This is the question on everyone’s lips, now that the art fair fall season is about to start: How do I buy art at an art fair? Hendrik Hansson from Artnet gave some valuable advice, before unseen Amsterdam opens their doors, to which we may add a few..
1. Do your homework. Review the schedule of upcoming fairs and choose the one that is the best match for you in terms of location, your budget and the participating galleries and artists. Do some research online, make lists and take notes so you are well prepared when you’re at the fair.
2. Ask. Don’t be afraid to ask about artworks that interest you. Questions about an artwork’s price or background will help you gain a better understanding of the artist, the art market and current trends. If you are interested in buying a certain piece, inquiries will reveal what is sold and what is available. Keep in mind that prices are often negotiable.
3. Consider editions. Have you fallen head-over-heels over a photograph that you can’t afford? Perhaps the dimension is too large for ‘that’ wall? Remember that many photographs come in larger editions that are smaller in size. These prints will most likely be framed in a less costly way or even completely unframed. All-in-all, a great way to get the artwork that you want – for less. But hurry, a popular photograph will definitely sell out fast even in a large edition.
4. Network. Taking the time to develop personal connections with art dealers and galleries can be very beneficial. Dealers and galleries keep records of people who have expressed an interest in an artist or certain piece in the past and often will notify you about available pieces or openings that may be of interest to you in the future. So introduce yourself and ask questions.
5. Be confident. Gallerists and art dealers often seem pretentious and unapproachable if they don’t recognise your name or face. In reality, they are very passionate about art and their artists, welcoming any opportunity to discuss the works in their booths. Don’t be intimidated, you may be able to establish a fruitful relationship with the gallery and its representative.
6. Have an open mind. Being open is a great way to take advantage of everything a fair has to offer. Don’t be dismissive of unfamiliar genres, ideas or artists. Instead, educate yourself on different perspectives. Tastes and trends are constantly changing and evolving so don’t stick to a certain style of art – you may surprise yourself.
7. Take pictures. Photographing artworks you like can be a useful tool for future inspiration and a valuable resource for forming a collection and developing your taste. Furthermore, taking a snap of a label is often faster than writing it down, you can always go back and add it to your notes when you get home.
8. Have a rest. Most fairs last for several days so there is no pressure to visit every booth before lunchtime on opening day. Viewing too much art may cause sensory overload and impair your judgment. Take a break, have a coffee with a friend, compare notes and take the opportunity to talk about what you like and why. Afterwards, go back for a second round or call it a day and come back tomorrow.
9. Fun. With all the hustle and bustle surrounding the fair, sometimes people forget that collecting art and looking at art is supposed to be fun. So enjoy yourself!
10. Go with someone. Having someone to share information with makes you more alert and enthusiastic too. It is more fun, more interesting and you will be more daring too!
11. Define your budget before the fair. Having an idea what you are willing to spend is a good way to feel more relaxed. It doesn’t mean you will spend it / not spend more but it positions you as a buyer: you look at things differently if potentially they are going to be yours.
12. Ask your art advisor! If you have no time, doubts, questions, support needed…. That’s what we are here for!
13. Invest in a very comfortable pair of sneakers. We couldn’t help noticing last year that more and more gallery staff were wearing the latest Nike sneakers… Adopt their style, your feet will be grateful!
Source: unseen Amsterdam
Sidney Regis started in 2008 an “Odyssey” which aimed at exploring and creating bridges between three fluids: time, light and water (“The Memories of Water”).
This new series of very large formats is the continuity of an earlier one (8th landscape) where the artist interrogated, always under water, the notion of “impermanence”. “The Dark Side of Light” questions and pushes the boundaries of photography. There is no focal point, identifiable subject or depth of field… The artist works on a raw and impalpable material: the diffraction of light in water.
The photographic shot is realised using an underwater installation, to concentrate the light onto a plate of metal.
The image is then numerically manipulated many times, in order to “immerge” into the heart of light and the numerical matrix of the image. The result is a residue, which the artist calls “digital-intra-light”.
