Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art is a privately owned venue for artistic expression. It is strategically located within a cluster of progressive communities South of Manila. It has an independent exhibition area able to accommodate large-scale works, and a spacious garden ideal for outdoor programs, performances and sculpture installations.
Goals of Kulay-Diwa:
To discover and promote the works of talented, young and deserving Filipino Artist;
To serve as a cultural outpost and make the arts more accessible to the fast-growing communities South of Manila; and
To foster cultural interaction and exchanges with the local regions,Southeast Asia and other countries.
Diwa (Spirit, Thought)
Art 4 Sale, Oil on Canvas, 34x28 inches, 86X71 CM., 1995
Giselle P. Kasilag
Thank you very much for letting me post this.
Source: Art Sentral Manila
Real estate, stocks and treasury bills are not the only interests that those with resources are staking their money on.
Philippine art is also now being considered as an excellent investment, going by the brisk sales it generated at last year's Sotheby's and Christie's Southeast Asian Paintings auctions in Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively.
At the Christie's auction, the star attractions--Bencab's Brown Brother's Burden and Anita Magsaysay-Ho's Banana Vendorslived up to expectations as both works fetched prices beyond the estimates.
The 1972 Bencab acrylic on paper, estimated at US$19,000 to $26,000, was eventually sold for $54,000.
Magsaysay-Ho's 1915 inch oil on canvas, meanwhile, also sold at twice the price at $84,000. Its price was initially pegged at $28,000 to $41,000.
At Sotheby's, which had a more substantial Filipino collection, the offered art pieces also made a good showing.
Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo's La Parisienne, which had an estimate of $211,000 to $305,000 exceeded expectations. The 2136 inch masterpiece sold for $369,000.
Bencab's Women Weaving, a 2230 inch oil on paper, was estimated at $5,000 to 7,000, but was eventually sold for more than triple its value at $23,300.
The works of the late National Artist Vicente Manansala also did very well. His Woman with a Cat, a 2126 inch oil on canvas, sold at $40,000, edging its estimated price of $28,000 to 39,000.
Manansala's Jeepneys, with an estimate of $17,000 to 22,000, sold at four times the price for $80,000.
Magsaysay-Ho proved to be a well-loved artist among auction buyers as her 1957 1519 inch The Harvest, oil on board, sold at $47,000, way above the estimated price of $25,000 to $36,000.
Sources at both auction houses told artsentralmanila.net that most of the buyers of these artworks were Filipino collectors who engaged in a frenzied bidding over the telephone to go after the pieces they wanted.
The overall warm reception to Philippine art at the two top auction houses affirms the existence of local art collectors who, with their resources, have grown savvy enough to purchase artworks through the auctions.
That Filipino buyers have learned to acquire art through the auctions is a phenomenon, said Sari Ortiga, a co-owner of the Philippine-based Crucible Gallery which represents such artists as Arturo Luz and Anita Magsaysay-Ho. The sales have become accessible to them, with the auction houses establishing regional offices.
Ortiga said the well-received auctions in the region also prove that Sotheby's and Christie's have been successful in entering the Asian market and in cultivating a new and increasingly sophisticated group of art investors.
Filipinos are not alien to collecting artworks. They are acquisitive by nature and stories of valuable pieces being unearthed from the attic or the silong (basement) no longer come as a surprise. Investing, however, is an entirely different story.
If you buy art solely as an investment, then you've lost its essence, one collector opined.
Investing in the arts, however, is now a growing pursuit. The younger generation with a higher level of education and greater exposure to the international cultural scene are now looking at alternative financial ventures. The arts offer a more aesthetically rewarding option.
Artworks, just like real estate, do not depreciate in value. It is better, in fact, since paintings and sculptures can be crated and shipped to other locations. Except for National Cultural Treasures, there is no citizenship requirement when it comes to owning art works. The pieces, at the very least, appreciate by 10% each year. More valuable ones can appreciate by as much as 30%. Furthermore, it can add character to one's living space while waiting to be cashed in.
Experts, however, caution against plunging into it with rose-colored glasses. Good art always appreciates but those of lesser quality may command a high price for only a certain period of time. Once the novelty wears off, prices will level off as well. When artists do not survive the test of time, their artworks often follow them to the grave as well.
A unique example of the volatility of the market is the case of Charles Saatchi who was the leading collector of the works of artist Francesco Clemente. After a major argument between the two, Saatchi decided to sell his entire collection in one go. Furthermore, he sold the pieces way below the current market value. Overnight, not only did Clemente's works become readily available to the public but also were accessible at bargain prices. Since then, the artist could no longer sell his new works using the old price since his most important works became a dime a dozen.
Education is still the key to investing in the arts. The first step of prospective buyers is to hit the books and gain a basic understanding of what makes an artwork valuable. Composition and provenance are key in determining the overall value of a piece. The artwork should be well crafted to begin with. That the piece is previously owned by distinguished personalities or was once part of a significant collection further pushes the prices higher.
Potential art investors must also approach several reputable art galleries before making their purchases. It is important to talk to several because art is their business. Talking to at least three or four would allow the buyer to have a clearer picture of the current hot picks and the prevailing rates.
You have to be very clear on your purpose, said a collector who also runs his own gallery. You follow a different principle when purchasing an artwork for collection as opposed to buying for investment purposes. If I were to buy for investment, I would not rely on my personal taste. What I like is not necessarily what is marketable. When investing, I will look at which artists have a track record for marketability and base my purchase on that.
For new investors with a sizable amount of disposable income, blue-chip artists are still the best bets. These are the established names such as National Artists whose artworks have a following.
For those who do not have as much financial capabilities, second-generation artists will suffice. These are artists whose artistry is already recognized though their stature is not yet at par with the masters. Their works are expected to appreciate though it may take some time before a substantial return of investment can be reaped.
For gamblers, however, new artists may prove to be interesting. Doing so, however, requires an exceptional eye for recognizing talent. For those with the gift, the returns are immense since a piece purchased for P5,000 can eventually yield millions.
The most important advice, however, is to never hesitate to ask questions. The more data one can gather about an artwork, the more informed the decision would be made on whether to purchase or not.
The consistent, respectable showing of Philippine artworks at the Sotheby's and Christie's auctions attests to the continuing demand for them.
Both auction houses are expected to offer more pieces by Filipino artists in their forthcoming Southeast Asian art sales.
Ortiga said the auctions confirm the market value of certain artworks.
At the auctions, real forces of supply and demand are at work. The value of art pieces are validated by the numbers and the frequency of sales, he noted.
Philippine art has been getting wider exposure through the auctions, along with Indonesian and Vietnamese art, as the top auction houses have given focus on Southeast Asian art in the past five years.
Cecilia Ong, Asia specialist at Christie's, said she was not surprised that the artworks of Bencab and Magsaysay-Ho performed well in last year's auctions.
Ong described the Bencab painting as a very unique piece and Magsaysay-Ho's as a beautiful work of art.
The work of National Artist Jose Joya, Tivali, Copenhagen, enjoyed a lot of interest prior to the Christie's auction.
But auction watchers said that most of the bidders saved up their resources for the Bencab work.
The Joya painting, the lot sold before Bencab's, was eventually sold at $12,300 which was within the estimated range of $11,000 to 13,000.
The Joya sale was described as a steal.
At Sotheby's, more Filipino artworks were snapped up by eager buyers.
