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Archive for February, 2009

20th Feb 2009

Collecting Fine Art Prints Tips for 2009 — Part 1

Collecting fine art, including fine art prints can be a fun and rewarding experience. Savvy investors know that along with gold, fine art can make the best investment in any economy, and this is especially true in a bad one.

Fine art prints allow investors the luxury of collecting works that are less expensive. However, a real fine art print (kept in good condition) holds its worth relative to the work of a particular artist.  Thus collecting the prints of an emerging art leader or star or a real blue chip artist can be an excellent investment in a recession when money is tight but needs to be kept secure.

What’s a Fine Art Print?

There is a difference between a fine art print and a print for decoration. A hand signed Warhol of a limited edition print of Marilyn Monroe, Poppies or a Campbell’s Soup Can is worth a lot more than a poster or even the best possible archival Giclee or reproduction, even if it is officially created by the Warhol foundation. That’s because the artist himself should be involved in the issuance of the print since the artist is the only person who has the right to say the print matches their unique artistic vision for it. It’s like the difference between making the recipe of a famous chef vs. having the chef prepare the recipe for you.

There are many factors to consider when collecting fine art prints, and some of them are also important when collecting any fine art. To be truly classified as a fine art print the image or artwork itself has to have a certain quality, usually the artist has a style all of his or her own, plus the work has to be a fairly limited edition, and should be numbered and signed or at the very least initialed by the artist. Very recently, due to wonderful technical advances, archival prints that are reproductions of an original painting or drawing are now being considered as true fine art when they meet the above criteria. Partially, artists have fine art photographers and the acceptance of these prints by their market to thank for this development. Fine art digital prints are currently so accepted by the art market that at a recent PMA attendees were informed of a 26 x 90 inch Epson print, which sold for sold for $1.2 million.

Consider the Quality of the Artist

Whatever the medium of the print, the first consideration is the quality of the artist’s work. The best archival print in the world by a lousy artist won’t grow as an investment. It’s a nice thing to have if that print is an archival reproduction of a painting by one’s child created in kindergarten. The original that was made with poster paint on newsprint will fade and deteriorate over time. Still, although have such a print may well be a great investment of time and money for its sentimental worth, is not going to increase in market value outside of the original family.

Watermill Sunset

Judy Rey Wasserman’s Genesis Series [See this print]

First and foremost  the buyer should like the art that is collected. If the art doe not communicate and even move or inspire, do not buy it. The art world is full of Emperors who are not wearing any clothes but are highly touted by galleries and critics. The more a collector learns, the more savvy the collector, but one should always trust one’s own gut feeling.

The best artist to collect is an one who is emerging with a look that’s all their own or even one who is on the begging curve of a new movement. For instance, find and collect the next Andy Warhol (Pop), Donald Judd (Minimalism), Dali (Surrealist) or Jenny Holtzer (Word/Text) and watch the value of your collection grow astronomically! The chances of achieving this are better than winning the lottery. Damien Hirst’s dentist showed up on the list of Art Review’s 2005’s most important people in the contemporary art world. Why? Because he traded his dental services for art work when Hirst was just starting out.

Another way to create a collection is to buy the best work that can be afforded by a living established and respected artist. The value of an artist’s work usually (but not always) increases posthumously. That’s because from the supply of art from that artist is complete and thus limited.

Always keep in mind that Unique styles are what differentiate good or competent artists from great ones.

The Print’s Quality

A fine art print should be highly archival to be worth anything, even if it shows the work of a budding new Rembrandt or Monet. If the print is not created with highly archival inks and media (paper, canvas or other material) then very shortly work by even the best artist will be worth zilch. This information applies to any kind of print, including but not limited to etchings, silk screens, digital giclees, etc. Collectors should always inquire as to the archival properties of any print before making a purchase.

There are artists who do competent jobs out at fairs and shows selling works made on non-archival media with standard ink jets. Artists even sell color photocopies of their works, already framed to unsuspecting collectors at fairs. I’ve seen it done! At first, that photocopy looks sharp. The photocopy will fade within a year, even if kept in the most archival quality conditions. It is perfectly legal for an artist to sell such work as a print, because a photocopy is a print. It’s not an archival fine art print, but it is a print. Let the buyer beware.


Every buyer of a limited edition fine art print deserves a Certificate of Authenticity. Certificate of Authenticity should have the name of the artist, print, issue number of this specific print (and that should match the hand numbering on the print itself), date of issue, total number in the edition, physical dimensions of the print and it should be signed by the artist (hopefully) or the fine art printer, especially if the print is new. Older prints should have a COA issued by an appraiser who is an authority on that artist or by the artist’s foundation (such as the Warhol foundation), which includes all known provenance information for that print.

This certificate helps establish that the owner has an original print. Unfortunately, forgery and theft in the art world are not all that rare. Whoever holds the certificate holds strong proof of ownership of the original work. When one buys a car one gets title of ownership and when one buys fine art the buyer receives a certificate or some sort of legal and approved authentication. For a new work, the buyer should demand a COA, or walk away from the purchase. In today’s digital age of computers and copy machines, a COA should look professional and even artistic.