The second element of the diptych, called “digital-intra-darkness” is an image resulting from a radical addition of black. This residue of the photographed image becomes an autonomous and raw entity, which emerges from the black and numerical magma: a sort of “anti-negative”.
In order to complete the photographic process, the artist, in partnership with Alice Tremblais, realises from the digital file a negative, which he develops on a traditional silver paper. This choice, beyond the technical aspect, plays on the ambiguity of the relationship between these different processes: the developing bath reveals the digital material.
These pictures are infinitely going back and forth between light and obscurity, between water and material. It is not about the process of the search for “beauty”, aestheticism or even the enhancement of the image, but rather a form of revelation through “destruction”. It is a revelation of the autonomy of light and water through the digital interpretation of the photographic device.
Sidney Regis’ photographs remind us of Thomas Ruff’s large color abstraction, and especially his ‘Substrat’ Series.
Photos: © Sidney Regis
Contact us for more information on the work of Sidney Regis.
Art Basel is the the most prestigious international art fair and the biggest ephemeral museum worldwide: this must-see contemporary art event will open its doors from June 16. During one week, many (many!) visitors will invade Basel, looking for the best, the most impressive, exciting, uplifting, mind-blowing artworks.
Art Basel alone will host 300 galleries; Scope Basel, will welcome more than 75 international exhibitors; about 70 exhibitors from 6 continents will converge at Volta Art Fair; 80 galleries (from 30 different countries) will participate to LISTE. Design Miami/ Basel will exhibit 50 galleries, and The Solo Project 35 galleries.
You will have more than 600 galleries to visit along with 70,000 other visitors… How will you make it?
1. Be fully equipped
We highly recommend you to be fit as a fiddle! To be well equipped and well suited for Basel, redprint:dna recommends you to buy the pair of sneakers you have your eyes on for so long. You will walk an approximation of 30km a day, so these confortable sneakers might become the most valuable belonging of your trip. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated!
If you survive Basel Art Fairs, consider enrolling to the next New York Marathon.
2. Do some research
Prepare your visit to maximize your chances to spot great art. Browse the fairs’ websites, have a look at the gallery lists, and check what they exhibit on forehand. You won’t have time to see everything, so you should consider making a selection of what you want to see. Of course, you will recognize the art advisors walking around the fairs with their lists: just follow them if you didn’t have time to do your homework!
3. Be considerate
If you consider buying something, take your time, don’t feel pressured. You should always know and feel comfortable with what you’re buying, and if you’re not: call us!
You can find more information on the following websites:
Basel map: clic here for a free City Guide App.
Art Basel: June 19 – 22, 2014
Scope Basel: 17 June – 22 June 201
Volta – Art Fair: 16 June – 21 June
LISTE: 17 June – 22 June
Design Miami/ Basel: 17 – 22 June
The Solo Project: June 18-22
As an art advisor company, we get asked some questions, such as this one, very regularly. We decided to start a series about collecting emerging artists to answer them and help many of you navigate the art world!
Identify the right spots
There are many art fairs featuring young to well established artists but should you look for the talents of tomorrow? We have a preference for smaller and more alternative events, where many galleries and curators make a clear statement by supporting the next generation. In Amsterdam, unseen amsterdam Foto Fair is definitely a must attend event: beside showing new (and unseen) works from well-known photographers, galleries unveil their new talents. In Paris, Festival Circulations promotes young and talented photographers and is very well curated. They are also linked to the other European festivals, if you feel adventurous! Another initiative is B-A-S-E, in Paris: they currently show about 30 young talents in their new location, 14 rue crespin du gast, in Paris. Felix&foam, in Amsterdam, is a successful collaboration between foam (photography museum) and Felix Meritis, one of the oldest private cultural institution in Amsterdam. You can also visit art academies: the Rijksakademie, for example, is a fantastic place.