The oil works of another National Artist, the late Fernando Amorsolo, were warmly received.
The Igorots, The Igorot Fire Dance, Man with the Rooster and Mango Harvest, all sold above their price estimates.
Another work by Joya also fared creditably. All of the late master's four abstract collage works were sold.
National Artist Arturo Luz also did quite well, with his 1962 Moon Magic, an oil on canvas, fetching $7,500 within the estimated price of $6,000 to $7,000.
The late National Artist Jerry Elizalde Navarro's colorful abstract canvas work was sold but just by a whisker above its reserve price (between $10,000 to $15,000) at $11,000.
Esther Seet, managing director of Sotheby's Singapore, said last year's auction was one of their most successful sales for the Filipino collections inspite of two unsold artworks.
It's a good sign that the art market is alive and kicking, Seet said. A painting, regardless of the climate, if it's of good quality, sought after and has a good price, will be sold.
And that, no doubt, is what Filipino art buyers are also banking on as they place their bets on this potentially profitable investment.
A Triumph for Philippine Art
Fierce bidding for a small Anita Magsaysay-Ho jacked up the price to P15 million, a new record for a Filipino painting. Suddenly, the major auction houses of the West are casting
more than a cursory glance at Philippine art.
THE SPECTACULAR sale of an Anita Magsaysay-Ho oil painting during the recent Christie's auction of Southeast Asian art is sending shock waves across the local and
regional art scenes.
Christie's officials couldn't hide their elation at what they called the "surprise" of the session: the painting, titled "In the Marketplace," initially estimated at 18,000 to 25,000 Singapore dollars (around US$10,000
to $15,000) eventually fetched S$669,250, or about P15 million.
Christie's called the bidding "fierce" which was eventually won by an "institution."
Some non-Filipino works offered for auction got higher prices (the Dutch painter Walter Spies' haunting Balinese paintings, "Ploughing Farmer" and "Sawahs im Preangergebirge," fetched
S$773,750 and S$828,750, respectively), but the outcome for the Anita Magsaysay-Ho painting was incredible considering its estimated price had been much lower.
Moreover, there was a failure in bidding in certain works that had been expected to attract fierce bidding. "Provenance" by the Indonesian master Raden Sarief Bustaman Saleh, estimated
at S$48,000 to $70,0000, did not get a buyer. Two years ago, a Saleh work fetched S$2 million.
The dramatic achievement of the Filipino work has reinforced international respect for Filipino art, according to Ramon Orlina, president of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP). "I am
quite happy," the glass sculptor says. "It means that Pinoy art--and the artists--will be more and more exposed to the world."
The impact of the stunning achievement still has to wash off, however. Looking back now, many believe that the fantastic sale had been prefigured by the fact that Anita Magsaysay-Ho's
work was chosen by Christie's to be the cover of the catalogue for the auction.
But Orlina says just the same that the feat was still dramatic considering the work was small (28x30 in.) and executed in tempera, which means it's not as lasting as oil.
Painted in 1955, "In the Marketplace" captures a typical scene in the market where women - both the vendors and the buyers - haggle animatedly. It is a lively canvas: the viewer can almost overhear the intense exchanges.
Perhaps it is this sense of sight and sound that explains collectors' aggressiveness at outbidding one another. That and its obvious intrinsic merits as an art work.
"Maganda if you really look at it," Orlina says. "The theme is very Filipino. The colors are very Filipino-orange and red."
The AAP president says interest in the work was much like the interest generated years ago by Vietnamese art. "The Vietnamese have their own style. Now, with this sale, foreigners now seem to have gotten a hold on the Philippine style."
It also helps that there's good economics as far as Magsaysay-Ho's works are concerned. Since the painting is nearly 50 years old, done at the peak of the painter's creative career, it's considered a rare find for collectors. Moreover, there are not too many works by the painter around. Magsaysay-Ho, unlike certain veterans, has not mass-produced herself. Already
an octogenarian, her production has understandably slowed down so that her works have become rarer and easily, more and more expensive.
"So it's a matter of supply and demand," Orlina says. "Her works are scarce, and the market becomes less and less easy to satisfy. So collectors fight over her."
Although Orlina believes that the sale does not automatically mean that other works by the artist "will go up that way," it means that collectors, particularly foreigners, will take greater
notice of Filipino works.
Judging from the auction, that seems to be the case. Other Filipino works were sold within the estimates set by Christie's.
Amorsolo's 1941 work, "A Lady by the Cooking Fire," estimated at US$30,000-40,000 was sold for
$41,700 or about P1.7 million. An undated oil landscape by Juan Arellano, estimated at US$9,000 to 10,000 was sold for $9,625.
Carlos "Botong" Francisco's watercolor, "Blood Compact," was sold for US$6,500 against the
estimated price of $6,000 to $7,000. A 1966 oil on canvas by Federico Alcuaz sold for US$11,500, well within the estimate of $9,000 to 12,000.
Orlina, too, is happy that Christie's was impressed by the strong sales of Philippine art so that the venerable auction house might be wooed to hold their auctions right here.
Although Christie's had assisted the AAP in a rare auction last year, the event was really a charity benefit. "Now they can really look at the Philippines as a market," says Orlina, who points out that Christie's had already held a commercial auction in Thailand.
Happy days for forgers
The downside to all these, however, is the probability that the market will suddenly be awash with fake Anita Magsaysay-Ho's.
Orlina says Philippine art should learn from the lesson of the Amorsolo episode. When Christie's first introduced the master in its auctions, an Amorsolo easily fetched P4 million. When Christie's tried to repeat the feat with five Amorsolos in its next auction, Orlina, who was consulted in the authentication process, was shocked to find out that three of the paintings
"From then on, the value of an Amorsolo dipped," Orlina says.
But Magsaysay-Ho may escape Amorsolo's predicament because she's still alive and is still around to authenticate her own works.
Orlina says that rival auction house Glerum asked him two years ago to authenticate an Anita Magsaysay-Ho that did not subscribe to the characteristic style of the artist.
"It was a nude and as far as we know, Anita has not painted nudes," he says. The canvas seemed to have been painted according to the Balinese style in colors that one could hardly
associate with the artist.
But a check with the artist herself showed that the work was authentic. "It turns out it was commissioned by the G.I. boyfriend of the model," Orlina says. "It was circa 1940s, so the
mature Anita Magsaysay-Ho had yet to evolve."
To prevent forgeries from undermining the growing international recognition of Philippine art, Orlina says that the AAP is trying to establish a "collecting society." The device is really to protect commercial exploitation of art works by profiteers and unscrupulous people, such as when an art work is used in a commercial endeavor without authorization from the artist. With the society, artists can press on with their claims for royalties and protect their intellectual property.
The art underworld can be checked by the collecting society since artists will be
compelled to register their works with the AAP and submit representations of the works for easy filing and classification.
Suspected fakes can be checked against the catalogue so that forgeries can be minimized, Orlina explains.
Moreover, art schools should develop sounder scholarship so that there can emerge experts on the masters. "If we have experts, then any alleged work by a master that departs even for
a little from the style of the master can be easily determined," the AAP president says.
Life & Leisure
April 26, 2007
Fourteen artists topbill Sothebys Easter auction
Fourteen artists carry the Philippine torch in the forthcoming Easter auction of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings being held by international auction giant Sothebys on Sunday, April 29, 2007. This years auction will be held at the ballroom of the prestigious Regent of Singapore, located at #1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore.
