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12th Mar 2009

Collecting Fine Art Prints Tips for 2009 — Part 2

During an economic downturn fine art, especially easily transported two dimensional art, such as paintings and prints remain a solid investment value Investing in prints by known and emerging, but soon to be significantly recognized artists are generally a low cost entry into art collecting. Although there are no guarantees when investing in a work of art that the art will increase in value over time, there are ways for a collector to invest wisely.

Print collectors need to know and understand specific concepts of collecting art and prints.

The Importance of Provenance

There are two art markets, primary and secondary. The primary market sells works that are brand new, while the secondary market deals with works that have been owned.

Van Gogh never made money as an artist, but his paintings were documented, both in his letters to his brother and others and also by his brother. Modern and contemporary artists who believe in themselves and their work begin to keep records of their work fairly quickly, or they find someone to do this for them, such as a gallery owner or dealer. Aside from problems caused by wars, looting, natural disasters and theft, the whereabouts of most valuable fine art is known. There are companies and web sites that keep records of fine art provenance that most dealers and galleries have access to for a fee. This includes prints. Following the trail of a work of fine art’s ownership is termed provenance. Keeping records of the trail prevents forgery and also helps museums and curators know who to ask for a loan of art for a special exhibit as well as informing dealers and buyers as to whom to approach to buy particular works.

For artists whose work will appreciate over time, keeping records of provenance is very important. Good artists do care about their works, reputation and their collectors and agents. If a gallery, dealer or web site happily takes a buyer’s credit card or cash and does not note down the buyer’s information, print name and number (at least on a formal bill of sale), plus inform the buyer of the need to contact someone upon the work’s changing hands, well, that says a whole lot about the seller’s belief in the value of this art. This goes even triple for original paintings!

Artists and publishers know about the importance of this and keep records about their works when editions are created with respect for the real fine art market.

Types of Prints

There are many types of prints including lithographs, etchings, silk screens and the newer Giclees. All photographs are prints. Large scale fine art photography is often printed on the same presses as are Giclees, the difference being the the colors of the black pigments used and the paper type.

Another term for Giclee is digital print. This type of print is quickly becoming more accepted and valuable. However, the collector needs to take serious precautions to discover the inks and media used to create a print, especially a Giclee or photograph. Since these are easy to produce some artists are knocking out copies — and seeing them– on regular printers. Personally, I know one who uses a color copy machine and signs and frames the works. While these prints appear fresh, they are not worth owning as within 10 years they will fade badly even in the best conditions.

However, a true Giclee created with pigment inks will last for generations to come. If the Giclee is a limited edition signed print from an artist whose value rises the work will rise in value along with the artist’s paintings.

In the world of Modern Art, Andy Warhol’s silk screen prints demonstrate the investment value a print can have. Although in the recent boom times dealers drove the prices for these up, even inflated them, anyone who bought one of Warhol’s prints early on made one of the better investments available in the Twentieth Century that has held it’s value today better that almost every other investment.

The trick is to find an emerging Warhol — someone with a new way of creating art, a real theory and unique style.

Prints as an Investment

Many people have bought fine art as an investment and made money. Some people managed to get on the cutting edge, in at the very beginning with a new artist or a new movement and they made a lot of money. A dentist was recently listed in Art Review‘s 2005 list of the most prominent people in the art world. Why? Because two artists who traded their work when they were emerging artists for his dental care have become highly successful!

There are some other artists who many have paintings that are worth a lot of money, but really their print editions are so large that investing in them is plain silly. People who own those prints have no market for them and I have seen then sold for less than half of the original price on Ebay. Do not buy a fine art edition that has more than 700 prints in it, whether it is a reproduction print or an original print. Some artists and publishers try to get around that by calling editions of the same image by different edition names, such as Centennial Edition or Anniversary Edition. It should really be named the “Taking Advantage of Our Previous Collectors” edition.

Changing sizes is another way to hedge on the real number of prints. That one is tricky and something the buyer and the artist, even good, honest artists have to take care to research and properly represent. A good question to ask when considering purchasing any print is, “How many signed and numbered prints of this image are there in total?”

Genesis Aleph

by Judy Rey Wasserman

Edition of 125

Limited  Edition signed and numbered print Available at Art of Seeing The Divine

The general rule of thumb is all signed prints for any image should not exceed 750. Warhol got around this by using his black photographic silk screened image over different colored backgrounds. The smaller the print’s edition the more valuable it is within that artist’s same sized works. For instance Artist XYZ’s a single print from an edition of 125 signed 11 x 14 inch prints is generally worth more than a single print from the same time period from an signed edition of 500.

Sometimes posters for a specific event are also sold as fine art prints. Often some are signed by the artist. This is different from the print edition and does not count against the rarity of the original prints. Usually the posters either commemorate an art show or are used to raise money for a charity or non-profit even. A true fine art poster should be published with archival media. Sometimes posters are just posters, and as such, cannot be relied on to last for generations, even with proper care. As with all editions, a limited edition is worth more for the collector than a similar quality work in an unlimited or larger edition.

