2009 Next Star Artist Competition – artmarketblog.com

2009 Next Star Artist Competition – artmarketblog.com

Herb Williams in his studio

Herb Williams in his studio

I have received lots of emails asking whether there will be a 2009 Next Star Artist competition so I thought it was about time to announce that YES, there will be a 2009 Next Star Artist Competition. After the success of the 2008 competition I couldn’t not run the competition again this year so if you didn’t get the chance to enter last year then 2009 could be your year !!! Due to my current work load the launch date for the 2009 competition will be in May as opposed to the March launch date of the 2008 competition.

The 2008 competition unearthed a true star artist in Herb Williams (http://www.herbwilliamsart.com) whose career has continued to take leaps and bounds since winning the first ever Next Star Artist competition. Williams’ work has received plenty of attention of late with tv appearances, newspaper articles and a spot in the Washington DC Obama Inauguration exhibition at MANIFESTHOPE:DC Gallery which was held during the inauguration in January. For those of you who are fans of the All American Rejects you might like to have a look at the cover of their latest album “When The World Comes Down” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001H9JBF8). Look familiar?, it should, it’s a Herb Williams creation.

If you think you you have what it takes to follow in Herb Williams’ footsteps and become the 2009 Next Star Artist then start preparing your entry. There are also plenty of opportunities for art related companies to sponsor the 2009 competition and receive some significant art world exposure. Anyone interested in sponsoring the 2009 Next Star Artist competition can contact me via the contact form on my blog.

Entry details as well as the terms and conditions will be posted shortly so stay tuned for more exciting information regarding the 2009 Next Star Artist competition and keep an eye out for the new website !!

**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 Herb Williams Phenomenon – artmarketblog.com

The Herb Williams Phenomenon – artmarketblog.com

"Unite" by Herb Williams

"Unite" by Herb Williams

With the huge amount of attention that crayon artist Herb Williams (http://www.herbwilliamsart.com), the inaugural Next Star Artist (http://www.nextstarartist.com) competition winner, has has been receiving of late I think that the use of the term phenomenon is extremely apt. Over in the UK, Herb’s work has appeared in Brittain’s biggest selling newspaper, The Sun, as well as the Telegraph newspaper and the Daily Mail.




If you live in the US you may also have seen a report on Herb featured on the CBS news. If you didn’t see the report you can view it here:

Web wise, Herb’s work has been popping up everywhere. Just take a glance downwards to see a selection (yes, just a selection) of the














There may also be some extremely exciting news relating to the Obama work that Herb compelted recently so stay tuned!!!

**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.

Australian Art Investment Fund – artmarketblog.com

Australian Art Investment Fund – artmarketblog.com

The growing popularity of art as an investment has resulted in the creation of a number of new art investment funds one of which is The Art Trust (http://www.thearttrust.com.au), an Australian based art investment fund. For those of you new to the concept, an art investment fund gives people the opportunity to invest a certain amount of money (by purchasing units), along with a group of other investors, in a professionally managed portfolio of art. I recently interviewed the Director of The Art Trust, David Baker, to get his views on art investment and more info on The Art Trust.

David refers to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of The Art Trust several times in the interview which can be viewed here:

Interview with David Baker, Director of The Art Trust:

Q. What does The Art Trust offer prospective investors?

A. -An investment in The Art Trust is an in the “Alternative Asset” category, enabling diversification within an investment portfolio in the current volatile property and share markets.

-Expected strong long term capital gain.

Q. What is the structure of the fund?

A. A Managed Investment Scheme with independent Responsible Entity (See page 10 of PDS)

Q. Why should people invest in an art fund such as The Art Trust as opposed to purchasing an artwork outright?

A. – Risk minimised with diversified portfolio of works.

– The strong Art Investment Committee (AIC) members are independent of the commercial art world.

– With the curatorial staff, the AIC will help TAT to target “quality “works of an artist. (As we know, some of our best known artists have gone through periods of producing lesser quality works [especially as they got older]).

