Category

New Collector

Artists, Collections, Featured Artist, New Collector, News

Antiquity

By Sybaris

When we face a work by Jeff Koons we have two alternatives: to relate its motives to the history of art or to be seduced by its contemporary presence. Antiquitysynthesizes both positions. The series that began in 2018 mixes images from different eras: prehistoric and Greco-Roman deities, 19th-century figures or women of the 20th century (Gretchen Mol dressed as the icon of the 50 Betty Page in Antiquity3) achieving a syncretism that recalls at the same time Dalí’s surrealism and the American advertising silhouettes of the 60s. As Koons mentioned: “I’ve always loved Surrealism and Dada and Pop, so I just follow my interests and focus on them.”

On the surface, a series of casual strokes recall Dalí’s originality and eroticism, as well as the innocence of a child who discovers a painting, observes it carefully and prepares to tear it apart. Or to remake it to appropriate it. In a 2011 interview by Pharrell Williams for Harper’s Bazaar Koons underlines the following:“I start with a sense of contemporary time and make references to different artists such as Lichtenstein or Dalí through to Manet, Renaissance artists, or the greatest artists of antiquity, like Praxiteles and Apelles. The aspect is the acceptance of how we exist, how nature procreates, and how we are able to sustain life.”

Although Koons’ works are elaborated proposals manufactured by many people in a workshop, Antiquityseems to have been made by an individual who gathers his favorite pieces, shapes them in a collage and then paints on them. Koons has never abandoned neither kitsch nor playful. The lines of Antiquity 1, Monet, Antiquity 3, Uliand Ariadne Titian Bacchus Popcornsuggest a repetition of Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde. It is not that for Koons the images of Antiquity are related to sexuality and eroticism, it is that for the American artist any artistic gesture has an erotic impulse that gives it life.

In a text around this series Joachim Pissarro mentions that“These works, conceived by Koons and executed with the help of studio assistants, echo the very tightly, digitally composed collage-based technique Koons employed in his Easyfun-Ethereal works and subsequently developed in his Popeye and Hulk Elvis paintings. In the compositions for Antiquity, he incorporates the same motifs throughout multiple works, producing a sense of visual rime across the series. Some of the works share an Old Master painting as their background: Rubens’s Daughters of Leucippus and Manet’s Jesus Mocked by Soldiers are two examples. The outermost layer of all the Antiquity works is a childlike drawing of a sailboat, rendered in a simulated Magic Marker—and this is Koons’s magic (or alchemy): he transforms a doodle into a most exacting, precise, and painstakingly rendered painterly gesture—indeed, accumulations of painterly gestures. Or, vice versa, he presides over myriads of pictorial and pain-laden gestures in order to turn them into the illusion of a mark made by a felt-tip pen. The fascinating power of Koons’ paintings, here, is that they constantly oscillate between the two.”

Can this series of works that make up Antiquitybe owned separately? Could they increase their value if they are part of the same collection? It is undeniable that any work signed by the American artist aspires to position itself as a benchmark of contemporary art. The value that each of them possesses not only fuses the artistic interests of Koons, but also strengthen them to create a visually shocking ensemble.

Art Advisory, Artists, Collections, Investing in Art, New Collector, News

Why to collect art??

By Andrea Cuevas

 

Why people collect art? Actually is pretty similar to the question of why people make art. The most basic and common answer for that is because human beings has the imperative necessity to express themselves, and we assume it as an unquestionable truth. It is hard to find someone who thinks a person makes art or becomes an artist for making money. On the other hand, when we think in art collectors, the first image to come to our mind is that of a billionaire that buys art as a form to get a tax deduction or money laundering.

Apparently collecting art is all about money and that’s all. Despite the economic and financial reasons, there are some others linked to the interest in preserve human knowledge and expressions. Yes, there are multiple advantages in matter of money, but nowadays it is possible to make history through art collecting even with a small budget. Famous poet Ezra Pound had already said collectors are as important as artists: “If a patron buys from an artist who needs money, the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world. He creates.”

Think about the Medici Family from fourteenth century, maybe the most popular art sponsors in history. Without their financial support, it wouldn’t be possible know today the thought and ways of seen from the society in the Renaissance through the view and words of artists and poets such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, or Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. In certain way, sponsorship it is very similar to collecting: collect art is one of the most important ways to support an artist. It could sounds romantic, but by buying the work of a living artist you are making a bet for artistic heritage, besides of being linked to art history –maybe for life–. This is one of the main reasons to become and art collector: a form to preserve human thinking for future generations.