Often fine art editions have a separate category called, “Artist’s Proofs”. These groups of prints, which are always in relation to a print edition, never a stand alone edition are a remnant of the old tradition of the print publisher giving artists a small number of prints of any edition. Artists proofs were then sold by the artists themselves. They were thought to be more valuable since they were almost always signed and had been in he artist’s very own hands. Also, they were usually amongst the earlier prints (thus they were proofs) so the image might be clearer and the lines or images finer. There was a time this term made sense.

In today’s world of contemporary prints, the term “Artist Proof” is a marketing ploy to entice a buyer to pay more for the same item based on an often fictitious or at least scurrilous title. If a publisher offers “Artist’s Proofs” for sale, then probably the item is not fine art in the first place. By definition the artist is the person selling the proofs, not the publisher! If the artist is the publisher, or hires the publisher then by definition, all of the prints are really Artist Proofs.

Prints or posters based on fine art images, which are not signed by the artist and/or are issued in large numbers or unlimited editions may be great decorations but are not fine art that anyone should collect and hope for an increase in value. For instance, currently there are lovely Giclee on canvas prints of Renoir’s work. There are also posters of his work, some are even certified and in “fine art” editions by museums. The Boston Museum is selling beautiful archival prints. They are a great decoration, but they are not a great fine art investment.

Summary

Fine art prints can provide an introduction to art collecting as well as a lower cost way to collect the work of an artist. A print collector needs to carefully research the value of collecting an artist just as a painting collector would. In the secondary market provenance is always important. In the primary market finding an artist whose work will appreciate is always key to a good art investment.  Generally, finding the work of an emerging artist whose work will become renowned is the best investment one can make. Next, in a down market, find a private seller who needs to sell a work by a well renowned artist, but get that work professionally appraised and authenticated before buying it!

For the first article in this two part series see: Collecting Fine Art Prints Tips for 2009 — Part 1

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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 at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art & Inspiration, Art Collecting, Bible Art Comments 3 Comments »

20th Feb 2009

Collecting Fine Art Prints Tips — 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 

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.

Authenticity

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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Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Collecting Comments 2 Comments »

27th Jan 2009

Recession Proof Art Investing

Gold, jewels and two dimensional and smaller three dimensional works of fine art (such as paintings, prints and drawings or Faberge eggs) remain the three sure and secure investments. Once owned they are not subject to taxes or much upkeep and usually can be easily transported.

History has proven that gold, jewels and fine art are easily traded in times of economic or political difficulty.

Art by great artists on paper has not decreased in value anywhere near other valuable papers such as money, stocks and bonds. The international art market means that good art investments, whether of brilliant emerging artists or well known ones, can be bought and sold using whatever currency is a better value. Currently many artists and dealers who show and trade internationally are insisting on being paid in Euros. Some of these artists are American, while others are Europeans who shy away from receiving a fluctuating and weak dollar.

Art Can be One of the Best Recession Proof Investments

While gold and jewels will retain or increase in worth with the economy they will not skyrocket in value. Not many people can afford to collect van Goghs and other blue chip artists, however there are drawings and prints by established masters that are affordable. However, just like the gold and jewels they will retain their value better than other investments but may not increase in worth dramatically.

Art by emerging artists or recognized living Contemporary artists who are making obvious contributions to art that may inspire other artists and future generations. Just making beautiful traditional art or doing what others are doing—what’s in vogue – does not signal a great artist whose work will grow in statute and price.

The Lesson of Southampton Hospital

The only hospital in the Hamptons is in Southampton . Emerging and poor artists have a long history of trading their work for services. Although most of the artists who traded work for medical help never became famous, some did. So by the beginning of the Millennium the corridors of Southampton hospital rivaled the Parrish Art Museum , about a mile away. Walking through the corridors was like trip down a who’s who in the Hamptons art world, which included well recognized artists. When the Southampton hospital suffered a financial crisis reportedly brought on by mismanagement long after it began trading with artists one of its major assets was that art. It was sold and helped the hospital regain its fiscal footing.

For a few years inexpensive prints replaced the beloved art, but little by little the art of the newer Hamptons artists of today is appearing again on the walls.

Genesis Dalet Sunset

Genesis Sunset Dalet by Judy Rey Wasserman. Strokes are the original letters from Genesis 1-2:7. See More about this collectible limited edition art now. Click: HERE

The Dentist of ArtReview’s 100

Every year ArtReview has published a list of 100 most important people in the international Contemporary Art world. For several years a British dentist Adrian Mullish regularly appeared on the list due to his collection, which is highly valued. The collection includes many now recognized British artists, including Damian Hirst and Tracy Emin. It was obtained by trading services to emerging impoverished such as Damien Hirst and Tracy Enim.

Using the Internet

The Internet is leveling the playing field for all collectors. The hottest newest artists whose idea will change the history of art can all be found on the Internet if they are located in a place where there is a connection to the web. Creative, innovative people are early adopters.

Just as investors can research stocks, commodities and other investment vehicles, art and artists can be researched over the Internet. Artists and galleries have independent sites, and can also be found on art sites, as can art news and even art auctions and offerings.

