A Russian man who says he advertised an apparently “genuine” art work by painter Leonardo da Vinci on a Russian classified ads site (which is similar to eBay) - named "Avito", has now sold the painting for over €72 million. The seller, who goes by the name of “Dmitry”, from Mamonovo in Kaliningrad, says that the painting, titled "A Young Girl in Furs" was authenticated by the Stockholm art valuation firm Atelje Catellani. He later posted up photos of the accompanying documentation alongside the painting, which was seen online on 1 August.
When asked for information about how the painting appeared, who owned it, how he came into its possession, and other matters relating to its authenticity - Dimitry decided not to explain how he came to own the work, or questions such as why it is in Germany and of course - who the buyer was.
A Da Vinci painting is usually covered expeditiously by the media and the art world upon such a news announcement. However we all agree, this is a departure from the norm, as the posting of it was taken offline after about four days. However it's pretty sure that millions of sets of inquiring eyes have pored over the art work. On first viewing, it would appear to look like a Da Vinci work, although the painting is at an angle and not all the corners of the painting are viewable. The frame is old and in not very good condition.
The Stockholm art valuation firm who valued and apparently confirmed its authenticity, Atelje Catellani stated in an email: “There is nobody entitled to offer the painting. A mandate does not exist; nobody has access to the painting.” The email added that the firm Atelje Catellani (which made an annual revenue of $15.3 million, employs 91 staff and was founded as a private company in 1989) was not entitled to share any further information. It goes without saying that this only adds to the overall mystique and excitement surrounding the Da Vinci’s "Salvator Mundi" which previously earned the title of the world’s most expensive painting when it went under the hammer at Christie's, and sold for $450m in 2017.
The text of the seller's ad read "“Attention: I am selling the original Leonardo da Vinci painting ‘A Girl in Furs’. Location: Germany... estimated value €280m... asking price €72m.”
There is a discrepancy in the original reporting of the painting title, as some posts inserted the word "Young" in the title of the work, while the seller did not. A painting sold through a major art dealer or art auctioneer would have been naturally subject to close forensic scrutiny, and would have had to pass more tests to authenticate it. However, no one is suggesting that this newly sold Da Vinci is not authentic, but perhaps mis-named. But its history might be possibly shrouded in more secrecy or mystery for some reason, since its method of sale is so unusual, unconventional, and more difficult to be transparently explained.
The art world has obviously evolved more into the digital age, but the possible suspicion of an online trade, however real it may be, raises eyebrows, and questions. The chance to study and observe a possible master work by a true master of Italian art has been denied to us all. And lets face it, wouldn't we all want to go and see and enjoy another brilliant painting by the man, who left us with so few actual physical paintings. Some Da Vinci's were lost to wars, conflicts and others lost to theft. Some lie in vaults in private collections. Where this painting fits, well that is a whole other very big question. There is more of a story behind this than we can say.
Alan Mc Keogh September 2018
Ref Link: http://bit.ly/A_Young_Lady_In_Furs_Da_Vinci
The Asia Contemporary Art Show (ACAS) brings artists and galleries from all over the world to Hong Kong each year, with the twelfth edition taking place this March 24-26.
Among the Spring Edition will a feature showing two sections: “Intersections: China” and “Artist Dialogues”. As with the Asia Contemporary Art Show (ACAS), the "Intersections" show is a returning series which highlights the conceptual crossing of artistic ideas between past and present, traditional and modern, and East and West. Here, the focus is on China and Chinese artists. Expect to see artists as diverse as Wang Shuhui, who has transformed dumplings (yes, dumplings!) into sculpture, and Ding Wenqing, a painter whose goal is to challenge your way of seeing Chinese landscapes. But there is so much more on offer here.
Unique to ACAS is Artist Dialogues, an entire floor dedicated to artists exhibiting in a solo or joint presentation. This sector allows visitors to interact directly with artists in an intimate environment, and allows artists to articulate their inspirations and artistic practice, transforming their exhibits into a seeing and learning experience.
The show is being offered to the public across four floors of the Conrad Hong Kong in Admiralty. A series. Some 80 or so art (living) spaces immediately evoke an intimate yet enjoyable setting for seeing a broad range of artworks. This obviously works as it sets this Art Show apart from others during Hong Kong Art Week each spring. Art really flourishes here among these cityscapes, giving to art lovers what they want - an ambience that facilitates sales, dialogue and conversations, the constant exchange between galleries and artists, the utter and pure appreciation for great art, and a relaxing place for collectors and art buyers.