Thanks to collectors such as the Guggenheim, the Getty, Catherine the Great (one of the most important Russian art collector from the 18th century) or Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (whose collection is housed by the Whitney Museum in New York), to name a few, we are able to experience and study the work of artist around the world from the twentieth century, and by doing that art professionals has the opportunity to research on political, social and cultural contexts from the past. This is an invaluable form both to preserve knowledge and to influence the way we write, understand and spread the history. So if you are wondering how you could be creative as an art collector, just don’t forget that the works of art from your collections are little pieces of a fragmented past.

A recent survey from Artnet.comgives light of the most common reasons for collecting art according to current collectors:

 

  1. Aesthetic value – 62%
  2. An asset expected to value over time – 49%
  3. Art appreciation is a family value – 31%
  4. Enjoy being part of the art world – 20%
  5. Safe haven in volatile markets – 16%
  6. A sign of my wealth and success – 13%
  7. An asset to be sold for quick profit – 13%

 

On this regard, the aesthetic value, the financial potential and the social recognition are the principal trends of art collecting. In accordance with Erin Thompson (Art crime professor at the City University of New York), it is very often for collectors to describe their first purchase as a social and financial strategy. Only a few ones relates their interest on a work guided by the history, the cultural or artistic value or their passion about art.

Actually to follow your passion is the most important advantage in the act of collecting art. Why? Think about when you were a child and you were passionate about collecting baseball balls (much better if it was signed by your favorite baseball player), cars, badges, coins, toys, watches or any kind of artefact that instantly becomes a gold treasure for you. Now imagine that you still keep those objects and they are still a treasure but for one reason specially: your childhood collectionit is a cabinet of memories, an archive of important moments, a trace from the past.

It is the same for professional art collections. Being an art collector also means to share not only your passion with the world, but the passion of different women and men who expressed their ways to think and see the world through art. If you are able to understand how important it’s that, then you are also able to being a creative as Ezra Pound said. By sharing your collection with the world you are contributing to build art.

 

There are so many collectors who have turn their passion into a social practice by sharing their pieces. We are lucky to see thousands of collected art pieces in museums, textbooks, images, films, etc. Collectors from today should know their responsibility with future generations for them to have the same opportunities to get to know the incredible creations of the human beings. A collection is also a starting point to embrace educational and social projects. In Mexico there are two important examples regarding art collecting –as a non-profit activity– and social practice: When Jumex Fundation was located at the popular neighborhood of Ecatepec in Estado de Mexico, the educational team developed several activities, projects and strategies to involve the local community with the art. On the other hand, Alumnos 47 created an exhaustive program of social projects whose highlight was a special bus turned into a library, which visited several neighborhood around Mexico City to spread the reading and offer free art workshops for childrens.

So now you know, there are more advantages in collecting art than the typical related with money and social recognition. Don’t forget the multiple possibilities you have to create something meaningful with your art collection, don’t keep it on storage forever!

Andrea Cuevas studied art at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana. She was Editorial Coordinator in CódigoMagazine. She has collaborated for print and digital media such as GasTv, La Ciudad de Frente and Harper’s Bazaar. She is currently studying the master’s degree in Art History at UNAM.

Art Advisory, Collections, Curator's Journal, Investing in Art, New Collector, News

Art Decade

Column

Art Decade

John Baldessari, the eternal return

Last Thursday, January 2, one of the most important names of conceptual art died at age 88. Creator of a complex work where written and visual language merges, Baldessari boldly mixed motives of everyday life in diverse formats where humor was the main character.

By Abel Cervantes

It is possible to imagine it: a man 6’7″ with a long beard wander through the city looking for a funeral home to attend his request. The man, however, doesn’t look for a service for a relative. Not even for a friend. Try to find a funeral home that burns paintings, the paintings he has done for more than a decade to start his career as an artist. Cremation Project (1970) – a glass cabinet with three objects: a bronze plaque where could be read “John Antonio Baldessari May 1953-March 1966”, a urn in a shape of a book and a notarized declaration witnessing what had just been happen: all the artist’s paintings had been cremated on July 24 in San Diego – it is important not only because with it Baldessari closed a cycle and inaugurated a more important one that would define him as an artist, but because with that gesture he opened a new possibility for artistic forms, where everything could take place. Humor included.

From then on, John Baldessari explored all kinds of formats and disciplines: photographs, architecture, installations, collages, artists’ books, comics, video… As he tells Calvin Tomkins in that magnificent profile, “No More Boring Art”, published in The New Yorkeron October 18, 2010: when I cremated my works“I thought about Nietzsche and the eternal return […] and equating the artist with the ‘body’ of his work, and so forth. The problem was that several local mortuaries refused to cremate paintings. I found one finally, but the guy said we had to do it at night.”

