled accessory or a dazzling effigy to all things chav. Instead it’s high art… With the skull Hirst has gone too far.” and art expert Charles Dupplin said that “This is a spectacular piece and undoubtedly the work with the highest intrinsic value in modern and contemporary art.” Both these comments suggest that Hirst’s skull is merely a decorative object with intrinsic value only, and not a piece of fine art, which I totally agree with.

Now all I need to do is get some new laws passed….

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.

Collecting Art is Child’s Play

Collecting Art is Child’s Play

There have been several reports in the media recently of the growing number of children who are developing their own art collections which are being funded by their wealthy and well connected parents most of whom are themselves seasoned fine art aficionados. Apparently these children are being taken into some of the hottest contemporary galleries around and let loose without any restraints other than the credit limit on their mums amex. Although the motives of the parents may be to expose their children to the joys of fine art while at the same time teaching the value of money, I can’t help but wonder whether they realise how their actions and the actions of their children may be affecting the art market. With works being chosen on the basis of the relation to the child’s primary interest at the time, some children’s collections are being developed around subjects (read fads) such as candy, kittens, comics and all manner of other weird and wacky things.

If these kiddies weren’t buying works from major contemporary galleries that have already singled out those artists worth collecting and were maybe buying from the local markets, then there wouldn’t be such cause for concern. Whether or not we agree with their methods and approach to art collecting, the fact remains that the younger generation are being put in a position that will enable many of them to dictate or alter the future direction of the art market. Does this mean that we could use children to predict the future of the art market, well, maybe, but I don’t see the worlds most influential art dealers being accompanied to the Venice Biennale or Charles Saatchi being advised by a fifth grader just yet.

Bring on Art Collector Barbie !!!

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.

A Guide to Buying Australian Aboriginal Art

A Guide to Buying Australian Aboriginal Art

Australian Aboriginal art has been thrust into the limelight of the world stage in recent years due to a combination of culture, history, and aesthetic originality that has captured the eye and imagination of collectors and investors world wide. The recent addition of a new Australian Aboriginal art exhibition to the Musee Du Quai Branly in Paris, which included the commissioning of six Aboriginal artists to paint areas of the outside walls and doors of the museum, has confirmed the cult status that Aboriginal art is currently experiencing in the art world

Because of the popularity of Aboriginal art there has been an increase in the number of Aboriginal artists and consequently, an increase in the number of works being produced. aboriginal artistThe tendency for some Aboriginal artists to paint a poor quality work for a quick buck has seen a large number of very poor works of questionable origin become readily available. As the majority of traditional Aboriginal artists have lived their lives in remote and isolated areas they are not aware of western culture and practices which has allowed some unscrupulous dealers to exploit them. Through bribery and abuse many Aboriginal artists have been forced to produce poor quality works for fast money, and produce fraudulent works of questionable origin and authenticity. Although these unethical practices have tainted the Aboriginal art market some what, it has created greater awareness of the importance of ethical practice within this market and emphasised the need for a greater amount of care and scrutiny when purchasing a piece of Australian Aboriginal art.

In order to ensure that you are purchasing an authentic piece of Australian Aboriginal art that has been ethically sourced you need to keep in mind that:

1. A large number of works are being produced by Aboriginal artists which means that the best works will always be a better investment, as even a poor work by the most sought after artist will always be a poor work in the eyes of the market.

2. Authenticity has proven to be a major problem for the Aboriginal art market with fakes and forgeries becoming more and more prevalent. A certificate of authenticity and a photo of the artist holding a painting does not necessarily guarantee authenticity as anyone with a computer and a printer can print a certificate and a small bribe can result in a photo with an artist holding a painting that isn’t their work.

3. The art market is very sensitive towards issues of unethical behaviour so because of the poor treatment that many Aboriginal artists have experienced it is extremely important to ensure that you purchase art works from a reputable, well known dealer whose works are ethically sourced and if possible come directly from a community centre with the documentation from the community centre.

4. Most reputable dealers should be able to provide you with a series of photos showing the artist actually painting the work from start to finish as opposed to one photo of the artist holding the finished product as further proof that the painting was actually painted by that artist. If a series of progress photos is not available then you should ensure the other forms of authentication are genuine.

5. All works should come with a certificate of authenticity which should make reference to the particular work that you have purchased and have details of the dealers credentials and business as well as a picture of the artwork.

The final check should come in the form of general common sense with the old saying “if it seems too good to be true it probably is” of particular importance and relevance. The Aboriginal art market still has a lot of depth in it and continues to go from strength to strength. A number of artists of the last generation of full blood Aboriginal people are still painting, which means that now is a good time to invest in a work by one of these artists because once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. This last generation of full blood Aboriginal artists who are getting on in years, will take the culture, history and dreaming, which the whole tradition is based on with them to the grave. This means that good works by senior Aboriginal artists such as Ronnie Tjampitjimpa, Ningura Napurrula, Willy Tjungurrayi, George Ward Tjungurrayi , Gloria Petyarre, Makinti Napanangka and Judy Watson Napangardi who are still alive, will be highly regarded and sought after in the years to come.

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.