Be open. Remain critical
Different people… have different tastes and we don’t all agree on what it great, forward thinking, original, etc… However you will see that when it comes to great art, people tend to share common views! It is always interesting to listen to insiders (art professionals) or to know who are the other collectors interested in an artist. Prizes, such as foam talent, fondation Schneider, prix Elysee,… However, when you have seen a lot and keep on educating yourself, trusting your instinct is key: you will ultimately be the one spending the most time with the artworks! Just keep in mind that all the great artists bring something new to the art world: be it a new technique, a different view on our society, a new aesthetics, etc…
The best advice we got, from our then boss, was: “keep reading. Keep reading. Keep reading”.
Sources of information
You will find many online. Here is our selection:
The Red list: a curated online collection
The Art Newspaper: the art magazine par excellence
Art Forum: show guides, critics picks etc.
If you have any question… That’s what we are here for!
The redprint team.
If you tell a taxi driver you want to go to “the Louver” in Paris, “the Richmuseum” in Amsterdam or “la Tat Modern” in London…. You will almost always reach your destination. Not in KL. Following the Lonely Planet blindly, we gave the name and description of the only contemporary museum of the city (The National Visual Arts Gallery, which “building has a pyramid shape”) to the taxi driver.. And ended up there:
That may give you an idea how much contemporary art is supported in Malaysia… To top it off, the website of this supposedly prominent institution for the promotion of Malaysian culture is not helpful-unless you speak the local language-; you are not allowed to make pictures; the museum shop is so little frequented that books are dusty and prices are shamelessly prohibitive. Despite adversity -yes, adversity- we made it to the Art Gallery, to discover three exhibitions about Malaysian art.
La nouvelle garde
The gallery offers 20 young and promising Malaysian artists a platform to showcase their art (until 3/3/14). Without wanting to jump to conclusions to fast, it was pretty forward thinking and interesting! The artist that caught our eyes was Sukor Romat, a 28 year-old multi-talented artist. The “hierarchy of cilization” depicting our world in miniature and made out of electronic components, are amazing, as are the boats -old tall ship made out from a HP mouse and cables..-. The artist explored brilliantly the relationship between old and new, culture and innovation, waste and recycling… And lives us with lots of food for thought..
@ Sukor Romat (Detail of one boat, look carefully….)
Other artists we noted were Haris Abadi Abdul Rahim (Artificial tide, video), Yim Yen Sum (Where I come from, mixed media), Goh Chai Seng (Funny believer), Malcolm Angkun (Infinity of technology, video & Led). All in all it was varied, fresh, different and promising. Hopefully these artists will have a proper website soon to help spread the word about their work!
The single room dedicated to a modern art exhibition was modest but interesting with Anthony Lau’s sculptures, Cheong Lai Tong‘s paintings, Syed Shaik Abu Talib’s works,.. Sorry for the lack of pictures but they are hard to find.
@ Cheong Lai Tong, Memujk, 1957
What was interesting was to see the influence of European art trends mixed with local and traditional materials and subjects, in an effort to write the story of Malaysian art, in a difficult political context at the time.
The question mark
Paris – Kuala Lumpur is the very enticing title of a large retrospective dedicated to Ken Yang. The artist spent 10 years in France, learning everything about the techniques and mastering many of them. He reinterpreted famous paintings and the result was something between uncanny and very kitsch -call me conservative French-. More personal portraits were admirable though and his talent for the “mise en scene” undeniable.
One reconstructed period room
@ Ken Yang, self portrait
The commercial galleries in KL
If we now tell you that the national sport is more shopping than visiting museums or artists studios you may not be surprised. The scarcity of art galleries as well as the fact there is no art centre won’t shock you either. But that doesn’t mean there are not some great galleries. One of them is Wei Ling gallery: in a country obsessed with handbags, their current show -a collaboration between Furla and 12 artists- seems the most clever way to bring the crowd in the gallery. Azliza Ayob is one artist we will follow.
@ Ivan Lam
@ Azliza Ayob
@ Anurendra Jegadeva
So how is the art market in Malaysia? An insider told us that all the best work was already in private collections, that museums were not that supported. We also noticed that prices were pretty affordable, even in established galleries -most works were between 2 and 20,000 USD-. Somehow Malaysia has fallen under the radar of greater collectors until now, surely due to the lack of infrastructure and support than to the lack of talent.