Thus John Baldessari had two births. The first took place on June 17, 1931 in California. The second, without exact date, goes around 1966 and 1968 when he worked inSemi-Close-Up of Girl by Geranium (Soft View), one of his most emblematic pieces by merging a series of interests that would pursue him for the rest of his life. The work consisting of a gray canvas contains a dialogue copied from Intoleranceby D. W. Griffith’s where you can read “Finishes Watering It—Examines Plant to See If It Has Any Signs of Growth, Finds Slight Evidence—Smiles—One Part Is Sagging—She Runs Fingers Along It—Raises Hand Over Plant to Encourage It to Grow.” “It’s probably my all-time favorite piece, he said. I just think it’s perfect—very simple, and you can imagine it so easily. David Foster Wallace once said that the duty of the writer is to make the reader feel intelligent, and let them fill in the gaps. I feel that way, too.”

Baldessari was a kind of writer in art or an artist who played with language and writing. Related in that sense with his friend Lawrence Weiner, his powerful phrases dialogue with the images to open unexpected interpretations. Perhaps without knowing it, he began a path for the interpretation of contemporary art very close to the one that Roland Barthes promoted: unfolding the images in language to grab them. Find the beauty of the sounds of words to try to get closer to what seems unattainable.

But the artist had a concern beyond shapes, words or colors. Since he was young, he doubted his artistic activities because for Baldessari the most important thing was the social transformation of his environment. For more than 5 decades he alternated art with teaching, influencing artists with a thought similar to his own: if art is not a catalyst to change the horizon, let it be nothing. And what Tomkins tells:

Cal Arts was the result of a merger between the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music.Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Conceived and lavishly funded by Walt Disney as an interdisciplinary school whose graduates would include a ready supply of talented Disney animators, it opened in 1970 (four years after Disney’s death), and quickly became the most radical art school in the country. Brach brought in Allan Kaprow, a prime instigator of the “happening” movement in New York, as assistant dean, and his faculty appointments included Nam June Paik, the progenitor of video art; the feminist artist Judy Chicago; and the Fluxus artists Dick Higgins and Alison Knowles. There were no formal classes, no grades, and no curriculum. Baldessari was supposed to teach painting, but he balked at that; he called his course “Post-Studio Art,” which meant anything other than traditional painting and sculpture. He hoped that by treating his students as “younger artists” he might be able, with luck, “to set up a situation where art might occur.”

There is a portrait of Baldessari that I particularly like. His face is in profile and seems to turn towards the center, as if he wanted to look at us. I think about what are perhaps his most famous paintings: scenes from B-series movies or from everyday life in which the faces of the portrayed characters are covered by a circle. Sometimes green. Sometimes white, yellow or blue. What would happen if that portrait had one of those circles? Should it have half or two? How will we remember the old man with the white long beard? Like a madman, 6’7″,who burned his paintings to be reborn or as a curious man who borrowed images from anywhere to turn them into art? A father of conceptual art? A pop art genius? Perhaps as himself mentioned: “A hundred years from now, I will probably be remembered as the guy who put dots on faces.”

Art Advisory, Collections, Investing in Art, New Collector, News

Why to collect art??

By Andrea Cuevas

 

Why people collect art? Actually is pretty similar to the question of why people make art. The most basic and common answer for that is because human beings has the imperative necessity to express themselves, and we assume it as an unquestionable truth. It is hard to find someone who thinks a person makes art or becomes an artist for making money. On the other hand, when we think in art collectors, the first image to come to our mind is that of a billionaire that buys art as a form to get a tax deduction or money laundering.

Apparently collecting art is all about money and that’s all. Despite the economic and financial reasons, there are some others linked to the interest in preserve human knowledge and expressions. Yes, there are multiple advantages in matter of money, but nowadays it is possible to make history through art collecting even with a small budget. Famous poet Ezra Pound had already said collectors are as important as artists: “If a patron buys from an artist who needs money, the patron then makes himself equal to the artist; he is building art into the world. He creates.”

Think about the Medici Family from fourteenth century, maybe the most popular art sponsors in history. Without their financial support, it wouldn’t be possible know today the thought and ways of seen from the society in the Renaissance through the view and words of artists and poets such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, or Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. In certain way, sponsorship it is very similar to collecting: collect art is one of the most important ways to support an artist. It could sounds romantic, but by buying the work of a living artist you are making a bet for artistic heritage, besides of being linked to art history –maybe for life–. This is one of the main reasons to become and art collector: a form to preserve human thinking for future generations.

Thanks to collectors such as the Guggenheim, the Getty, Catherine the Great (one of the most important Russian art collector from the 18th century) or Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (whose collection is housed by the Whitney Museum in New York), to name a few, we are able to experience and study the work of artist around the world from the twentieth century, and by doing that art professionals has the opportunity to research on political, social and cultural contexts from the past. This is an invaluable form both to preserve knowledge and to influence the way we write, understand and spread the history. So if you are wondering how you could be creative as an art collector, just don’t forget that the works of art from your collections are little pieces of a fragmented past.