– The ability to buy works from the Trust with no commissions payable

– The ability to rent from the Trust (subject to strict conditions)

– Regular showings of Trust works, and talks from artists and AIC members

Q. In your opinion, what are the strengths of the Australian art market from an investment point of view?

A. -Underlying broad current (and continually increasing bradening) investment base.

-Historically provides an alternative to equities and property.

See page 14 of PDS for more information

Q. Who will decide what artworks the trust will invest in and what expertise do they have in this area?

A. There exists a stringent acquisition process (including provenance confirmation). Suitable works will be actively sought, or reactively assessed, by the curatorial staff. Final approval for purchase will be the responsibility of the Manager and RE based on the written advice of the AIC.

See details of AIC on Page 13 of the PDS

Q. What does the trust perceive as the benefits of focusing on Australian art?

A. -The TAT was created specifically for investing in Australian art, and the depth of knowledge within the curatorial staff and AIC are Australian focussed.

-Investing in foreign works creates a whole new range of risks, not least of which are the depth of knowledge required to assess whether the work is “quality”, and potential exchange risk problems.

Q. How does The Art Trust plan on generating a return for investors?

A. In simple statements income is derived from:

– Buying well and achieving capital gain on the acquisition over the life of the fund.

– Building on the existing rental business (and thereby income) which has about 450 works rented out at 15-20% pa of their market value

Q. What are the objectives of The Art Trust?

A. The objectives are predominantly based on the plan above, but See page 5 of the PDS for a more formal statement.

Q. What is the minimum investment amount?

A. $25,000. See page 5 of the PDS for more information (including the instalments)

Q. What is your background?

A. See pages 12 and 13 for details of directors and AIC members. Also attached details of our Chairman.

**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

Danger of Careless Art Market Talk – artmarketblog.com

Danger of Careless Art Market Talk – artmarketblog.com

A Sotheby’s auction here in Australia on the 26th of August did not go as well as was anticipated with just less than half of the works selling and a final sales figure of AUD$5.77 million without buyers premium against an estimate of $9-$12 million. According to an article in the Australian newspaper, Georgina Pemberton, Sotheby’s head of paintings, described last night’s result as “a reflection of our economic climate and we are now going through a correction in the art market” After making this comment to the Australian newspaper, Georgina then went on to make the following comment regarding the auction to Bloomberg news “Some of the collectors are becoming more conservative, but overall the art market is still very strong”. Hmmm, seems like someone doesn’t know whether they are coming or going.

Other than the fact that these two statements contradict themselves, stating that the market is currently experiencing a correction that is seemingly based on this one sale is rather silly. A market correction is generally understood to mean a drop of between 10% and 20% in a financial market over a short period of time which would require a general market downward trend. Taking into consideration that there has been very little indication that the market is losing strength other than the Sotheby’s auction and that there are no figures relating to the definition of a market correction to back this statement up, to state that the market is experiencing a correction is very premature and at this point, incorrect.

Further evidence that the market is not in a correction came from an auction that took place the next evening by Bonhams and Goodman which experienced a far different result to Sothebys. According to the Bonhams and Goodman website “Record numbers had inspected the paintings at viewings in Sydney and Melbourne, with over 1500 people attending the auction venues, 30% up on the numbers for April. On auction night 250 people packed the Prahran saleroom to see Masterpieces of Australian Art from The Julian & Miriam Sterling Collection sell for $1,976,000 (including buyer’s premium), well over the lower estimate published in the catalogue. The sale of the Australian Fine Art catalogue contributed another $3 million to the result. ” Geoffrey Smith, Director & National Head of Art at Bonhams and Goodman went on to comment that “It was our most successful sale ever.” In total $4.9 million of art was sold against a lower estimate of $3.6 million although interestingly, only 49% of works sold which was the same percentage of works that sold at the Sotheby’s auction. What these results do show is that people are paying more money for the best works and that, although the sale rates may give the appearance of a correction, an proper analysis of the whole market points to more of a market transformation (ie. a change in buying trends and habits as opposed to a down-turn)

Another telling indication that the problem may be with Sotheby’s and not the market is the fact that only around 150 reportedly turned up at the Sotheby’s auction compared with 250 at the Bonhams and Goodman auction. With several more important art auction scheduled in Australia over the coming weeks it will be interesting to see what the results will be.