Trading and collecting the work of emerging or established living artists remains savvy even during a recession. The trick is to find the artists whose work is truly innovative and may inspire subsequent generations of artists and viewers. Those are the artists whose work will endure. Discover and collect an artist early and the investment will best or at least equal gold or jewelry or any really hot tip.

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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.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Collecting, Art Theory & Show Reviews Comments 17 Comments »

16th Dec 2008

Who Owns Art?

While ownership is clearly defined for most property, when it comes to fine art there are aspects of ownership that are unique, and even shared by people who lack any title to a work of art.

One aspect of this can quickly and easily be seen when it comes to artworks that are antiquities. While a person might purchase a work, removing that piece from its country of origin may not be permitted, or may be deemed socially unacceptable. It is said that the artwork belongs to the people of that country even though they do not own the title (meaning as in deeded right) to the work.

Then there is copyright ownership. While a collector may own the original work, the artist retains the copyright and can sell the right to make prints, use the image for advertising, on goods, or anyway else it can be franchised. The artist does not need to confer with the collector who owns the original. Yet the collector of the original may not legally even send photos of the work to friends and clients as a holiday card, without the artist’s agreement.

Even in a recession great and recognized art retains much of its prior value, making it a good investment. A van Gogh remains a van Gogh—and the same can be said for many of the masters. Yet, great art is always inevitably also free to all viewers.

Most gallery shows are free. Museums are often on a donation basis so those who cannot afford much can come in, or special times when admission is free. While images of great art are not the same as seeing a work up front and personally, there are wonderful art books for art lovers. Many of these books are readily available to see, or to take on loan from public libraries.

Money, buying power does not matter when it comes to viewing art. The viewing experience of a wealthy collector is as valid as a poor student’s. Each owns and takes away his own experience.

No one but the artist can actually ever own a work of art. A work can only be validly changed by the artist who created it. Clearly this is widely considered to be true since if anyone or anything else changes it, the work is said to be in need of restoration.

Collectors can only buy the right to decide where an artwork is located. Safe keeping of works is a position collectors pay to have. It is a position of deep, even sacred trust. Perhaps it is fitting that those people who have amassed wealth and property are entrusted with tending to the care of the artwork in their collection.


Cypresses , 1889

If the artwork becomes more valuable due to greater appreciation of the artist, the work and the economy then a collector may be rewarded by the work having increased in value. Selling a distinguished artwork means relinquishing a position of trust.

Each person “owns” their own experiences with art and specific artworks. My Experiences of van Gogh’s The Cypresses at The Metropolitan Museum are exceptionally meaningful to me. Experientially, I have a relationship to that painting that began when I was a girl. Yet I do not own the painting only my experiences of it. By the way, many of those experiences were given to me through the free admission I enjoyed as a student growing up in NYC.

Who can own art? Each person that is moved or inspired by art owns it in his or her own unique way.

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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 at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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06th Nov 2008

Will Obama Change the Art Market?

Will the different plans of President Elect Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’s to raise taxes for people above the middle class result some galleries, artists and collectors moving to other countries? Will there be repercussions of Obama’s election on the art market, especially in America? Can the USA and NYC retain its place at the center of the art world?

While many artists were outspokenly for Barack Obama, his plan to tax the rich will certainly affect the incomes and spending of the rich, and this certainly includes many if not most prominent art collectors. Since it is unlikely that the poor who will be lifted into better economic conditions will rush out to buy original art, even in local tent fairs during the warmer months, all artists will feel the consequences.

Higher taxes for the rich at a time when the country is falling into a recession could result in many changes in the art world.

Some changes are already being felt thanks to the lay-offs on Wall Street, where collecting art is popular. Recent auctions and fairs in the USA and abroad have revealed a decline in collector’s dollars and buying power.

Everyone who lives or does business in NYC is sure to feel the squeeze of the recent announcement by Mayor Bloomberg of higher taxes and the cuts in services. A good part of the problem for the city stems from the tax base being lower due to the recession and changes on Wall Street and in the financial markets. When Obama’s plan to tax the rich goes into effect, what will be the result for this city?

The art community has become an international one. Artists have always moved about fairly freely, while dealers and gallerists tend to congregate in hubs that are city and then community based. For instance, NYC is considered to be the center of the art world while the neighborhood hubs have shifted from Soho to Chelsea and now apparently there is a move towards the Bowery.

Successful artists, those making incomes beyond Obama’s do-not-get-taxed-more ceiling can live anywhere and produce art. If taxes are increased, cost of living increases while services go down, will artists remain in New York City or move elsewhere, even out of the country?

Many of the most successful galleries have branches in other international cities. If a gallery’s London branch can sell the work of a represented artist for the same price but be taxed less, wouldn’t it make business sense to handle the sale that way? Of course, this kind of dealing would take tax revenues away from NYC and the USA. Yet it is legal.

Will galleries remain? With art fairs and new galleries opening in cities throughout the world, why remain in NYC or the USA if it costs more to do business there? Why place artworks at auction in NYC when the same International collector who will buy the work will do so wherever it is auctioned, since he is bidding over the phone?