Of the total of 153 lots being put on the bidding block, 20 lots are from Filipino artists. Due to the increasing popularity of Philippine artworks being sold at auction, the works of eight Filipino masters have now been combined with works of other Southeast Asian masters under the categorySingapore, Malaysian, Filipino and Thai Paintings. This is the 9th year that Sothebys has been including Filipino paintings in its auction. Bidding for these start on the morning of April 29.
Spearheading the Philippine campaign as Lot # 26 is a 24 x 48 acrylic on canvas work by National Artist Arturo Luz titled Three Black Objects. Included in this same section are five works by the first Philippine National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, a work by National Artist Jerry Elizalde Navarro titled The Waterpool at Amandari, Bali, two works by Presidential Medal of Merit awardee Juvenal Sanso, being sold in one lot (Lot # 34), an 18 x 19 oil on canvas titled Still Life by Vicente Manansala (Lot # 40), a work each by Presidential Medal of Merit awardees Romeo Tabuena (Lot # 38), Pacita Abad (Lot # 41), and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (Lot # 39).
A 1957 work titled Estudiantina by National Artist Arturo Luz at the last Christies auction held in December of last year fetched a record price of Php 4.2 million. Luzs numerous awards include winning the 1st Prize at the Art Association of the Philippines three times from the 1950s to the 1960s. He has received scholarship grants from Spain, Italy, and the United States. Apart from receiving the National Artist Award in 1997, he was also awarded the Order of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French government in 1978. This title was promoted to Officiel in 1987. He owns the renowned Luz Gallery, where Filipino artists aspire to show their work.
Juvenal Sanso studied art in the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, and at the University of Sto. Tomas, under Antonio Garcia Llamas. In 1951, he won several awards which allowed him to pursue his studies at the Accademia di Bellas Artes in Rome. He held his first one man show at the Ecole National Superieuredes Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1957. He has also exhibited in the United States, Mexico, Italy, and France. In March 2007, Sanso was awarded by King Juan Carlos of Spain the Cross of Isabela.
In the afternoon of April 29, to be auctioned in the category New Contemporary Paintings, are the works of six other Filipino artists, namely Lydia Velasco, Mario Parial, Marcel Antonio, E.L. Cordova, Winner Jumalon and Eufemio Rasco.
Lydia Velascos work is a 48 x 35 acrylic on canvas titled Two Women at the Harvest. This will be Velascos third time to be included in the auction. Her first entry, exactly a year ago, saw her work hit triple the minimum estimate. Velasco is the president of the Kulay Marikina Group of Artists and is a member of the Arts Association of the Philippines. She has participated in group and solo exhibitions since 1993.
Mario Parials work, selected by Sothebys, is a 24 x 36 painting of nine fishes accentuated by his trademark gold leaf paint titled Nine Fishes. Like Velasco, this is also Parials third time to be included in the auction. His first solo exhibition was held in 1965, and has exhibited extensively not only in the Philippines, but internationally as well.
26-year old Eufemio Rasco was given by the auction giant a two page spread to feature his three works titled White, Red, Black which are being sold as one lot (Lot # 99). Rasco won a silver medal for his entry on the traditional Filipino way of life at the Asian Children Art Contest in Japan when he was still in grade school. Although nudity appears to be the central them of his art, Rascos focus lies not on the sensuality of the figures, but on rather on interweaving his subjects complex emotions on his canvas. Today, his works have enjoyed both critical and commercial acclaim.
Marcel Antonio has two works titled West of the Sun, East of the Moon, and Salt Peanuts as does auction favorite E.L. Cordova Outside Glimpses and Ascending.
Interested parties who may want to participate in this particular forthcoming auction can visit www.sothebys.com and go to the category auction calendar looking for the April 29 auction of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings. Bidding can also be done by submitting an Absentee Bid Form by telephone.
ACAF NY in New York Sun
Asian Contemporary Art Fair Hits New York City: Filipino Painter's Work Highlighted in Seoul-based Gallery
NEW YORK -- The first-ever Asian Contemporary Art Fair debuted at Pier 92 on the Hudson River from November 8 to 12 and enticed more than 20,000 guests during the four-day affair.
The fair featured 76 exhibitors from 10 different countries and the top galleries from the international art market. Hundreds of artists, both young and old, from different Asian countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam participated.
In the midst of them all stood Leslie de Chavez, the lone Filipino painter, represented by Arario, an art gallery based in Seoul.
De Chavezs work, alongside Korean artist Hyung Koo Kangs dominated Ararios booth at the exhibit. Kangs huge, monochromatic portraits featured fellow artists, such as Auguste Rodin, which was one of the paintings on display. De Chavezs work, depicting women, shared the limelight.
De Chavezs paintings focus on unique Filipino scenes, culture and history, according to Jeeah Choi, Arario Gallerys curator.
His paintings are dark literally, since he begins each work by painting the canvas black, Choi explained.
Two of his paintings at the fair are unusual, because, as the New York Sun described it as mildly and, no doubt, ironically pornographic.
One was called Lilly, a schoolgirl, wearing a T-shirt with an image of Andy Warhols Marilyn. The racy painting had Lilly pulling up her skirt to reveal her lacy underwear.
The other one, called Asian Wave, shows a pair of naked women with the words here 2 stay.
Lilly and Asian Wave, both oil on canvas measuring 195 by 150 centimeters, cost $18,000 each (16,000,000 KRW (Korean won) or 774,000 Philippine pesos).
A third one was slightly hidden from view. It is called Unang Dalaw (First Visit) and in the market for $15,000.
De Chavez held a solo exhibit earlier this year in Beijing and Seoul where most of his paintings were sold. Next year, Arario will bring a solo exhibition of his new work to Switzerland. Plans were also being made to bring some of his paintings to the newly opened Arario Gallery, a 20,000-square-foot space on West 25th Street.
De Chavez is currently based in the Philippines. He stayed in Korea for a year as part of the Neo-Emerging Artists residency. He graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
|Philippine Business Magazine: Volume 10 No. 2 - Lifestyle|
|Investing in Philippine art|
|Buying Filipino art can be a worthy investment|
|By Pacita Abad|
I know you will be given a lot of talk about investment opportunities but Id like to talk about some smaller investments that you might be interested in paintings of Filipino artists. I can guarantee you these investments will give you less risk, more enjoyment and the investment amount is very small.
As you may have noticed, we have a great diversity when it comes to art as we have many different groups with many different influences. I am proud to say that we are rich when it comes to art. We probably have as many visual artists as we have islands in the Philippines.
Artists In Demand
Some of their works are so scarce that they are sought after in the auction houses. Many collectors are looking for early works of these artists and that is when the bidding goes very high. Two years ago, Anita Magsaysay Ho fetched the highest price for her painting of over $600,000.
Unfortunately, though, the auction houses main emphases are works of very old Filipino artists or those who have already passed away. There is not enough focus on contemporary artists.
But this ignorance of contemporary Filipino artists is beginning to change for a number of reasons. Many of the Filipino artists living in international capitals like New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Berlin have began to make their mark on the local art scene. In the mid-80s I was living in Paris and came across Nena Saguil. I spent many days talking to her in her small cubicle in Paris filled with paintings which at that time very few Filipinos knew about. And yet she was collected by museums in Europe. In a recent auction, her small painting sold for over $67,000.