**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

Damien Hirst Screws Himself – artmarketblog.com

Damien Hirst Screws Himself – artmarketblog.com

On the 15th and 16th of September a total of 223 previously unsold works by Damien Hirst will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s. The collection consists mainly of different versions of Hirst’s most iconic concepts including versions of his spot paintings, spin paintings, butterfly paintings, medicine cabinets, formaldehyde works and photo realist paintings.

In continuation from my previous post on this auction I have conducted some further research on Damien Hirst and the market for his work which resulted in some rather interesting results. The online art auction result database Artprice.com lists a total of 1013 Damien Hirst works sold at auction since 1992, 169 of which were auctioned in 2007 which means that the Sotheby’s auction of 223 Damien Hirst works will account for more than a years worth of auction results. Comparatively, Jeff Koons, who is 10 years Damien’s senior, only has 524 auction recorded auction results since 1991.

The fact that Hirst has made the decision to sell at auction partly because the commission rates charged by an auction house are lower than those charged by most galleries suggests that his motivation is mostly, if not purely, financial. Although the demand for Hirst’s work is very high there are already plenty of works on the market due to the huge number of works that Hirst produces. This makes me wonder how many people will be buying from this auction purely because of the nature of the sale as opposed to the quality, price or attraction of the work on offer. I would say probably lots. If there are lots of people buying purely as a result of the nature of the sale then this could result in people buying works from this auction at inflated prices created by a false perception of scarcity and immediacy created by Sothebys when in fact there are already plenty of Hirst works available for sale elsewhere.

There are basically two different outcomes for this auction both of which I perceive as being potentially detrimental to Hirst’s career. Firstly, a successful sale where a majority of the works are sold for above estimate will result in a glut of Damien Hirst works being thrust onto the market which could well result in the demand and desirability Hirst’s work to drop due to the availability of works increasing dramatically. The effect that the sale of these works will have on the market for Hirst’s work depends on how many people are purchasing with the intention of on-selling within a short period of time. Scenario number two is that the sale goes terribly which would of course result in Hirst’s reputation and value dropping.

To be continued….

**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

Oz Artist Resale Royalty Boost – artmarketblog.com

Oz Artist Resale Royalty Boost – artmarketblog.com

For those who regular readers of my blog, you will be aware that I am an Australian and that I am a strong supporter of the implementation of an artist’s resale right in Australia. Just because the current Australian government made the decision to introduce a resale royalty scheme does not mean that the whole resale royalty saga is over. All that the Australian government has done is made the promise to implement a resale royalty, they have not said when it will be implemented or what model will be implemented. There are many different resale royalty model options that the government could choose to implement some of which are downright ridiculous and potentially ineffective.

On Friday an announcement was made that will be signal a major boost to the Australian art world with a press release being made public announcing that Joanna Cave, CEO of the UK’s primary copyright and collecting society for artists and visual creators DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society), will be moving to Australian in January 2009. Joanna will be moving to Australia to take up the position of CEO of Australia’s copyright and collecting society for artists and visual creators and sister society of DACS, Viscopy. What makes this announcement so exciting is that Joanna Cave is probably the world’s most knowledgeable and experienced person on the resale right for visual artists having successfully implemented the resale right in the UK. Now that such an influential person will be coming to Australia there is a much better chance that the resale right model that is implemented will be the most effective and managable model. There is also now a much better chance that the resale right will be implemented smoothly, effectively and with the smallest amount of disruption due to the experience, knowledge and wisdom of Joanna cave.

See the press release from DACS below.

Design and Artists Copyright Society

News release

22 August 2008


DACS’ Board of Directors today announced the resignation of Chief Executive Joanna Cave after eight years of dynamic leadership.

During that time, DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society) has changed in both size and profile, and now enjoys a strong reputation among artists whilst generating almost £9 million annually through its three rights management services.

Most recently, Joanna led the campaign for the Artist’s Resale Right in the UK – against fierce opposition in some quarters – which culminated in the government introducing legislation that delivers genuine benefit to artists without harming the market for art.