A recent survey from Artnet.comgives light of the most common reasons for collecting art according to current collectors:

 

  1. Aesthetic value – 62%
  2. An asset expected to value over time – 49%
  3. Art appreciation is a family value – 31%
  4. Enjoy being part of the art world – 20%
  5. Safe haven in volatile markets – 16%
  6. A sign of my wealth and success – 13%
  7. An asset to be sold for quick profit – 13%

 

On this regard, the aesthetic value, the financial potential and the social recognition are the principal trends of art collecting. In accordance with Erin Thompson (Art crime professor at the City University of New York), it is very often for collectors to describe their first purchase as a social and financial strategy. Only a few ones relates their interest on a work guided by the history, the cultural or artistic value or their passion about art.

Actually to follow your passion is the most important advantage in the act of collecting art. Why? Think about when you were a child and you were passionate about collecting baseball balls (much better if it was signed by your favorite baseball player), cars, badges, coins, toys, watches or any kind of artefact that instantly becomes a gold treasure for you. Now imagine that you still keep those objects and they are still a treasure but for one reason specially: your childhood collectionit is a cabinet of memories, an archive of important moments, a trace from the past.

It is the same for professional art collections. Being an art collector also means to share not only your passion with the world, but the passion of different women and men who expressed their ways to think and see the world through art. If you are able to understand how important it’s that, then you are also able to being a creative as Ezra Pound said. By sharing your collection with the world you are contributing to build art.

 

There are so many collectors who have turn their passion into a social practice by sharing their pieces. We are lucky to see thousands of collected art pieces in museums, textbooks, images, films, etc. Collectors from today should know their responsibility with future generations for them to have the same opportunities to get to know the incredible creations of the human beings. A collection is also a starting point to embrace educational and social projects. In Mexico there are two important examples regarding art collecting –as a non-profit activity– and social practice: When Jumex Fundation was located at the popular neighborhood of Ecatepec in Estado de Mexico, the educational team developed several activities, projects and strategies to involve the local community with the art. On the other hand, Alumnos 47 created an exhaustive program of social projects whose highlight was a special bus turned into a library, which visited several neighborhood around Mexico City to spread the reading and offer free art workshops for childrens.

So now you know, there are more advantages in collecting art than the typical related with money and social recognition. Don’t forget the multiple possibilities you have to create something meaningful with your art collection, don’t keep it on storage forever!

Andrea Cuevas studied art at the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana. She was Editorial Coordinator in CódigoMagazine. She has collaborated for print and digital media such as GasTv, La Ciudad de Frente and Harper’s Bazaar. She is currently studying the master’s degree in Art History at UNAM.

Art Advisory, Collections, Investing in Art, New Collector

How does a work of art acquire its value?

By Sybaris Collection

How does a work of art acquire its value?

Are you starting your art collection? Know how a work of art acquires value.

A contemporary work of art does not participate in the classic value acquisition system. While other jobs receive in exchange an amount of money for the time invested in it, in the process of producing a work of art the parameters are different. Here we recover some of those mentioned by Siri Hustvedt in A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women:

The perception of it

What happens when we see a work by an important author? Let’s say, Picasso. As spectators we know that we are seeing a piece of great value. Suppose we discover that the work is fake: it immediately leaves the value we had assigned to it. The value of the work is directly related to our perception of it. And that perception can be conscious and unconscious. The perception of the author changes the value of a work: the same money is not paid for a work by a young (or unknown) author than a consecrated one.

The art market

The art market is governed by its own dynamics: rumors, speculation, etc. To generate speculation that increase the value of a work of art, the criticisms in the media play a fundamental role. In that sense, the critics have a resonance both in society and in the art market.

Its appropriation

A work also acquires value by the relationship it has with its collector. Hustvedt quotes the psychologist William James to explain it: In its broadest sense, the “I” of an individual is the total sum of everything he can call his, not only his body and his psychic faculties, but his clothes and his house, his wife and his children, his ancestors and his friends, his reputation and his works of art. When a collector acquires a work, then it becomes part of his being.

The essence of the work

What hangs on the wall, stands on the floor or hangs from the ceiling contains the traces of the deliberate creative act that a human being performs for another, embodied in the strokes of a brush, in the ingenious juxtapositions of objects or shapes or in a complex idea or emotion represented in one way or another. A work of art is not just an object to be observed: it is an idea or an emotion that, as part of a tradition, becomes something desirable.

Close
Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar

ABOUT SSL CERTIFICATES