The news from Miami is that there are fewer parties and events scheduled for the periods surrounding Art Basel Miami and the satellite fairs. Plus, the patties and events scheduled are less costly than in previous years. Clearly when restaurants, hotels, part planners, caterers, florists, local luxury transportation, etc. make less money it affects the local economy. It will also affect the collectors who come to the fairs to see and buy art but also to meet and greet and party. Is the cut back in Miami something that will be experienced during the NYC fairs? If so, will less lavish partying result in fewer collectors attending from out of town?

Art remains one of the best investments around if—and it is a big IF – the collector invests in an artist whose work will rise in value. Even during difficult times artists will be discovered and their works will become more valuable. After the last recession collectors who owned works by the new art stars became far richer, as did the galleries that represented these artists.

However, what is to prevent a collector from moving their art out of the country to where the taxes will be lighter when a piece is sold or auctioned?

Perhaps President elect Obama and Mayor Bloomberg will devise ways to encourage and support fine art, galleries and collecting that will help the USA retain its current status as the center of the art world and market. Aside from the obvious wisdom of encouraging our culture, the art market in the USA helps create jobs, tourism and promotes the cultural leadership of the USA.

On a non-partisan basis, I urge you to contact (write) the office of President Elect Barack Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, your representatives in local, state and national government and suggest that a plan be devised in relation to taxing fine art sold on the USA that will help preserve the position of the USA as the international center of art and its market.  Email or send your friends this article, post it at social sites, write articles like this too your own blogs — in short take action now!

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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 at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art & Inspiration, Art Collecting Comments 1 Comment »

02nd Oct 2008

What Do the Greatest Artists Have in Common?

People have always differed vastly in their opinions about art and artists, but now thanks to the web they can easily access images and express their views to an international audience through web sites and blogs.

Google is my personal “Post Conceptual Art” post concierge. It sends me an almost daily update – for free –on any and all articles and blogs that use the words Post, Conceptual, and Art. So far, almost no one but me is stringing those words together, all in a neat little triad of new meaning. Some use the term wondering what Post Conceptual Art can be. Mainly Google sends me links to sites that use all three words in a paragraph, but not in a row.

Last night I should have ambled off to bed, Google emailed me a report that linked to a blog article entitled “Art and Meaning” and used all three words in a paragraph. It was a new blog to me, not one of the regular art blogs I enjoy. How could I resist? With a click of the mouse I was at Albert Sonntag’s Legal Blog. Legal blog? Huh? Well, “Art and Meaning” is a unique and interesting post by an attorney who clearly appreciates art.

Albert Sonntag discussed his take on Cy Twombly, Abstract Expressionism and great artists. Sonntag and I seem to share a fascination with the “scribblings”, or strokes of artists. However, I had an instant strong response to his comment: “…I think that he [Cy Twombly] will soon be considered to be one of the two or three greatest artists of the second half of the twentieth century, rivaling Mark Rothko and Robert Rauschenberg.”

Although Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and an influence on my art, Mark Rothko, are certainly three of the best, any discussion of the greatest artists of the second half of the twentieth century that fails to mention Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali or Jasper Johns immediately seemed off target to me.

What makes artists revered as great beyond their own time? What do all the greatest artists have in common?

While artists today who have learned how to be provocative and grab headlines gain recognition and financial fortunes through aptly playing fame game, will their work remain be heralded in the future? Why? Or, Why not?

What do undisputed masters, artists who would be counted as certainly some of the greatest ever, such as Giotto, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Velazquez, Turner, Monet, Cezanne and van Gogh have in common?

Well, for one thing, these artists’ works bring in the crowds to museum shows. Clearly, they meaningfully communicate to people today. Wandering around in great museums that encompass the history of art, such as the Metropolitan, one realizes that the artists who best communicate in a non-linear way, call that spiritual, emotional or psychological, have the power to withstand time. However, many lesser known artists of the past and present also have this ability.

Great artists, certainly every one in our sample group of greats, had a distinctive style. Their works are easily distinguished from others of their own time. Although some of their actual signatures are famous, their works are also their signatures, portraying visions that are uniquely their own.

However, many great artists convey emotional or spiritual visual content and have a unique style but do not quite make it onto the topmost peak reserved for the greatest. What else distinguishes the greatest artists?

The work of every great artist mentioned in our distinguished group found new ways of painting, portraying light, perspective, color and/or space. They used strokes in new ways; they chose subjects that were different and sometimes controversial. They pioneered new ways of making art. This made their work influential.

The work of the greatest artists has inspired and influenced the work of other good to great artists. Their work continues to inspire and even provoke artists today. This seems to be the one attribute that only the greatest artists share. New schools of artistic thought and/or art movements can be traced back to their work. This places them in an ongoing historical context.

Copycat artists always abound and even flock together as they can earn a living seeming to plough a popular pre-ploughed field, so there are many artists today who are Warhol, Dali, Twombly, Rothko, etc., knock-offs. We even have Rembrandt, van Gogh, Monet and Picasso knock-offs. Apparently more people have artistic talent than artistic vision.

