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May 28, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

The Price of Art

Steve Cohen parted with $150m in a private sale – the highest amount ever paid by an American collector – for Picasso’s La Rêve (The Dream) in March 2013. (Corbis)

The price of art has been in the news with sales of famous pieces breaking records. Recently, Picasso’s painting Le Rêve sold for $150 million and Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) just sold for $179 million. According to the BBC, when it was about to be sold, the owner, Steve Wynn, put an elbow through it accidently, and the sale didn’t go through. The price was originally $139 million but after its repair, it was sold for $150 million. With art prices rising exponentially, is there any room for collectors who don’t have millions?

‘Balloon Dog (Orange)’ by Jeff Koons has become the most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction.

Some high ticket prices are caused by the scarcity of art. Picasso is not going to be painting anytime soon, so there are a finite amount of his paintings left to be sold. This reasoning sheds light on the expense, but what about Jeff Koons’ The Balloon Dog getting $58.4 million at Christie’s contemporary auction?

A painting by Pablo Picasso has set a new world record for the most expensive artwork to be sold at auction after reaching $179 million in New York.

Investing in artists who are still living is a financial move. It’s like investing in a stock, except it’s tangible and looks good on the living room wall. Rather than buying for love, the investor is hoping an artist will become wildly popular. This is why artists try to get seen by the world; besides the recognition, their prices could skyrocket. A Slate article, ‘Why Is Art So Expensive’ said, “[Artists and dealers] facilitate getting the artist’s work written up by magazines, put into museums, or placed into well-known collections. This gives the artist’s work third-party blessings—kind of like having your significant other approved by the family before he proposes, or the vintage car signed off by five mechanics before you write the check. It doesn’t really mean the significant other won’t leave you or the car won’t break down two blocks later, but you feel reassured.”

Coldwater 201 by Chase Langford $825

The price gap in the art market between affordable and astronomical is growing. While well-known and reputable galleries close, the multi-million dollar art market expands. According to BCC, “The sheer amount of money in private hands allows billionaires – and there are, at the last count according to Forbes, 1,426 of them spread throughout the world – to indulge in a highly competitive sport to bag the best artworks.”

Floral Display by Laverne Chisan $780

For the average collector on a budget, competitively priced art has found a home online. According to Art Business, the internet can be difficult for an artist to ask for a high price.  “People who buy art online tend shop around more, compare prices more, and when they do buy, tend to pay comparatively less than those who buy in person at galleries or directly from artists.”

Mer Agitée by Lisa Carney $840

Well-known and historically famous artists have gained favor in the million dollar market. With economies around the world going in and out of stability, art seems like a solid place to invest money, or it could just be a game of who has the most Warhols. Newer, lesser known art has shifted to a more modern way of business. It’s doubtful that galleries will disappear altogether, but it is evident that the market has moved. Now, the art market (in which non-millionaires can participate) has found favor online. For the budding art collector, your best option is online through galleries you trust – nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

May 26, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Richard Prince Instagram Controversy

Artist Richard Prince’s latest exhibition has made hundreds of thousands of dollars but the photographers whose images he took will receive nothing.

Via The Independent:

An Instagram user whose photograph was reproduced without permission by controversial artist Richard Prince and subsequently sold for more than $90,000 has said she’s not going to “go after him” for a share of the money. Prince, 65, whose New Portraits exhibition consisting of 37 screenshots of Instagram photos sold out at New York Frieze last week, is known for appropriating found images and treads a fine line between copyright infringement and art. “I don’t see any difference now between what I collect and what I make,” Prince has said.

Installation view of Richard Prince, “New Portraits,” at Gagosian Photo: Paddy Johnson

He came under fire when his Instagram screenshots were first exhibited last year at the Gagosian gallery in New York, not just because the images were “borrowed”, but because most of them featured beautiful women in compromising poses including porn stars and a candid selfie in the gynaecologist’s office. “I’m not gonna go after him,” Doe Deere, one of the women whose photographs Prince used, wrote in a recent Instagram post.

RICHARD PRINCE Untitled (original), 2010 Original illustration and paperback book 46 × 37 inches (116.8 × 94 cm)

The blue-haired founder and CEO of cosmetics company Lime Crime also shared the original photo, explaining that the doll in the picture was made by her friend the artist Joshua David McKenney, who also wasn’t credited in Prince’s work. “Richard Prince removed my original caption, before printing and displaying it (without my knowledge) in the Frieze Gallery. I wanted to put the focus back onto where it belongs: the beautiful, hand-crafted doll,” Deere wrote.

Prince successfully side-steps copyright laws by removing the captions on Instagram photographs he has replicated, replacing them with his own. He began using found images long before the internet gave him the opportunity to scroll through thousands of selfless. During the 1970s and early 1980s began to re-photograph adverts in magazines, which he described as “social science fiction,” cropping them, removing text, and grouping them by subject.

“RICHARD PRINCE: Original” Installation view Photo by Rob McKeever

Prince was sued by another artist Patrick Cariou who said he had stolen his photographs. But the artist won an appeal against the litigation in 2013 and the case became just another footnote in the saga of copyright law versus freedom of expression. The important collector and gallerist Larry Gagosian – at whose Frieze booth Prince’s work was displayed –  is a big champion of the artist and another exhibition of his, Original, is currently on display at his Manhattan gallery until 20 June.