Let’s finish with two works from Azliza Ayob who will have a solo exhibition at Wei-Ling this spring and conclude on a positive note that Malaysian art will blossom soon.
How many hours are you spending at the office? How does your office look like?
It is now common knowledge that the office space has to be carefully thought and designed, to help employees work at best. Interior design and architecture can have a positive (or negative!) impact on people’s performance, health and wellness but also on creativity and even motivation!
Click here to read a thorough article about how to enhance your office space (published by: HOK).
Colours have an impact on people, though it is not fully agreed which one: according to some studies, people react differently to colours, according to others, reactions are more generic, such as:
So what about art?
Art has many added values for a company. It helps affirming its corporate identity and values; it stimulates creativity; It makes people connect; they may even be proud of their company’s collection.
To read more about what art can offer to a business: click here !
Interview with ARTNESS : Starting your own art collection Series, Chapter 4 – The Art Advisor
Collectors are increasingly relying on Art Advisors’ expertise prior to acquire artworks. In fact, the Advisor has gained a significant importance in the art world as the artistic landscape has become more and more complex and varied – both from a technique (video art) and geography perspectives (one can easily connect with artists from all over the world.
During our interview with Valérie Reinhold – founder of the Art Advisory firm redprind:dna based in Amsterdam, we asked her about her role and how she connects her clients with the art world. She gave us straightforward answers and a few very useful tips!
ARTNESS: How would you define the role and mission of an art advisor? Why would a collector or art lover turn to an art advisor?
VR: In essence, the role of the art advisor is to help private and corporate clients buy artworks whether as a first acquisition or to enrich their existing collection. Art advisors also give access to the art world and keep their clients informed about new works, artists and trends as well as regulations, taxes or insurances matters. For me, the mission of the art advisor is about providing the best and most reliable service possible. For example, being able to source the best works and making collectors “discover new art” is key to my job.
Why turn to an art advisor? The immediate answer is: to help my clients make an educated purchase, which means:
ARTNESS: Can you share how you usually work with your clients? How do you find the art and how do you connect the clients with the art?
VR: My first objective with new clients is to establish a good relationship. We therefore start by getting to know each other! As simple as it sounds, it is the basis for building trust and for ensuring that I give them the best service. We define their project together, discuss my rates and I detail what they will get in terms of service. Art advisory is all about communication. With all my clients, it is about listening to their desires and needs such as taste, aspiration, timeframe, budget, or space restriction etc.. so I can translate them into works of art.
My way of working is very transparent: they have access to all the resources, prices etc. For photos -as they are multiples- they get to choose from different galleries although I always let them know pros and cons -service vs price for example-. I ask for discounts when possible and it gets integrated in the final price. I get a commission based on the total price.
With this in mind, I must say that there are very diverse ways of working depending on the assignments. For example, I can be assigned to find a picture about one theme, about a name even; buying great upcoming works; targeting a specific interest, etc.. For each case, I put together my proposal. Once my clients have made their decision, I proceed with the deal.
I also make sure they get full transparency about the prices -which they can check! Again, it’s all about trust relationships, clients get all the details about who I dealt with.
How do I find the art?I keep my eyes open! I scout galleries, browse the internet, meet artists, read the news and speak to many people! That’s the only way to find art and it takes time, which is partly why my clients rely on me to do this work.
About connecting the client to the art: I select works that I know they might be interested in. I provide detailed background and information about the artist / the work but ultimately, it is about love -or not- at first sight!
ARTNESS: You are coming across a lot and very diverse art work, what are the criteria that you retain as the most important before proposing a piece to your clients?
VR: The first one: Quality! Depending on the request, the taste and the budget, I prepare very different portfolios for my clients. I select artists that I find the most interesting in the scope I was given. I then put forward their best works. It can be about sport photography, grand reportage, land art, etc.. In every case I look for and only the best.
The second one is the Price. I want my clients to make educated decisions and know why they are paying a certain amount.
The third one is the Reliability of the gallery/artist/artist representative I am dealing with: especially for photographs, you want to make sure the number of prints is final and that you won’t be deceived at some point.