We are too close to the last half of the twentieth century to have any true perspective on how and if the next generations will relate to the works of the artists of that time. We are just beginning to learn of their influence on innovative Contemporary artists.

To discover the greatest artists of yesterday we need to find the great artists they influenced today – and tomorrow. Artists who truly innovate based on the innovations and work of previous great artists, while communicating emotional or spiritual content in a unique style that inspires other artists are and will continue to be the greatest artists whose works remain relevant and meaningful for generations.

* * *

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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13th Aug 2008

How Visual Art Changes Lives

Art can change the way we see the world so that our life is richer and fuller through our enhanced enhanced vision. The effect that art has on a person’s life is personal, and can be dramatic, but most certainly is physical.

For human beings who are normally sighted (including through corrective lenses), 60% of the brain’s space is dedicated to the sorting, storing and retrieving of visual data. Only 10% of the sense of visual perception is related to the eyes receiving and sending impressions of light to the brain. 90% of vision is based on stored data that our brains apply to make sense of the light images perceived by the eyes.

The primary perceptual sense for the overwhelming majority of human beings is sight. Plus, more people are visual learners or secondary visual learners than are aural or kinetic learners.

Human brains are stimulated by what is challenging and new. Of course, everyone who is normally sighted visually perceives 100% of the time that their eyes are open. When we see new images that we need to decipher, we add more visual data recognition to our brain’s databases. Recently, through new imaging techniques and discoveries neuroscience has proven that the healthy human brain can and does continue to grow, adding more information and understandings throughout life. The more a healthy brain is “nurtured” with stimulating challenges and new data the more it grows. Essentially, the more one understands, the smarter one is.

Science’s new understandings of how we see also rectify the notion that human babies are born blind. Actually, their eyes can see light impressions. However, newborns have not learned how to focus their eyes, and more significantly lack any visual data, which only begins to accumulate when they first open their eyes. Thus by about two weeks of age the baby has enough visual data that it can begin to recognize the human image it sees the most, usually the mother. Learning and sorting visual data continues through childhood, as a child learns to distinguish other faces, shapes, objects, colors, and then letters and numbers, etc.

It is easy to see how visual art and science, especially the mathematically based sciences such as physics, have changed how we see the world. These two disciplines have inspired each other and interacted throughout mankind’s history. J.M.W. Turner’s energetic use of light and atmosphere inspires the Impressionists to paint the then new discovery of light waves. If one can focus one the light energy in a painting, then one can focus on emotional energy; thus van Gogh paints and Freud analyzes. As Freud and his colleagues analyze looking at this side and that (reality is subjective), chemists and physicists delve into new understandings of matter, energy, space and time, and artists develop Surrealism, Cubism and Abstract Expressionism. While Pop Art commented on what seemed then as a visual barrage of culture, it also presaged the larger visual wave that now comes through, PC’s, cell phones, iPods, etc. Like the chicken and the egg, which comes first the art or the science remains debatable.

When an artist offers a unique and new way of seeing physical reality, as the Impressionists, Cubists, Surrealists, Abstract Expressionists and Pop artists did (and do for people newly exposed to their work, for instance: children), the viewer has new and visually valuable data that can now be stored and used to decode other images. This data can be used when seeing other art and also when seeing anything. For instance, for many people moving through the soup aisle of a supermarket there is a subliminal, if not recognized visual reminder of Andy Warhol’s work.

Art that is credited for changing our perception of the world has iconic value, which makes it valuable, and more valuable if it is a one of a kind piece. Almost every major art museum touts its most famous pieces to draw visitors, especially tourists. Tourism always helps support a local economy and a thriving local economy helps support its art museum(s). People, including tourists are drawn to the iconic, life changing visions provided by great art, for example: van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and Warhol’s Gold Marilyn at MoMa.

The brain associates memories, including those of images cross referenced for later use. Thus when one sees an image of Marilyn Monroe on a magazine cover, her face is recognized from the brain’s stored data (memories) of previously viewed images of Monroe, possibly including some created by Andy Warhol. Creating cross references is part of how the brain grows. It could also possibly account for the higher prices collectors are willing to pay for minor works of art my artists who created iconic and visual reality changing art, like van Gogh, Picasso and Warhol. When looking at an early and minor Warhol work our brains naturally reference and even compare it to the other works of his we have seen.

That art can visually inform innovative ways of seeing may also account for some of the skyrocketing prices recently for Contemporary Art. Our technological ability to rapidly share images keeps newer images in demand in our quest to see more and learn (brain expansion).

Return Ye Children

Return Ye Children
Genesis: Sunset- Sunrise series
24 ¼ x 36 ¼ inches, acrylic on Masonite
Texts used for strokes: Genesis 1-2:7, Deut. 6:4, Psalm 90 frame

Places where technological or scientific learning and experimentation are concentrated tend to also be places where new visual art, including theories are born or nurtured.For instance, Expressionism really came out the geological area that is predominantly comprised of Germany and Austria, as did much of early psychology and also what became modern physics. However, both the scientists and the artists basically moved to the Northeastern USA due to the growth of the Nazi party. Currently, as China and India burst with technological learning this is accompanied by an outpouring of inventive Contemporary Art. Historically, military might not spur on a society’s economic prosperity as much as it’s thriving concentration of scientific study and innovative visual art.