Another example is Alfonso Osorrio who lived in New York. Ossorio painted during the period of Jackson Pollock, deKooning and Rauschenberg. I remember going to his place in the Hamptons and it was like a huge Ossorio museum. Although his paintings hung next to his friend Jackson Pollock at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he never had a major exhibition in the Philippines, even though his greatest wish was to have a major show in the Philippines. His works are also collected by almost all major art museums in America. He did a wonderful mural in one of the churches in Negros Occidental.
In recent years, a number of younger Filipino artists have followed the path to Western countries including the enfant terrible Manuel Ocampo who was a favorite of curators and art dealers in the 1990s and is currently living in California, David Medalla in London, Gaston Damag and Ofelia Gelvezon Tegui in Paris and Lina Liani in Italy. Paul Pfeiffer, who lives in New York, has participated in the Venice and Whitney Bienale and has been awarded the Bucksbaum Award in New York. Lani Maestro who is based in Canada, a multi-media artist, won the Grand Prize in the Havana Bienale in Cuba.
There are the modernists Lee Aguinaldo, Romulo Olazo, Roberto Chabet, Ray Albano, Gus Albor, Impy Pilapil, and Lao Lianben who venture into the total abstract and non-objective art.
The 1970s were marked by political unrest and a growing anti-establishment sentiment, hence the beginning of Figurative Expressionism with artists like Ben Cabrera with his larawan series, Manuel Baldemor with his interpretation of his hometown landscape, Danilo Dalenas Alibangbang series, Onib Olmedos street vendors, prostitutes and other denizens in his own stylistic way.
In the 1980s, the social realist painters like Edgar Fernandez, Renato Habulan who hails from Tondo and whose series on Sisa, crazed mother of Rizals Noli Me Tangere exposed his works to the art world. Jose Tence Ruiz was also known for his series on the Alienation Suite. Another award-winning social realist was Antipas Delotavo. Elmer Borlongon was a member of the Sanggawa, a collaborative group who did murals depicting the life on the streets, particularly the lives of the children. The painting called Water of Life was one of my refugee paintings from the series called Portraits of Cambodia.
The Philippines is also famous for religious art, which is not surprising given our Catholic background like Norman Dreos Ipinako sa Krus. An ex-seminarian, Norberto Roldan examines aspects of Filipino spirituality through his icons and religious paraphernalia related to his Catholic practices. Alfredo Esquillo, Jr. explores the contradictions in reference to the Catholic faith.
There are artists who deal with feminine issues and issues of identity like Agnes Arellano, Yasmin Sison, Francesca Enriquez and Norma Belleza with her portrayal of the everyday life.
Then there are the conceptual, post-modern, and installation artists like Gerardo Tan, Sid Hildawa and Ces Avancena. They were all part of the recent exhibit in Singapore called extra small-EXTRA LARGE where they were able to challenge the idea of setting up an exhibition internationally at low costs and in a short period of time.
Exhibiting Filipino creativity
The First Queensland Art Gallery Asia Pacific Triennial held in 1993 had the largest contingent of Filipino artists to participate: Santiago Bose, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Francesca Enriquez, Lazaro Soriano, Roberto Villanueva, Junyee, Alvarado, Brenda Fajardo and Julie Lluch-Dalena.
In 1995, Indonesia hosted the first Contemporary Art of the Non-Aligned Countries where several curators from the region were invited to select artists to participate. Fernando Modesto and I were chosen from the Philippines.
The ASEAN Art Awards was created to support the development of ASEAN contemporary art and to increase the national and international exposure for ASEAN art and artists. The Philip Morris Group of Companies is the first organization to have provided a platform for the young artists of the region. Our very own Nona Garcia won the grand prize last year with her work that demonstrated a strong element of experimental art, combining painting and x-ray.
The Nokia Arts Awards Asia Pacific started in the year 2000, where Filipino artist Rodel Garcia won the first price of US$8,000, educational grant and training programs in New York and Finland.
The recent Singapore art fair held in 2002, witnessed several Philippine galleries participating like Galeria Duemila, Finale, the Drawing Room, and non-Filipino galleries carrying works of several Filipino artists. The Filipino artists in the fair did very well. I just came back from the Philippines and learned that more galleries will participate in 2003.
Developing Art Enthusiasm
During the past two years while residing in Singapore, I have seen several galleries showcasing Philippine artists, among them the Ippreciation Gallery, the Sculpture Square, Art Seasons Gallery, Atelier Frank, Sunjin Gallery, and Plum Blossoms Gallery.
There have also been an increasing number of artworks in public places in Singapore in the last five years. The galleries and dealers are mainly responsible for putting these artworks in public space as well as in hotels and office buildings. Ramon Orlinas glass sculpture at the Singapore Art Museum and my mural at Singapore Expo are examples that have increased the publics awareness of art. I will have a ceiling installation called Sky is the limit at the atrium of the newly opened Esplanade.
The art museums in most of Southeast Asian countries have played a major role in promoting local artists. The Singapore Art Museum has been a pacesetter in buying art works from the Philippines. Marcos and his cronies was bought by Singapore in 2000. The Fukuoka Museum has continuously invited Filipino artists to participate in their Bienale, and at the same time purchasing works of participants. Roberto Feleo had a one-man-exhibit where his works seem to reflect the Filipino history of bitter struggle for the sovereignty from Spain, Japan and the United States.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has played a very important role in co-sponsoring Philippine exhibits like the traveling show called At Home and Abroad: 21 Contemporary Filipino Artists which was exhibited at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. As a result, these museums have become important venues for our artists.
Other government support groups like the National Council on the Arts, foundations and art centers play important tasks of giving financial support to the artists. These efforts, however, still fall short compared to what is being done in the West. I would like to see a similar National Endowment for the Arts, Gugggenheim fellowships and other art patronages. It would be nice in the Philippines if we could even have, perhaps, Lopez, Ayala or Gokongwei fellowships.
Collecting Philippine Art
In recent years the collector profile has changed tremendously with increasing wealth of upper middle class Filipino professionals greater appreciation of art in general and promotion of their respective artists. Many Filipinos living overseas are actively purchasing works of Filipino artists. This is happening in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Jakarta and Singapore. These collectors will grow in the future and a good example is the number of Filipinos who showed up at the recent opening of the Singapore Art Fair.
A good example of this is Jun Villalon, owner of the Drawing Room who after the opening night was very pleased with the sales, thanks to the support of the Singapore Philippine community.
The Local Touch
During the Marcos era, there was a growing nationalistic sentiment which gave a lot of artists a new reason to find a new medium. Installation art was one way of rejecting the traditional form of art. With installation came the materials which artists use: leaves, twigs, barks, shells, and fabric, among others. Artists like Santiago Bose, Junyee, Paz Abad Santos, Roberto Villanueva and Jerusalino Araos were known for their works for their use of indigenous materials. They have continued to pursue their art this way putting the Philippines in the map through representations in foreign exhibitions.
Another growing problem is that much of Philippine art is being copied or modified by unscrupulous forgers. A typical example of this is when on two separate occasions, two 5-star hotels in Indonesia stole my artwork, copied them 300 times so that each room would have a copy, not even bothering to ask my permission. To add insult to injury, I found out that the forger is a Philippine art consultant who lives in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately for some of our well-known artists, there is a danger of complacency as once they become well-known for a certain style, their dealers ask them to produce similar work over and over again. Many are seduced by the sales which in the end stifles their creativity and will never grow from that complacency.