ARTNESS: When thinking of starting to invest in the arts and in this context into photography, what would be the 3 tips that you would share with novice collectors?
VR: I would advise the following:
ARTNESS: What art piece is your best buy so far?
VR: In terms of price, works from Nick Brandt, bought before he became far more expensive. In terms of artist discovery, a work from Jaap Scheeren: I am very happy I got to know him! In terms of emotion, a work from Ronald Tolman. I called him out of the blue about a work he had made 20 years ago, called Aeneas -my assignment was to find an artwork with that name! I told him the context, he liked the story. When my client and I went to his house, we had a wonderful afternoon, got to know about him, his relationship with Constant, etc… And his work gained even more value in the eyes of my client.
Valérie Reinhold has a master degree in art history (Paris XI, France) and a bachelor degree in art market from Christie’s Education New York, as well a master degree in business (HEC, France). In the past ten years, Valerie has worked in financial services, gaining experience in alternative investment products, business development and client relationship management. Valerie also had the opportunity to work for an art intermediary focused on modern art, providing her valuable insight into the day to day business of an art advisor.
more information: www.artness.nl, an artists agency based in Amsterdam. Upcoming show: Icons, By Angèle Etoundi Essamba, Galerie 91 – Anna Paulownastraat, 91 – Den Haag. 8-15 December 2013.
2013 was a great year for Paris photo. They launched their sister fair in Los Angeles with great success and nailed it at the Grand Palais in Paris, with photography ranging from cornerstone artists to cutting edge ones. The exhibitions, from corporate and private collections as well as from the sponsors also contributed to giving a great picture of where photography currently stands. If you missed it this year, here are a few artists we really liked -and why-.
Let’s start from old to new: Daniel Blau gave a great retrospective about Robert Capa. Picture that: a whole booth covered by pictures from the main events between 1935 and 1955. Capa co-founded Magnum and was a pioneer of documentary photography. :”if your photographs aren’t good enough then you’re not close enough”. He lived -and died- by his motto as shows one of his most iconic photos from a GI, during WWII. Most of the photographs shown were below 10 000 USD, a bargain for a piece of history.
© Robert Capa / Daniel Blau
Vivian Maier‘s work was featured at Howard Greenberg. They showed a few self portraits from the 1950s, all printed recently. Vivian Maier was a nanny and a photographer who recorded the street life in America. When she died, she left more than 100,000 negatives in storage, that were rediscovered and gathered by John Maloof, in 2007. Her pictures are strong, sharp and even funny sometimes. Prices are low and she might be one of the best buys at the fair.
© Vivian Maier / Howard Greenberg gallery
Great explanation at Howard Greenberg for our collectors (here in front of a portrait by Avedon)
Hiroshi Sugimoto was one of the stars of the fair, with not less than 7 galleries featuring his works: seascapes, theatres, lightning fields, architecture,.. Most of his series were represented. The artist deals with such subjects as history and temporal existence that he investigates through a variety of subjects. The picture below caught our attention and imagination: some saw power, others an abstract form, a sword,… Where there is to others only peace, calmness and life passing by…
© Hiroshi Sugimoto / Fraenkel gallery
Les Filles du Calvaire presented again this year some works from Gilbert Garcin. The artist started focusing on his creative work when he retired and has been gaining more and more attention since then. He had a great retrospective in Arles this year during Les rencontres d’Arles. He always stages himself in funny, absurd and surreal situations. His work is highly personal and recognisable. It is also still affordable, and Garcin is going Upward (title of the picture below) so catch him if you can!
© Gilbert Garcin / Les filles du calvaire
Mummery & Schnelle gallery showed a great retrospective of Ori Gerscht. Through the flower explosion, the sakura petals floating on black water or a red drop in milk, he investigates such topics as violence, death, life and beauty. He captures the exact instant, through digital work, and looks for the decisive moment in an action. His work is loaded with scars and traumas related to his own journey and yet so beautiful.