Seeing art, any art which is new to us, will increase a person’s visual data for future reference, thus expanding the brain – but so will seeing new sights and foreign cultures.

But, art is capable of more. Art can show us new and unique ways to see. Van Gogh’s expressive, energetically charged paintings show how places and people can be charged with feeling. Pop threw current culture back at people, challenging the viewer to make choices, and see the new visual media filled landscape. Word Art deals with how we bring extrinsic meaning, memories and imagery into our moments of now. The art of the great artists who originated these artistic theories and understandings present more than new visual images, they present new ways of visual understanding. That kind of data can enhance future visual perceptions, and so is personally life changing.

* * *

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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04th Jul 2008

Finding and Collecting Good Emerging Art

Collecting art, especially the work of emerging artists can be a savvy investment – or like any investment it can be a somewhat costly mistake.

Somewhat, because if the collector enjoys the art and it enhances their home or place of business, even if the price for the artist’s works decreases, at least one has the art! If a stock, bond or other type of investment looses value all one has are the statements.

Jim Kramer hosts an entertaining and popular program and has written various books about how to invest in the stock market. Kramer stresses that an investor must do her homework on a weekly basis. The days when one bought a stock, especially a blue chip one and just held onto it are over. Investors buy and sell and trade, often daily.

Although collectors also do homework that involves learning about art and artists, the majority of art investments are held for years, possibly decades. This is especially true when collecting the work of an emerging artist as the artist’s career takes time to build. Of course the trick is to find an emerging artist whose work will become more valuable over time.

We can look back over the history of modern art through living contemporary artists whose work is granted shows in top museums and galleries while the price for their works continues to rise at auction to find commonalities that seem to hold true for today.

Talent and determination are key shared factors. Successful artists, once they decide to be artists just do not give up. For his time, Vincent van Gogh became an artist later in his life, after several failed careers. However, once he began to paint, the fact that his work was not selling never deterred him. It wasn’t that failure was not an option – quitting was not an option. The same can be said for certainly every great artists, such as Rembrandt and Vermeer, but also others whose works continue to appreciate in value.

Passion indicates determination, not necessity. Many people appear to have passion but the true test of passion is the person’s determination to continue no matter what.

Although galleries and dealers that sell works by emerging artists tout degrees from good art schools, especially new MFAs, as it lends credibility to an artist whose resume is scant for achievements. The fact is that many people finish school in one discipline, but eventually have a career in another. I know people who used to be lawyers and doctors who switched careers to work in entertainment, open restaurants or other businesses, etc. Most people with MFAs in fine art are not full time artists, although many may be associated with art as teachers, designers, gallery owners, etc. A mountain of educational debt does not insure an artist, or anyone will continue down the career path they were trained for.

True, a truly determined artist will find a way to obtain artistic education, however this may not be an MFA.

The determined artists seem to have a driving need to communicate. Visually they have something that they are bent on communicating, it is their preferred “idea” to communicate, and frankly, if they were not creative artists we would think of them as obsessive. So without meaning it as a clinical diagnosis let’s look at the “obsessions” of some artists: van Gogh – Showing emotion through painting; Monet – showing the ever changing aspects of light through painting; Warhol- the de humanizing mechanical nature of our popular culture; Cindy Sherman – identity through roles; and the list could go on and on. It’s not about exploring or expressing one’ self, these determined artists have something that again and in many ways they are determined to communicate.

If you are familiar with the work of any of the great artists, especially Modern and Contemporary artists who could choose their subjects and paths, there is a demarcation point somewhere in their career when suddenly the artist becomes inspired with what becomes their “idea” and their style somewhat changes and then there is just no stopping them. Sometimes this artistic Aha! change involves a change on locale, as it did for Georgia O’Keeffe and Gauguin. Sometimes an artist develops a theoretical idea as Picasso and Braque did with cubism and Seurat with Pointillism.

The almost obsessive determination to communicate an idea seems to result in a unique style. Monet and Renoir, both Impressionists would often paint en plein air together yet their canvases are easily distinguished. Their messages, although enjoying the Impressionist understandings are different. Their styles are unique due to their unique visions.

The new collector who has been researching by attending the top notch galleries and fairs and museums, reading the art magazines and newspapers will be acquainted with the work of the contemporary and living artists whose works are in the biennials and special museum shows. In other words, the work of these artists is established.

Look for the up and coming artist whose work can be understood as a next step from the newest but established art. What is the next step to Pop, Minimalism, Conceptualism, or Neo-Expressionism? What is the next step from Chuck Close, Damian Hirst, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons or Lawrence Weiner? When you see the work of an emerging artist ask yourself, how is this a next step?