To the Western world, any art that is not from North America or Europe must be folk art and there is a lack of appreciation. I remember when a New York curator came to my studio and we started discussing Asian contemporary art and how she should start making exhibitions from them. She did not know what I was talking about. She wanted to know if these artists were doing folk art. I managed to tell her that it is very important for her to look for these artists. Otherwise she will be losing her job in the future.
I hope I was able to give you a good tour of the Philippine art scene and I can only encourage all of you investors out there to buy art and support the Filipino artists of your choice.
I want to tell you a story about an international investor I met on the plane from Zurich to Singapore. I asked him what he did and he said he was an international investor coming to Asia to try to restructure some of his failing projects. He said: I should have invested more in my art collection. Even in bad times they give me joy and they very rarely go down in value. I hope you all keep this in mind when you make your next investment.
PHOTOGRAPHY MARKET: PARIS RIVALS WITH NEW YORK AND LONDON[NOV 10]
Strong demand and an abundant offer: having earned a legitimate place in the history of art, photography has become a dynamic medium with a rapidly maturing and increasingly demanding market. Today the photography medium accounts for 7% of total global auction revenue generated from Contemporary art and its auction revenue total has grown 1,300% since the end of the 1990s (+1,270% between 1998 and 2008) in a market traditionally dominated by painting, sculpture and drawing.
During the 2008-2009 crisis, collectors spent substantially less on art generally, buying fewer paintings (sales of Contemporary paintings contracted 11% in 2008-2009 compared with 2006-2007), but they do not appear to have reduced their spending on photography. The success of the photography segment is probably related to the following factors: firstly, the star signatures in the photography segment are less expensive than those of the Contemporary painting market, and secondly, photography is an easy medium to store (ideal for bulimic collectors and investors) and is totally in tune with the avid consumption of images that so much characterises the spirit of our times.
The auction triumvirate Christies, Sothebys and Phillips de Pury & Company held their special New York Photography sales from 6 to 8 October 2010. The final results were good with three-quarters of the lots sold. The stars of these sales were a portrait of Pablo Picasso byIrving PENN($182,000 at Phillips de Pury & Company), a reprint ofRobert FRANKsU.S. 90, en route to Del Rio, Texasthat sold for twice its high estimate ($215,000 at Sothebys),Edward STEICHENsWind fire, Thrse Duncan on the Acropolis($115,000 at Sothebys), a print ofAnsel Easton ADAMSGrand Tetons and the Snake River($270,000 at Christies) and a daguerreotype entitled261. Paris Etude de plantesbyJoseph Philibert GIRAULT DE PRANGEY($195,000 at Christies).
These six-figure results were all generated by safe-bet, historical and Modern signatures of the photography market. The following week a number of more recent photographs sold in London at the Post-War & Contemporary Art sales.Andreas GURSKYs spectacular cibachromePyongyang IV(304.5 x 207 cm) crossed the GBP 1 million threshold ($1.7m), doubling its estimated price range announced by Christies! In fact, since it last sold in February 2008 (at the top of the market),Pyongyang IVadded a further $500,000 to its hammer price. These prices were particularly encouraging in the run-up to thePhotography Monthin Paris.
Paris, world capital of photography
At the same time, around 200 alternative exhibitions will be organised in the framework of the Photo-OFF Month and the auction houses are preparing for marathon sales: on 19 November, Sothebys will start the proceedings with the first Photography sale and Piasa will be offering Old, Modern and Contemporary Photographs on the same day. The following day, Christies is organising a major sale of works from the Richard Avedon Foundation and there will also be two specialised photography sales on 21 November: Old and Modern Photographs at Ader and Photography at Kapandji Morhange. In fact, there will be thousands of photographs offered for sale in less than one week!
Tips on Collecting Art
For example: If your company is a very forward thinking tech firm housed in a loft space with chrome fixtures and exposed duct work, contemporary, abstract artwork may be the best match for you. In the reception area of an established law firm decorated with dark woods and conservative lighting, traditional landscapes, portraiture or still life may be better suited for the space.
Keep track of details. Make sure to have an appointed employee or art consultant catalogue your artwork as it is purchased and update records as necessary. Careful record keeping of artwork details can prevent confusion in the future concerning damage, loss, and value.
Some questions and answers on buying art
Buying art can be intimidating. What's the first step?
Once you've scoped out some galleries, revisit them. It can be useful to enlist an art adviser -- we'll get an idea of your tastes and lifestyle, and then help you hone your vision. Typically art advisers are paid through the discount that galleries extend to them, so it doesn't necessarily cost you anything.
How can you tell if you'll want to hold onto a piece for the long haul?
How do you know if you're getting a good price on the art you're buying?
What's the difference between gallery and auction buying?
Auctions are better for finding pieces that aren't available currently in galleries, and, if you do your research, you may be able to get deals. But the risk is that you'll get caught up in the action. Plus, you generally pay a 10 to 20 percent "buyer's premium"at auction houses and that has to be figured into the overall price of the piece.
Is it worthwhile to meet the artist?
What's a mistake that buyers make?
What does "limited edition"mean?
But it's important to realize that number 5 and number 50 are equally valuable. Additionally, the artist usually keeps a few extra, which are called artist's proofs, also known as APs.
How can you tell if a piece of art will be a good investment?
Is there a certain type of art that's a good deal to buy now?
Article on buying art intelligently
Note: This article is taken from a speech originally given to an audience of art collectors at the Indianapolis Art Center.
Anyone can buy and collect art intelligently. That's right; I said anyone. No previous knowledge of the art business, experience collecting art, or degrees in art history are necessary. All you need is a love and appreciation of fine art, a desire to collect, and a willingness to learn a few simple techniques that will allow you to evaluate any work of art dating from any time period by any artist of any nationality.
Even though the following article contains specific recommendations and suggestions relating to particular works of art, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong art and there is no right or wrong way to buy or collect art. Anyone can collect whatever they feel like collecting and buy whatever art they feel like buying, wherever and whenever they feel like buying it, for whatever reason they decide to buy it, and for however much money they feel like spending on it. Consequently, these techniques are not for everyone, but they are designed for people who like to spend their money wisely and who prefer to pay fair prices for quality art. If that happens to be you, then what you're about to read will help you to become a better collector.
Suppose you see a work of art for sale that you like-- a painting, a sculpture, a print-- it makes no difference. If you like it so much that you think you might want to own it, begin your decision-making process by asking and answering four basic questions.
(1) Who is the artist?
(2) How important is the art?
(3) What is its provenance, history, and documentation (or more simply, where has the art been and who's owned it)?
(4) Is the asking price fair?
For the answer to the first question-- "Who is the artist?"-- you rely on two basic sources of information-- spoken and written. The spoken part usually comes from the artist, dealer, or gallery who either represents or sells the art. Verbal information can also come from friends, collectors, and others who are familiar with the art or artist in question.
Written information comes in a variety of forms including gallery exhibit catalogues, artist career resumes, exhibition reviews, and art reference books like dictionaries of artists, art indexes, art or artist encyclopedias, monographs on artists, and art surveys or histories. In the great majority of cases, these publications (or photocopies of relevant artist listings contained in these publications) are available from whoever is selling the art.