May 21, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

The Fight for Digital Art

Spring countryside by Jacquelyn Sloane Siklos $275

Digital art was the outcast of the art family in the past, but in recent years it has become accepted. The term seems like an oxymoron to some – digital art has been criticized for not being a ‘real art form’ and being too easy to create. According to WiseGEEK, “Digital art is defined as an artistic creation produced using digital technology.” To some, creating an art piece using tools on a computer may seem to lack an artistic quality, but using tools to express a story or emotion is the basis of every form of art.

The Dark and the Deep by Ralph Verano $200

According to Graphic Mania, “While digital arts does not provide the texture and volume that traditional arts does, at least for now, it is easy to edit and allows artists to use a huge number of effects and filters that can provide totally new creative experiences.” Both traditional art and digital art have limitations, but they provide interesting avenues unique to their genres.

Kitchen – Contemporary Art – The Atomic Age by Kevin O’Connell $2,292.50

Saying a digital artist is only as good as his software is the equivalent of saying a painter is only as good as his brush. To produce digital art, you must have artistic ability shown through the tools used. If a novice worked in Photoshop or Illustrator, s/he could not produce work at the level of a digital artist. Crafting a piece of digital art may be cleaner, but in and of itself, it is not lacking in artistic process.

Desert Walk- by Oscar Rivera $185

Recently, digital art has gained an outlet in Daata Editions, an online outlet where supporters can purchase a piece of video, sound or web-based artwork. Unlike the digital pieces that can be hung on the wall, these pieces live online. “Dedicated to supporting artwork online, Daata Editions commissions works available in editions for purchase and exhibition, while maintaining public access for research,” according to its site.

Babel by Andy Mercer $388.71

Daata Editions commissioned six new pieces from 18 artists available for purchase by collectors. The workers are either video, sound or web-based. Once purchased, the collector gets a custom certificate of authenticity and a percentage of the profit goes to host another round of commissions. “In addition to the editions for purchase, artists keep two editions of each work, two editions are donated to arts institutions for exhibition, and one is kept for the Daata Editions archive for continued public access.”

Inertia by Ralph Verano $150

With the move towards a digital world, digital art is inevitable. Expanding horizons for creative expression can only enhance the meaning of art. The pieces of digital art Zatista has in its collection provide a surreal depth that some collectors are looking for, and which only digital art can produce. The laws surrounding internet art are troublesome. Copyright infringement and illegal downloading has hit the music industry hard, so will it spill over into the art world? Now that digital art is being wholeheartedly considered, it has to be protected. In the next few years, this is what the genre will be fighting, but for now, it can bask in the glow of being accepted and celebrated.


May 19, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Colors of a Room

With each room in your home, you want to create a certain mood. The aesthetic of the room can be greatly influenced by color. A blue comfy couch can be calming, while bright yellow curtains will help wake you up in the morning. Here are some colorful art options to add to a room begging for a mood equalizer:

Rebellion by Rossana Currie $390

Red can make a room warmer and evokes passion, and  liveliness. Because of its active energy, red can be a good color for a kitchen or living room. Red can stimulate conversation or inspire you while cooking. Darker red in the living room can be elegant, but reds in general increase the pulse so it’s not a great color to have in a bedroom where rest is needed.

Skyscrapers in Montreal – Cityscape by Cristina Stefan $1,075

Blue is restful and is a great option for bedrooms or bathrooms. With a serene and soothing feel, it can create a stress-free retreat zone. A light blue tone can be cooling and can reflect a coldness already present, so stay away from this color in basements. However, blue’s calm feel can offset a cramped or small space.

sunflower by Thurston Howes $425

Yellow is bright and energizing and it exudes happiness and sunshine. The right yellow can instill laughter and optimism on the walls, but too much yellow can easily be overwhelming. According to 99design, “In design, yellow is often used to grab attention in an energetic and comforting way.”

Industrial Girl by Anyes Galleani $725

Purple is an office, bedroom, living room, and every room color. It gives a creative and royal feel.  Soothing or calming with an air of beauty, it’s a great color for stimulating ideas. It can also be used to make a room romantic and mysterious. According to Smashing Magazine, “Purple was long associated with royalty. It’s a combination of red and blue, and takes on some attributes of both. It’s associated with creativity and imagination, too.”

If you have a room that missing something, feels unbalanced or just needs a boost, add  art with colors to shift the room’s energy. You’ll be surprised how much the color of the art can change the feeling of the room; try it out with some great Zatista art today!


May 14, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Glorious Food Photography


Image by Lernert & Sander

In 2014, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant contacted conceptual design studio Lernert & Sander to create a piece for a special documentary photography issue about food. Lernert & Sander responded with this somewhat miraculous photo of 98 unprocessed foods cut into extremely precise 2.5cm cubes aligned on a staggered grid. Looking at the shot it seems practically impossible, but the studio confirms it is indeed the real thing.

Image by Lernert & Sander

On a related note, photographer and food enthusiast Brittany Wright sets up intricate culinary still lifes that focus primarily on the differentiation of fruits’ and vegetables’ coloration. Wright captures a rainbow of colors in foods ranging from heaps of apples to carrots plucked freshly from the earth. Each photograph focuses on the produce against a stark white background, a way to display the food’s vibrant shades without distraction.

Image by Brittany Wright

The Seattle-based photographer is fascinated by capturing the aging process of vegetable and fruits, displaying the variety of forms each piece takes during ripening and decay. Wright even includes fruit harvested from her own backyard, photographing raspberries both plump and shriveled.

Image by Brittany Wright

Wright’s client list is diverse, including brands Dry Soda and Samsung as well as (appropriately) several farms. You can see more colorful gradients and food-based imagery on Wright’s Instagram. (via Junk Culture)

Image by Brittany Wright



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