There is a delightful book, a kind of journal really by Michael Corbin entitled The Art Of Everyday Joe: A Collector’s Journal. It is a rather large paperback that is perfect summer reading with chapters that are short, lively and personal, a bit like reading someone’s diary. Corbin interweaves good information for the new collector with champagne taste but a beer budget into his entries.

Michael Corbin exclusively collects emerging artists, at least by my definition. I define an emerging artist as one who is not yet in the collections of major museums, or been in the Whitney Biennial, or whose prices for even a large piece, 6 foot by at least 4 feet are well under $100, 000. Personally, after reaching any of those milestones, one has emerged!

Corbin is much more of a collector than investor as he buys what he appreciates, without looking at the purchase as an investment and collects eclectically the works of many artists in many styles. There is one chapter where he is describing his problem of finding space, even storage space for the newest works that have just been delivered. As an artist, with an ever growing “collection” of completed paintings and prints, plus blank canvases and other materials, I laughed with appreciation.

To Recap:

  • 1. Do your homework and research (see Lyn Bishop’s blog)
  • 2.. Find passionate and determined artists with unique vision whose work takes the next step in the progression of art.
  • 3. Do not buy anything unless you personally like or appreciate it.
  • 4. With a nod to Michael K. Corbin, enjoy the adventure of collecting                                                                                                        *  *  *

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Collecting, Art Theory & Show Reviews Comments 2 Comments »

05th Jun 2008

Money is Art

Many people claim to have a problem – even problems with money in general. Almost no one has a problem with art in general. And yet, money is almost always also art.

Psalm 19 (Andy Warhol)

Andy Warhol knew this. He was a master of painting images and portraits of the icons of his popular culture. He especially focused on images of people that were created by other artists. For instance, his portraits usually involve media images photographed by others.

When Warhol created paintings or prints of objects they were usually popular commercial items that were designed by other artists and designers, such as the Campbell’s Soup cans.

All legal tender issued by United States Mint is art. The coins and bills all carry images and drawings. Andy Warhol knew this and understood the irony, which is now intensified as his paintings of dollar bills now fetch upwards of $ 4 million.

The currencies issued by most of the governments in the world contain art, both coins and paper tender. Stamps, which are a kind of currency in that they have a face value, are art. Some small countries earn part of their revenues from issuing beautiful limited edition stamps, mainly to collectors from other countries. Most everything that is issued with a face value and has no other purpose but to represent that value (as opposed to the items intrinsic worth and use or tickets to events), is imprinted with images and design. Bonds, stocks, discount coupons, often even gift certificates issued by small local businesses usually include art.

 

Granted, a great deal of this art is chosen for its PR value. The images and design visually promote the issuing source. For instance, the gift certificates available at a local restaurant have the logo or an image of the restaurant. Governments issue money with images of their leaders.

 

Money, stamps and fine art are all also collectibles. When a coin, bill or stamp is rare, for instance there was an error and the printing run was shortened, that makes them more valuable. There is always a limited amount of original work produced by any artist that can be collected, whether or not the value of the artist’s work increases over time..

The value of any art and any money is created by the decisions and actions of its creator/issuer and those who aspire to own it. It is the ultimate supply and demand paradigm, since other than the worth we assign to it, both art and money, especially paper money is basically worthless.

 

Artistic merit and worth are decisions. Like art created on and with materials that do not have much intrinsic value, the paper even a dollar bill is printed upon is worth less than the assigned value of $1.00. It is just a little rectangular piece of paper.

 

Oil paints applied to a canvas have no special value, and the artistic assignments of middle school students usually end up in the trash when they go off to college to study other disciplines. When an artist, such as Andy Warhol, uses paint on a canvas, over time the worth of that painted canvas increases as more people decide it is valuable. A Warhol canvas is far more valuable that the costs, which have increased since Warhol’s time for the canvas, framing materials and paints. No collector buys the materials, but rather what the artist created with them.

 

Although most recognized art collectors are also worth a great deal of money, they actually physically have and experience more fine art than money. The art is in their homes and offices and collections, which they see, maybe every day. Their money is indicated –but not actually shown – on ledgers, bank statements and reports prepared by accountants and financial executives. How many millionaires have actually seen a million one dollar bills at the same time – if ever?

 

There seems to be a connection between appreciating and collecting fine art on a regular basis and accruing greater wealth. This applies to individuals and societies. Although collecting art takes funds beyond what is required to obtain life’s necessities, those individuals, companies, communities and countries that revere and collect visual art prosper beyond any increase in the value of the art. In fact, emerging companies, professionals and business people will often collect newer artists, as they are affordable and offer a new vision.

 

Artists need patrons and collectors to survive, and obviously patrons must have the wealth to be able to afford art, but only to a degree. Historically, whenever a society began to emphasize and revere visual art (art that exists only to communicate and/or inspire) that society blossomed and became wealthy and influential. If and when the society’s artistic community became artistically regulated, when artists either were not encouraged or lacked the freedom to experiment then the societies or regime began to lose power and wealth.

 

Currently, although the stock market, real estate and other economic indicators are signifying problems in the USA, the art market continues to prosper and grow beyond expectations. Emerging collectors and museums have created an international market for art that for the first time ever, allows the work of living artists to span the globe.