In all cases, you want to both hear and read about the artist you're interested in. Do one at the expense of the other and you can easily come away with inaccurate or skewed ideas of how significant the artist really is. The types of information that you come across during the course of your readings and listenings, no matter what artist you are learning about, include facts like those listed below.
* The artist's birth date and death date (when applicable).
* Where the artist lives and works.
* Where, when and with whom the artist studied.
* Organizations the artist belongs to.
* Galleries, museums, or institutions where the artist has exhibited art either in one-person shows or in group shows with other artists.
* Awards, prizes, grants, and honors that the artist has received.
* Public, private, or corporate collectors who own the artist's art.
* Positions the artist has held (teacher, lecturer, writer, and so on)
* Publications that mention the artist such as books, catalogues, newspapers, magazines, and so on.
You use this information to make conclusions about the artist. You don't have to do anything scholarly here. You merely want to come away with a reasonable idea of who the artist is and how significant his or her accomplishments are. Knowing how to assess an artist's career becomes increasingly important the more expensive the art is that you're thinking about buying. The more art costs, the more respected and established the artist should be.
For example, would you buy $25,000 car off of a show room floor, no questions asked? Would you buy a $300,000 house by standing in the yard, looking at it, and deciding that it's exactly what you want? Of course not. You read about the car, ask people who own it how they like it, compare prices from dealer to dealer, and so on. You tour the house, carefully inspect every room, find out what kind of neighborhood it's in, have the house inspected by a contractor, and so on. In both cases, you want to know what you're getting before you spend your money and the same should be true for art. With a work of art, this process begins by evaluating basic facts about the artist like those mentioned above.
* The more books and catalogues that list, mention or discuss the artist, the better.
* The more significant the publications that include the artist, the more important the artist tends to be. A five-paragraph listing in a major international artist dictionary carries more weight than a similar length listing in a local artist directory.
* The more mentions the artist has in a given publication and the longer those mentions are, the better. An illustrated chapter about an artist is better than a chapter without illustrations is better than a paragraph is better than a sentence.
* The longer the artist has been creating and exhibiting art, the better. A 55 year old artist with accomplishments dating back 30 years tends to be more collectible than a 55 year old artist who's only having his second show.
* The greater the number of exhibits, awards, and other career accomplishments that the artist has, the better. Keep in mind that descriptive ramblings about an artist's majestic brush strokes or mastery of color may sound great, but flowery language is pretty much meaningless unless it includes factual information. Never confuse facts with fluff, and, in the art business, there's no shortage of fluff.
* The more significant the collections that own the artist's art, the more important the artist tends to be. When museums own the art, that's always a good sign; major corporate collections are generally good for an artist to be in; private collections only carry weight when the collectors are known and respected in the art community. A painting in the collection of the Countess Esmiralda of Stregovia, for example, may sound impressive, but the distinction is only significant if the Countess is recognized for the quality of her collection.
* Artist listings in scholarly, non-biased publications are preferred over those in commercial publications. Always be wary of books and catalogues published by special interests, no matter how lavish they may be. For instance, if you are shown a glamorous ten-pound coffee table book about an artist that's published by the gallery selling the art, but you don't find that artist listed in other standard art reference books, this could mean that the artist is considered famous and accomplished only at that gallery and nowhere else.
* The more people who recognize the artist's name and have good things to say, the better. The more qualified these people are and the more respected they are in the arts community, the more you should value their opinions, especially when they have nothing to gain if you buy the art.
Question number two-- "How important is the art?"-- is answered by looking at as much art by the artist as possible, familiarizing yourself with the range of that art, and learning how to compare the art you're interested in with other art by the artist.
Begin by having the seller show you a selection of the artist's art, either firsthand, in print, or from photographs, and from all periods in the artist's career. When that's not possible, find out where you can go to see this art. Knowing the full range of an artist's work helps you understand each individual piece in its proper context. This is why art galleries have shows and inventory multiple works of art by the artists they represent. The more pieces they have on hand to show you, the more they can teach you about the art.
Next, thoroughly inspect the art you're interested in. In addition to the front, look at the back, sides, edges, signatures, dates, any writing that's on them, any labels or stickers you find, frames, construction, everything. Have the seller explain all these details. This exercise is not only fascinating and educational, but it also gives you greater insight into what the art is all about and, incidentally, how much the seller knows about what he or she is selling.
Ask the seller whether the art is original or reproduced by mechanical means. This question is especially important with limited edition prints. Many limited edition "works of art" are little more than digital or photographic copies of originals that are produced not by the artists who sign them, but by commercial publishing companies. Believe it or not, many signed and numbered serigraphs, lithographs, and digital images like giclees, fall into this category. The only thing original about these "copy prints" are the hand-applied signatures.
Some publishers take reproductions to the extreme. New Erte editions, for example, continue to be released even though the artist died years ago. Now that's the sign of a great artist-- one who can still produce art even after he's dead. So remember-- when you're looking at a limited edition, always ask whether it's a reproduction or an original and get the answer in writing. If you happen to like the way an image looks and you don't mind that it's a copy print, go ahead and buy it. But if you want to collect original works of art, collect ones that are entirely created and produced by the artists themselves. Reproductions of originals, by the way, no matter how limited or beautiful they are, are among the least important and collectible examples of an artist's work.
Assuming the art you're interested in is original, find out whether it's "major" or "minor," that is, whether it's more or less significant when compared to other examples of the artist's art that you've been looking at. Is it closer to the most complex, detailed, labor-intensive, high-end pieces that the artist is capable of creating, or is it more like a two-minute pencil sketch done on a three-by-five card? Keep in mind that major pieces tend to be more valuable, more collectible, and fare better in the marketplace over time than minor ones.
Determine whether the art you like is "typical" or "atypical." Have the seller tell you which subjects, mediums, sizes, and styles the artist is best known for producing and that collectors prefer the most. These pieces are referred to as typical. All artists also experiment, go off on tangents, and create unusual or one-of-a-kind items that they're not that well-known for. These pieces are referred to as atypical. Unless you're a sophisticated collector who wants examples of everything that an artist has ever created or produced, stick with the typical and save the offbeat or unusual works for later.
Find out when in the artist's career your art dates from. All artists go through periods or phases where their art is more or less inspired, competent, appealing to collectors, and important in relation to their overall output. Experienced collectors, of course, prefer the best art from the best time periods. Learn what that means for your artist and how the art that you're looking at stacks up in comparison.
On a bit more of a sophisticated level, determine whether the art you're looking at has any unique original qualities or whether it's a re-do of styles or subject matters that have been produced over and over again for years. Some artists specialize in versions of art that's already been done because they're good at it, people like how it looks, and it sells well. One artist, for example, advertises himself as "a living artist who paints like a dead one." In other words, he highlights the fact that he paints like artists painted decades ago.
From a collecting standpoint, art with unique or original aspects tends to be more collectible over time than art that imitates or borrows heavily from other styles of art. Experienced collectors prefer buying works of art that reflect superior creative abilities. They patronize artists who continually evolve in their careers and dealers who represent those types of artists. If, however, you prefer art that copies famous styles of the past, then by all means collect it. Remember that there is no right or wrong art.
Lastly, make sure the art you're looking at is in good condition and built to last. I was once in a gallery that was showing an artist who does reverse paintings on glass. The paintings were beautiful, but would they last? I had the dealer show me several pieces from the back so that I could see whether the frames and backings were adequately shock resistant. I wouldn't want to buy one of these $5,000 pictures, accidentally bump it, and have it chip or crack because it's not well protected.