If the buyer is not dealing directly with one of the artist’s dealers, galleries or the artist herself, it is wise to do some research through the artist’s real representatives or the artist herself or through a reputable dealer or gallery to ensure that he print is authentic. The buyer would be wise to save the receipt along with the COA. It is further a proof of ownership and documents the price of the work at the time of sale. Keep these documents stored where other important documents are kept.

UnGraven Image Fine Art Publishing issues a Certificate of Authenticity that even has a special code known only to the publisher, seller and buyer. A different code is issued for every single print. A record is kept every print’s owner, their current address, the code, etc. This record is updated regularly, placed on a duplicate disk and stored in a bank safe deposit box. The code and record keeping for provenance further protects the owner against any forgery or theft since one must know the code to prove ownership.

Although pices for art, including prints, have fallen due to the recession, they have not fallen nearly as much as those for most other investments. The fine art print market is a strong market currently according to statistics collected by Informart magazine, Artexpeditor and sales information from the auction houses including Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Although there are no guarantees when investing in a work of art that the art will increase in value over time, there continue to be methods to use that allow an investor to collect wisely.

Next Week- Part 2
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Theory and Show Reviews Comments 2 Comments »

13th Feb 2009

Recession Proof Art Investment Tips

Collecting art, especially paintings, drawings and prints is proving to be one of the better investments in this recession. There are well establishes secrets to successful art collecting and investments that make collecting art profitable even during harsh economic times.

The recession has walloped other luxury items such as top of the line cars, jets and  real estate.  Yet art, especially established art by modern and historical masters continues to sell at a fair price.

Unlike the recession of the nineties that saw a great crash in prices, the recent sales at the auction houses were good, surprising doom and gloomers.

The art market today is truly global. There are more buyers than ever before. Even though sales are down and Europe is hit hard by the recession there are more buyers than ever before.

Tip #1 Collect the Renowned Masters of Art pre 1960

Historically, fine art by well respected masters will hold its value. The crash that happened in the recession of the nineties was due to an overly inflated market caused by Japanese investors who paid far too much for works and then as their companies floundered flooded them into the market.

The names of the art masters are well known because they understood to be the world’s greatest artists. In the art of the Western world Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, Rembrandt and Da Vinci are some of the masters.

Rembrandt (Psalm 22)

Judy Rey Wasserman’s Essence Series

What makes an artist a master?

The answer is somewhat of a secret. It is the key to finding artists in one’s own time who are likely to become masters in the future.

All of the greatest artists have influenced other artists since the Renaissance, including the artists of the later part of the Twentieth century and artists today. For instance, one of the most influential artists is J.M.W.Turner. Without his work we would not have Modern or Contemporary Art as we know it.

An artist whose work has, is or will influence others will continue to rise in value and be worth more than a comparably skilled artist of this or any other time. The most splendid of today’s Impressionists lacks the influence of Monet, Degas, Renoir and of course, Camille Pissarro.

Tip # 2 Hold Contemporary Work Owned

In a recession, what does and is losing value – and sales is the contemporary work of living artists. This art is more vulnerable to a recession. The contemporary art of its time may be revered, but that the work of any living – or even recently living artist will hold or increase its value over time is much more of a gamble compared to collecting fairly priced works by revered but long gone artists.

Te reports coming in from ARCO indicate that prices are between 15-25% lower now for works of established Contemporary artists. Sales are down as collectors become cautious.

Recently, sales of Warhol prints have faltered. Possibly, like much Contemporary Art they were purchased on speculation, since Warhol seemed hot. The difference between Warhol and many “hot” Contemporary artists is that Warhol’s work has influenced and inspired two, possibly three generations.

A collector who owns Contemporary Art generally is well advised to hold onto it if possible. Prices will go up again for good artists. In time, independent of the economy, they will skyrocket for influential artists.

Tip #3 Discover and Collect Emerging, Cutting Edge Art (How to Do That)

As an investment two dimensional works such as paintings, prints and drawings make the best investments whatever the economy. Given the international nature of the art world works that can easily be transported across a border, stored or displayed make the best investments, if all else is equal.

Investing in three splendid transportable works by an artist beats collecting one equally splendid huge work for the same price. If push comes to shove it is easier to sell a smaller work. What counts most is the quality of the work—is it one of the artist’s best—not the size. This assumes the artist is one worth collecting.

Those headline generating record breaking paintings by Picasso, Klimpt and van Gogh are not huge works of art in size. The Mona Lisa , the best known painting in the world, is not huge.

History teaches us that art that is fashionable and prized in its own time may not become the most valuable art from that time. Visual perception is based on impressions of light received by the brain from the eyes. These impressions are decoded based on memories. What is really new or strange is actually more difficult for us to see as we lack the necessary memories.