 

Money is art. Money follows art. Anyone who is experiencing a lack of money – or wealth, is most likely also experiencing a lack of authentic, inspiring and visually challenging art.

 

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art — Andy Warhol

    *  *  *

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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Posted by Posted by Judy Rey under Filed under Art Collecting, Art Theory & Show Reviews, Bible Art Comments 3 Comments »

23rd May 2008

Who is Impacted When an Art Museum Show is a Blockbuster Hit?

Art museum blockbuster hits are now as common as they are for other venues that sell tickets, such as film concerts and theatre. Only Ticket sales define the blockbuster’s success, not reviews or the current price of the artists work at auction.

Blockbuster museum shows are a recent development, considering the length of the history of art. It all began in 1976 when the King Tut exhibit drew more than 8 million people to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thomas Hoving, the Met’s museum director at the time, is credited for this innovation. Hoving publicly says that “It’s not true “I stole the idea from the Europeans. But I’ll say it was my idea.”

Thomas Hoving has a special knack for recognizing a good thing, especially when it comes to art. He continued launching blockbuster style shows and changed art museums forever.

Art museums considering what shows to include during a year can be compared to a hungry person. The best and biggest, in NYC that would be the Met and MoMA can afford to eat in any four star restaurant. The may even be comped, or at least served a free drink or desert. The perks and prestige decline along with the stars of the restaurant until one reaches a small local museum, or university museum. The small museum – not necessarily small on space but small in membership and budget, is hungry to drive in new members, patrons and viewers, but lacks the wherewithal to mount or even lure a major show. Galleries even have the noshies, now snacking by mounting their won museum type shows, which can even travel to co-sponsoring galleries in other cities. There are now museums in non-major cities that have no permanent collection, but instead basically exist as a space for traveling or specially curated shows of borrowed works.

For museums, blockbuster box office hits bring in money, obviously in ticket sales but also visitors who become members and donors, plus auxiliary sales at the museum’s restaurants and shops. A hit show encourages galleries and artists to think highly of the museum, thus perhaps upping the museum’s place on a waiting list for an artist’s work, and this is especially important for a slightly smaller museum. The money that blockbusters earn can allow a museum or curator to mount a show for a less popular but significant and influential artist.

For the art world, the influence of blockbuster shows reaches beyond museums.

Who else in the art world is impacted by blockbuster museum shows?

Galleries — Many top tier galleries today became such by recognizing and promoting the work of their artists who then became well recognized and acclaimed. Some of the out-of-towners who come to see an art show also visit galleries and openings locally. Galleries have found ways, including creating shows with an artist and artist they represent that references a recent museum show. This can be a natural spin-off as artists have always been influenced by other great artists, living or long deceased. .

Curators – Curators create shows and group shows. Some have full time jobs at museums but most are independent. Any curator who mounts a blockbuster hit reaps career recognition and rewards.

Collectors – The answer is relevant for collectors who by patronage can encourage museums and galleries to help create box office hits for the artists in their collection. Plus, knowledge being power, for all but the very top collectors – the ones who create their own museums or endow museums with their collections – it is far easier collect an artist’s work when there is no waiting list or that list is small.

Art Critics – A brilliant review can make a critic’s career or keep it on top. Campaigning an editor for the assignment to write a piece on an upcoming show, especially when a magazine, newspaper, website, etc., has several reviewers can land one a plum spot and recognition, especially if that show becomes a blockbuster. Discovering an artist or group of artists and championing them has helped make careers but also given a place in art history to critics such as Clement Greenberg.

The Public – A well curated museum show – and one of the elements of a blockbuster is that it is well curated and presented – is informative and allows people to intensely experience the work of an artist or group of artists whose works are related. Works are often brought together from many of the world’s art collections, both private and public that can for possibly the first but certainly for a limited time been seen together. Plus, since works are lent by private and corporate collections, they are not usually available to be seen by the public.

Contemporary Artists – Most artists are influenced by other artists’ works, including that of other artists who are living but also those long deceased. Major shows or retrospectives can have a great impact. On a contemporary artists work, and since most of the best art schools in the USA are located within easy travel distance of major museums, a blockbuster show influences the next generation, too. This

Local Businesses – The tourists who come to see a blockbuster museum show impact the local economy. Tourism is lucrative for many businesses, including those that normally appear outside of the travel and hospitality industries. More tourists means more people customers for hairdressers, barbers, dry cleaners, and all kinds of shops, especially those near the museum, which all benefit.

Cities such as Florence and Paris are deservedly proud of their artists and the art in their churches and public collections, which they have successfully used for hundreds of years to draw tourists. The phenomena of a city drawing tourists to see art in a collection that has little if any connection to the city itself other than for the brief time it is on display in a show, basically began in the Twentieth century, and came into fashion after the original King Tut show. For a smaller museum a blockbuster show ca be on a smaller scale, but if the artist or work catches the public attention, and the show is well curated it can impact a entire community, even the art world at large, plus if the show is for a living artist’s work, it can amazingly skyrocket a career.

   *  *  *

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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