The answer to the third question-- "What is the art's provenance, history and documentation?"-- is determined by assembling all incidental information about the art. This is like writing the biography of the art from the moment the artist completed it right up to the present day.
You do this because good documentation and provenance increases a work of art's collectibility, desirability, and market value. Good provenance in the art world is similar to a good pedigree in the pet world. A painting that was exhibited at an important art show, for example, is more collectible than a similar looking painting that wasn't; a sculpture that won a prize is more desirable than a similar sculpture that didn't; a watercolor that made the news because of its controversial subject matter is more interesting than a similar watercolor that didn't. If art you are interested in possesses any such characteristics, you should know about it.
Begin by asking the seller to tell you everything he or she can about the art you like. Find out where it's been, what it represents, how it came into being, who's owned it, whether it's been exhibited, won awards, or been pictured or mentioned in any books, catalogues, articles, or reviews. Has it ever been discussed in print by experts or by the artist himself? Does it commemorate special events either within or outside of the artist's life? Are any interesting stories associated with it? These are the types of questions you should ask. The answers are often entertaining, enlightening, and just plain fun.
Whenever the art is by a living artist, ask the artist to tell you about it. If the art is for sale at a gallery and the artist isn't available, ask the dealer whether you can make an appointment to speak with the artist either in person or over the phone.
In addition to what people tell you, put together as much physical documentation as possible from printed sources such as those mentioned above. This includes copies or photocopies of entries in publications that mention the art, certificates or statements of authenticity, and, whenever possible, signed statements from the artist and/or dealer detailing what they've told you. The art is the picture; the documentation is the caption.
At all times, keep truth separated from fiction. Gossip, third-party suppositions, and hearsay do not qualify as provenance. Make sure that everything you're told actually happened. When a story cannot be conclusively proven with concrete tangible evidence, don't take it seriously.
Suppose you're thinking about buying a 19th century painting with a mountain in it. The dealer says he heard that Teddy Roosevelt's plumber's grandfather once owned it. He also says that the mountain is Mount Shasta and proves it by showing you photographs of the mountain taken from the same angle as is depicted in the painting. The first statement is conjecture and must be proved in order to be taken seriously; the second statement is fact.
And now for the biggie-- question number four-- "Is the asking price fair?" This is not so much a question of what the art might be worth at some point in the future or whether it's a good investment. Nobody has those answers. All you want to know is whether it's priced fairly today. This is a question that must be asked because, like any other goods or services, art is sometimes overpriced.
An artist or dealer may tell you that every piece of art is unique and that the price of the piece you're looking at is what it's worth, but that kind of logic doesn't wash with anyone who's been around the art business for any length of time. Art is like real estate in that an individual piece may indeed be unique, but plenty of other pieces are similar or comparable to it. Those comparables-- those similar houses in the same neighborhood, so to speak-- are what you look at when evaluating the price of the art that you're thinking about buying.
Contrary to what many people believe, art prices are not mysteriously pulled out of thin air or divined by some incomprehensible sixth sense that only artists and art dealers posses. Pricing a work of art is often no more complicated than measuring out a cup of flour. All you have to do is a little comparing and contrasting between your art and records of public and private sales of similar works of art that have already sold.
Of course, in order to do that, you must first realize that such records exist-- many people have no idea that they can actually research art prices from previous sales records. Not only do such price records exist, but they exist by the millions and the great majority of them of are published in art price guides, auction record compendiums, online art price databases, CD-ROMS, and art dealer catalogues at the rate of about 200,000 new sales results per year. You can find these sales records in the art departments of most major institutional and public libraries, on the internet, at specialist art reference bookstores, and at most better art galleries.
Begin your price research with the seller. Ask to see recent sales results for art by whatever artist you're interested in. Make sure that the artist has a track record of selling works of art similar to the piece you like for amounts comparable to what you're being asked to pay. Most dealers have this information on file and will talk about it with you (be careful when any dealer is reluctant to discuss previous sales).
The other part of evaluating prices is to find out what's happening outside of the gallery or artist selling the art. Where else does the art sell and how much does it sell for. These sales usually take place at other galleries, at auctions, or at both, and, once again, you should look for consistency in selling prices that are comparable to what you're being asked to pay.
Checking auction records is easy-- anybody can do it. All you have to do is look up the artist's name in art price guides, books or CD-ROMS of auction records, or in online art price databases to see whether any of his or her art has sold. Each sales record you find tells you information like what type of art sold (painting, sculpture, etc.), it's size, title, when and where it sold, and how much it sold for.
When an artist has auction records, that indicates that the artist has achieved a certain level of recognition and respect within the art community and generally speaks well for that artist's market. Instead of collectors asking "Who's that?" when they see the artist's art, they say "I know who she is. Her art auctions for X amount of dollars, and I'd pay this much to own a piece of her art."
The most significant auction records for your purposes are those that describe works of art that are similar in size, subject matter, medium, date executed, and other particulars to yours. Keep in mind that auction prices represent wholesale values more so than retail ones, so don't expect them to be as high as what you're being asked to pay at a gallery. Do, however, expect them to be at least 40% of gallery retail and preferably higher. If you find auction records that are 30% or less of what you're being asked to pay, this may be cause for concern. Either the gallery owner should have a good explanation as to why the discrepancy is so large or you should consider shopping elsewhere. Several additional tips for evaluating auction records are as follows.
* Check back through at least five years of records and look for indications that the artist's prices either hold steady or increase over time. Consistent strength in selling prices means that demand for the art is solid and that the collector base is strong. Fluctuating, erratic, or declining prices are not generally a good sign.
* Pay the most attention to where the majority of the price results fall, not the minority. For example, if you're thinking about paying $10,000 for a painting and you find one auction record of $6,000 and twenty for under $2000, be careful. The $10,000 painting could likely be overpriced.
* The more auction results you find, the more accurately you can evaluate prices. One or two isolated sales are not enough to base any solid conclusions on; you need at least five to ten records to work from.
Retail sales at other galleries are just as important to know about as auction records and even more so when you have little or no auction records to go on. You can often learn about such sales by asking other dealers, collectors, and knowledgeable people in the arts community about the artist you are interested in. The more galleries that either handle the artist, recognize the name, or are willing to handle him, the better. Of course, their asking prices and sales records should be comparable to what you're being asked to pay. When few galleries are familiar with an artist or are interested in handling his or her art, this may not be a good sign.
When you buy directly from an artist who does not exhibit regularly, you often find few, if any, galleries that recognize the name and few, if any, auction records. In these cases, ask the artist for names of people or institutions that own his or her art and, once again, do your best to find out whether that art has sold for prices comparable to what you're being asked to pay. The more collectors who own the art and the more consistent the selling prices, the more comfortable you can feel about buying the art.
In cases where you have little or no auction or gallery prices to go on, you can extrapolate values from auction records and retail prices of similar art by other artists from the same geographical region who have similar accomplishments, similar market bases, and were or are active during similar time periods. Evaluating prices in this manner is another form of working from comparables. When you're buying from an artist, for example, find out what other artists who produce similar work and live in the same area charge for their art. When you're buying period art like an Indiana landscape by an Indiana artist dating from the 1940's, compare the asking price it to prices of other 1940's Indiana landscapes by other Indiana artists.