Since 2006, DACS has collected £6.3 million in resale royalties for over 1500 artists and DACS’ service is recognised as the best in the world.

DACS Chair Andrew Potter says: ‘Many thousands of artists, designers and photographers have every reason to be grateful to Joanna for her hard-won achievements on their behalf. She leaves DACS in great shape, doing a brilliant job on behalf of its members. I, the Board and everyone at DACS will miss her greatly, both professionally and personally. Everyone who works with Jo holds her in the highest regard.’

It is the success of the UK Resale Right campaign that has led Joanna to her next challenge, spearheading the campaign for the Artist’s Resale Right in Australia and New Zealand.

Michael Keighery, Chair of DACS’s equivalent organisation, VISCOPY, in Sydney, says: ‘Jo has been a tireless advocate for artists in the UK and on the international stage. Under her leadership Australian and New Zealand artists can look forward to VISCOPY championing their rights with great commitment and energy.’

Joanna says: ‘It’s a privilege to have been part of the DACS success story and leaving after eight happy years is going to be a wrench. But I am excited about the opportunity to work on behalf of artists in Australia and New Zealand. The Artist’s Resale Right is hugely important not least for indigenous artists, many of whom continue to be poorly rewarded for their work, despite its current popularity throughout the world’.

Joanna Cave will take up her new post in Australia in January 2009. DACS has commenced its search for her successor. Details of the vacancy will be available on http://www.dacs.org.uk.

For further information, please call Joanne Milmoe on 020 7336 8811.

**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

Indian Art Fair and Summit 08 – artmarketblog.com

Indian Art Fair and Summit 08 – artmarketblog.com

Today marks the start of the Indian Art Summit, India’s modern and contemporary art fair, which is taking place from the 22nd to the 24th of August. According to the Indian Art Summit website (http://www.indiaartsummit.com) the “India Art Summit™ 2008 has received an overwhelming response with over 90 applications from galleries and art businesses. The art fair will house 34 of the best exhibitiors of Indian art representing over 12 regions from India & overseas. The India Art Summit™ will therefore showcase the most diverse range of modern and contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography, mix media, prints, drawings and video art by veterans and upcoming artists from across the country. The 3 days in August will see the largest congregation of art collectors, a new wave of investors and art lovers from different geographies.”

It is no secret that the market for contemporary Indian art is red hot but you may be surprised to learn that an Australian gallery was partly responsible for one of the first major international touring shows of contemporary Indian. The exhibition, titled “Edge of desire: recent art in India”, was a joint initiative of the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Asia Society in New York that, according to the exhibition catalogue, captured “the breadth and depth of practice in India and demonstrated why Indian art today plays such a vital role in the current international art scene. The first stop for the traveling exhibition was the Art Gallery of Western Australia from the 25 Sept 2004 – 9 January 2005 after which the exhibition moved to the United States where it was shown at the Asia Society and Museum from March 1 – June 5, 2005 and then the Queens Museum of Art from February 27 – June 5, 2005.

The fact that Australian’s have shown such an interest in Indian art is not that surprising when you consider between similarities between Australia’s beloved Aboriginal art and Indian art. Both cultures, for instance, have extremely old and unique visual and pictoral traditions that are key components in the visual representation and expression of various components of their culture with a particular focus on spiritual and religious beliefs. Both cultures have also experienced, and continue to experience, a sort of identity crisis at the heart of which is a struggle to maintain and preserve their traditions in a rapidly developing and progressing world. This struggle between tradition and contemporary society is often played out on canvas with many Australian Aboriginal and Indian artists having adapted the traditional visual representation of their social values, spiritual beliefs and cultural practices to the modern mediums of video, photography and installation. Many of Australia’s indigenous artists also use art as an expression of the trials and tribulations that a relatively unchanged ancient culture have faced, and continue to face, in a rapidly changing environment – just as many contemporary Indian artists do.

As an art collector and investor whose latest purchase was a print by the fantastic Indian artist Manjunath Kamath, I can tell you now that I will be continuing to expand my collection of contemporary Indian for as long as contemporary Indian artists continue to produce such amazing work.

**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