Dealers, critics and collectors can fail to appreciate a really new style of painting because it is actually more difficult to see. If an artists’ work is strange and kind of difficult to see—take a second look! Artists who were “difficult” to see and misunderstood include almost all of the world’s great artists!

It can take a generation or two before an artist’s worth can be appreciated fully as great artists—which are the best to collect!—are popular with succeeding generations and also influence the work of other artists who create work that is a next step.

Andy Warhol (Psalm 19)

Judy Rey Wasserman’s Essence series

For instance, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali are two artists’ who work clearly continues to affect and be emulated by other artists. When an artist comes along and creates a whole new way of art, and says two of the artists who influenced her are Warhol and Dali that is meaningful. As the artist gains recognition, smart collectors listen to who are her influencing artists.

There is a great deal of stuff being produced that is a kind of knock-off of the work of Dali and Warhol. That is a different kind of influence. Even if these wanna-be type works show in good galleries or gain acclaim there is no step forward in the evolution of art. As an investment, what seems familiar or much like the work of a revered master is probably not a wise choice.

Law of the Lord is Perfect, 2008
Acrylic and watercolor on canvas
Available through the Kezsler Gallery

The question to ask when collecting contemporary art as an investment is, “Will the work of this artist be appreciated by later generations and influence and even help inspire the work of other artists?” For every great artist the answer to this one question is, yes. It is the question that sets great artists apart from all others.

Whether the economy is good or bad, it is difficult to find a better investment than the work of an emerging or established artist whose work and ideas will surely influence artists of the next generation and the future of art – or a fairly priced work by a recognized master whose work has inspired other great artists.

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Judy Rey Wasserman is the founding artist of emerging, cutting edge Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory. Go to http://ungravenimage.com for a free download of the booklet, “Manifesto of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in Its Stroke”.

* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Theory and Show Reviews Comments 18 Comments »

06th Feb 2009

New Post Conceptual Art Produces Vision Change and Relief from Unwanted Emotions

Looking at Judy Rey Wasserman’s new Post Conceptual UnGraven Image art has recently been discovered to physically change one’s vision so more energy can be seen. This new Awakened Vision then promotes relief from of unwanted negative emotions as the brain shifts to decode emotions and thought memories as energy rather than feelings and content. The transformation is based on recent discoveries in neuroscience. Additional special Visual Exercise/Experiences that use the new art are now available in a book to help accelerate the attainment of this new Awakened Vision.

Judy Rey Wasserman discovered that artwork created with her emerging theory of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art has an amazing effect on vision and emotional clarity.

“Art can change lives,” says Judy Rey, “But I never expected the actual visual perceptual increase and then the relief from memories of past emotions and thoughts that occurs from my works.”

To help people speed up the process of acquiring these results, Wasserman, whose professional background includes careers as a both a professional writer and counselor, wrote a book, The Art of Seeing The Divine—Book 1: What Do You See? Currently available in e book format, it includes a series of Visual Exercise/Experiences, which use her artwork to turn the book into a personal seminar experience. It is available for immediate download at artofseeingthedivine.com.

Law of the Lord is Perfect, 2008
Acrylic and watercolor on canvas
Available through the Kezsler Gallery

According the ungravenimage.com web site, Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory creates images using strokes that are symbols to represent the strings (energy) of elementary physics, which are the essential building blocks of the universe.

The idea to use symbols as strokes came from basic theology held by all branches and denominations of Christians and Jews; the letters of the words spoken in Genesis by the Creator are the essences of the universe. Judy Rey’s strokes come from the only set of symbols in the world that are alpha-numeric, phonic and binary: Torah font. Binary means that the symbols reference many important concepts in science, plus duality understandings in most of the world’s religions and paths. It’s a vision we can all share.

This new vision of actually seeing more energy is called Awakened Vision.

Recent discoveries in neuroscience explain why the art and visual techniques work. When people look at Post Conceptual UnGraven Image artworks their brains automatically create visual memories of the world as energy. After a person acquires enough of these memories the brain, which is responsible for ninety percent of the perception of vision, decodes the impressions of light received from the eyes to include the new perception of these energies. If you have ever seen someone or something and thought, that reminds me of… you are aware of the decoding process, which usually occurs subconsciously.

Most normal people’s eyes already see this energy, but the brain has no way to compare or contrast these impressions to decode them. As a person sees with Awakened Vision on a regular basis, the brain acquires more and more visual memories of energy.

With enough memories of Awakened Vision the brain begins to change the way it decodes thoughts and emotions that are associated with visual memories. It decodes them as energy, which scientifically is measurably what they are.

Awakened Vision produces a shift in the brain to an objective recognition of emotional memories and thoughts as energy, rather than a subjective meaning (such as feelings or thoughts of worthlessness). This makes unwanted emotions and reactions seem to “disappear”. A person simply feels better, clearer and is able to better focus and experience more success in life.

The e book, more information, art, and free booklets are available at ungravenimage.com and artofseeingthedivine.com. http://artofseeingthedivine.com
* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Theory and Show Reviews Comments No Comments »