Once you're comfortable with an asking price and ready to buy, make sure you get a detailed receipt describing the art and its condition and including a money back guarantee to protect you if, at any point in the future, you find out that the art was not properly represented. This receipt should be in addition to all other documentation that the seller provides relating to the art's history, provenance, and authenticity.
A quick word about bargaining. Suppose for some reason that you still want the art after all's said and done, but would rather pay a little less for it. Art prices are often flexible and making an offer is certainly an option, but don't bargain purely the sake of sport. Make sure that you have a good reason for wanting a better price and that you can make a case for your request. Experienced collectors do this all the time. They know that dealers are much more likely to reduce prices based on good solid arguments than they are to lower prices just because buyers want better deals.
All this effort to buy a single piece of art may seem like tedium as you read about it, but, in fact, it's just the opposite. Buying art intelligently not only becomes second nature; it also becomes an adventure. Once you get the hang of how things work, your quest for knowledge turns into exciting detective work, and so much of what you discover is always rewarding. Experienced collectors, which you may one day become, can research and evaluate most works of art in as little as fifteen to thirty minutes. For them, the importance of knowing about a work of art, including the fact that it's priced fairly, cannot be underestimated. Having this knowledge not only increases their enjoyment of that art, but also of the art world in general.
Tips on buying art online.
NEW YORKIn our previous article in our Buying Art Online series, we discussed how some of the benefits provided by Web galleriesa huge selection of artists, a more comfortable environment for new buyersare helping to drive a shift in the way art is bought and sold.
But while buying art online does have certain advantages over trekking from gallery to gallery, it also poses a number of unique challenges as well. Here are 10 tips to help you maximize your Web shopping experience.
Tip #1:Beware the Junk
For better, but usually for worse, anyone can set up an online galleryand thousands have. Inevitably, this translates into a lot of very bad art and can mean wading through mountains of schlock to discover any gems.
The unsupervised, sometimes wild nature of the Internet still presents some problems in buying and selling original art, saidRene Goodman, Some of the finest dealers are online, introducing brilliant artists and works that couldnt be reached otherwise. Unfortunately, the great majorityas much as 90 percentof art-selling Web sites are un-curated and offer amateurish art far below the standards of what can be found in the brick-and-mortar market.
AgreedPaige West, founder of theMixed Greensgallery in New York, which also maintains a highly regarded Web site: When we started Mixed Greens in 1998, we actually had a lot more competition back then. A lot of the sites had an open-door policy [with regards to artists] and that led to a lot of bad-quality art. The sites that have survived are selective and take more of a curatorial approach.
So the solution to the schlock problemif you dont trust your own eyeis to look for sites that have some sort of sophisticated screening process with regards to the art they display. Sites that have curators or juries generally promote that fact heavily; those that dont are generally immediately obvious.
Tip #2: Lets Get Physical
In addition to sites that are curated, another way to ensure a positive experience is to stick with sites that also operate an actual, bricks-and-mortar gallery.
All the online galleries I would recommend also have a physical space, said West. This is key. When you know the business has an actual gallery space, this means those running it most likely are more knowledgeable about art and the sales and shipping process.
Tip #3: Virtual Sites, Actual People
No matter how appealing the art looks in a virtual space, be sure there is an actual person on the other end of the computer.
Most credible companies provide detailed information about themselves, Goodman added. It is imperative that they have a physical address and a customer-service phone numberI wouldn't buy if they dont.
Before buying, contact the staff by phone or email and see how well (and how quickly) they respond.
Tip #4:Demand Authentication
As when making a purchase in a bricks-and-mortar gallery, buyers should demand some proof of the works authenticity. Picasso Mio, for example, a site recently given the Best of the Behemoths award by ArtInfo, has this policy stated on its Web site:
Most of our artworks are signed (and numbered, in case of editions) by the artist. If the artwork is not signed, a signed Artists Authenticity Statement may be available upon your request. This document certifies the artworks authorship, the title, year of creation, and dimensions. Further, we can also provide you with an Independent Party Authenticity Endorsement with your purchase.
Have a healthy suspicion of sites that dont offer a similar authenticity standard.
Tip #5:Establish a Budget, Define Your Goals
The Internet offers a very wide range of artworks in all price scales, so it is very important to establish a budget before embarking on the shopping expedition, Goodman said. I would also advise buyers to be clear about their goals for purchasing artwhether it is to develop a collection that may have some investment value or just to decorate ones walls.
And as with any art purchase,Angela Di Bello, director of theAgora Galleryin New York, which also operates the online gallery Artmine,reminds us: Always buy what you love.
Tip #6: Do Your Homework about the Work, the Artist and the Site
When you spot a work you like, ask for as much information about the work (how, for example, does it tie into the rest of the artists oeuvre?) and about the artist (schooling, exhibitions, sales history, etc.) as you can get.
And make sure the Web site youre dealing with is a legitimate business and offers secured purchasing. Check out what the press has written about the site, and read the buyer testimonials (and ask if you can actually contact a buyer or two for an in-person recommendation).
And because a buyer in the virtual world has the disadvantage of not being able to see the physical work, no question should be considered off-limits. [When buying online], one has the [right] to ask questions one might not feel comfortable asking in a physical gallery, saidAllan Majotra, co-founder and managing director ofPicassoMio.
Tip #7: Dont Rush
Its easy to get caught up in the moment, especially since the Internet offers instant gratification to buyers. But Goodman said its important to take it slow, especially for beginning collectors.
My first advice to anyone before buying art online is to decide not to purchase anything for at least a month, she said. This month should be spent doing intensive online explorationbrowsing as many online galleries as possible, looking at ads and pictures in art magazines. This is an important process that teaches the potential buyer to recognize his own unique taste in art and to educate his eye to distinguish what he likes, what he finds himself connecting to on the emotional level and what he is returning to again and again.
Tip #8:Many Happy Returns
Every expert we asked for online buying tips stressed this point: Make sure the online gallery allows you a chance to change your mind once a work arrives and to return it, after a reasonable period (usually one week), without any hassles.
I simply wouldnt deal with anyone that doesnt [offer a reasonable return policy], Goodman said.
Majotra pointed out that PicassoMio allows buyers to return an artwork up to seven days after they receive it. Ninety-nine percent of them keep it, he added. They tend to like it even more once they see it in person.
Tip #9: Stay Low
Mixed Greens West advises that when buying editioned work, which is much more common online than original pieces, one should focus on work in editions of 10 or under.
Tip #10: Dont Forget the Real World!
This is maybe the most important point of all. While gallery hopping online has many advantages, and can become addictive, nothing can replicate viewing a work in personand getting to know gallerists, artists and your fellow art lovers at openings and exhibitions is certainly one of the great rewards of collecting.
As West observes, the big downside to buying online is that experiencing art in person is a lot more fun.
Julmard Vicente, Juliette, Oil on Canvas, 4x3 feet, 121x91 cm., 2012
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Gallery hours: 10-5PM, by appointment only
Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art is a privately owned venue for artistic expression. It is strategically located within a cluster of progressive communities South of Manila. It has an independent exhibition area able to accommodate large-scale works, and a spacious garden ideal for outdoor programs, performances and sculpture installations.
Goals of Kulay-Diwa
To discover and promote the works of talented, young and deserving Filipino Artist;
To serve as a cultural outpost and make the arts more accessible to the fast-growing communities South of Manila; and
To foster cultural interaction and exchanges with the local regions and other countries.