© Ori Gerscht / Mummery & Schnelle
© Ori Gerscht / Mummery & Schnelle
Vivianne Sassen is a lucky artist: her gallery made the best accrochage of works from the series Etan & me, mixing portraits, self portraits, figurative and more abstract-like pictures. She is a wonderful artist who opens a brand new world for us: hers.
“This is me, looking at you, looking at me. This is you, looking at me, looking at you. Etan & Me is a story of love and loss, of Eros and Thanatos. Are we ever able to truly know someone, to truly know ourselves?” Vivianne Sassen, about the series.
© Vivianne Sassen / Stevenson gallery
Two artists caught our eyes at David Zwirner: the gallery featured works from various series, by Thomas Ruff. His latest work featured below is the result of his investigation of abstract shapes, lights and lines created in a virtual darkroom.
© Thomas Ruff / David Zwirner
Philip Lorca Dicorcia ‘s portrait, taken in New York, also caught our eyes. The artist carefully plans and stages his photographs: in this series, the camera was hidden in a scaffolding and triggered by passers-by, unaware they were caught on camera. The result is a true portrait of emotions.
© Philip Lorca Dicorcia / David Zwirner
Edward Burtynsky, who you might know due to the Prix Pictet, is an artist that makes us reflect on how industry is altering landscapes. His pictures, taken from high vantage points, have abstract-like features. But if you look closely, you discover… The world. In this picture, the rice field seems to be bleeding. It makes his work intriguing and loaded with meanings for us and our future on this earth.
© Edward Burtynsky / Flowers gallery
Paris Photo is a great place to see how photography is evolving and the various influences, genres and style. Take Robin Rhode, a South African artist: he merges performance, happenings, street culture and photography to create this wonderful sequences. His drawings become narratives where South African culture is somehow embeded.
© Robin Rhode / Stevenson gallery (detail)
What do we see and how do we read pictures? That could be the questions arising from Paul Thorel’s works. By superimposing layers of pictures and manipulating them digitally, the artist plays with us and our perception and the way we apprehend pictures.
© Paul Thorel / Guido Costa projects
Photography is also -of course- about portrait. There were amazing works from Avedon, Herb Ritts,… And Katy Grannan. Her portraits of strangers were -for us- among the best at the fair. Here is one of her “warrior” women -as we named them-.
© Katy Grannan / Fraenkel gallery
Far East artists were represented by a young gallery from Manilla, Silverlens gallery. I-Lann Yee works with archive pictures -here from the Tropen Museum, in Amsterdam- to examine the relationship between colonisers and colonised. Her work is about power, issues on culture and the role of historical memory in our social experience. It is an interesting experience to have in Paris!
© I-Lann Yee / Silverlens gallery
The body and investigations around it is another topic of interest. Christina Dy and Corinne de San Jose are two upcoming artists who collaborated to create these works: The body is moulded, fragmented, photographed: the origami -from a body- opens a dialogue with the body part: it is sensual, it is soft and it is still affordable.
© Christina Dy, Corinne de San Jose / Silverlens gallery
We discovered the work of Ambroise Tezenas many years ago, with his series Beijing – theater of the people and Cityscapes. He can capture the light, the vibrations of places and people like very few other artists. He told us he uses his tripod like a pilgrim’s staff and works “old school”: he is traveling the world and highlights realities we would not see: he is a true witness of our times. Click here for an interview with this great artist.
© Ambroise Tezenas / Galerie Melanie Rio
Rune Guneriussen will conclude our review beautifully with this work, discipline considered an option. Rune is a Norvegian artist whose work reflects the impact of mankind on nature. He uses discarded objects that he reintroduces in an almost surreal contact. His pictures have a softness and an amazing quality due to the type of camera used. Read our article dedicated to this poet here. He is an upcoming artist with a very personal approach and to us a great addition to a photo collection.
© Rune Guneriussen / Galerie Melanie Rio
A big thank you to Paris Photo for the organisation. And if you have any question… contact us!
Ex fund manager Chad Loweth tells his buying strategy to the Barron’s. But does ti work to apply an asset allocation tactic to art? His approach is not new but his experience in asset management and his flair in art may be the right combination..
© Domingo Zapata Take me home Babe