All are welcome.
As the reality of stock markets collapse and crypto coins fell in value, an art dealer posted a question, asking "Is there room for more growth in art as a valuable asset or commodity?"
The obvious answer is yes. Art is a good hedge against a stock market downturn or a crypto currency fall, which we saw these past few days and weeks. Paintings are proving yet again, as with all kinds of art mediums, that art is a very resilient as always.
Alan Mc Keogh (February 2018)
The online marketplace is changing the game in a big way. It seems that more and more online applications are enabling both art buyers and art sellers.
In the art world, it seems that auction houses, if we exclude big ticket items of Da Vinci-like magnitude, are feeling pressure from those smaller online auction platforms and new-fangled online marketplaces for selling art. Auction houses are increasingly focusing on bigger fish. Artists have also discovered Etsy, WooCommerce, Pinterest, Ecwid and Shopify. Everyone selling things online is becoming their own retail platform. Younger art collectors are willing to risk engaging in newer art-perusing or art-buying endeavors.
More social media platforms are there for us to research new trends, engage with the artists, and buy their artwork. Art enthusiasts who are potential collectors are more able to find pieces at affordable prices. There has simply never been a better time to invest in some art. We are closing the distance between us and our art.
Art speaks to us all in different ways, but when the art is relevant and touches us in a big way, and resonates with us, it hits home, and so very few of us collect art purely for financial returns. This is great news for painters and artists everywhere. It's emboldening artists to do more to reach out to people, and people are reaching out to artists as well. We are able to socialize more with creators of art. It's becoming a two-way street for art. And the internet is doing its bit. Large numbers of artworks have been viewed and bought using a new app called "Arto", an app that allows both the viewing and purchasing of art from collections of art. Equally, sellers can upload art and sell it to art enthusiasts. Galleries can also partner with Arto and offer art to art lovers based on their preferences, in the same way that Facebook shows members ads based on preferences. It's downloadable on Apple's App store and on Android. It's a game changer, and only one of many.
Obviously there are some economic factors that influence art prices, but when art is good enough and is affordable enough, things improve. The current view of up-and-coming markets in Russia, South America, the Chinese markets and Asian art in general is that art is holding up well, perhaps helped by oddities in currency values, as well as a keen demand. And it seems that American and European art are very likely to increase. The trick is in finding bargains. Dealing with artists directly rather than galleries gets art at the lower price, rather than the curated higher prices.
And remember to look for ripe and poignant works in photography, or installation art which is gaining popularity.
The market is seeing major bargains for anything under $10,000. Collectors wanting to start a collection are seeing less auctions but more direct dealing with art dealers, as dealers are seen as more affordable. The market is also evolving, as more sophisticated art buyers are willing to try out riskier works by great new artists as they see the value there. And art lovers are finding the apps and media online that facilitates their tastes in good art.
If one excludes the really big-ticket art items, art works over £1 million have seen a small pullback in sales, while mid priced art in the $10K to $50K area has risen. More and more buyers are looking around and comparing prices and artist reputations before committing to a buy, which is good. And the internet is a great leveler.
What outcomes can we deduce from these latest findings?
Obviously the market is good, people will only pay what they think is a fair price for good art. So the galleries reserve high-dollar artworks in stock, avoiding a flood of art on the market, so no sharp price drops. The art market continues to hold strong, despite the niggling social and economic landscapes. We are seeing the market evolve and mature. Digital trends have helped increased access for emerging artists. So while high-end spending is slightly eroded by politico-economic trends, the mid and low priced affordable art surges ahead, since any drag on currency values is offset by wise spends on lower priced works, which cancels out any "negativity" in buying new and good art. Low priced affordable quality art is a wise investment since affordable art has nowhere to go in value but upwards.
Alan Mc Keogh
September and October are beautiful months in Singapore. The Flower Dome located beside Gardens by The Bay houses some fine collections of plants and flowers, as well as photo opportunities for budding snappers who love photo opps such as the one above. The theme is Pumpkins, obviously, and just right for Halloween.
Why not give these gardens a visit, and enjoy the amazing scenery and views and walking audio guides as you explore this amazing oasis of beauty.
My Mother-In-Law was recently visiting Ireland and she was very impressed by the sights and sounds and smells of Ireland. Yes, it has some of those smells, especially in the countryside. Her verdict on Ireland can be summed up in one sentence...
"When can we come back here again...?"
Yes, I get that a helluva lot.
When Internet 2.0 came along, and the modern internet as we now it arrived (the one we use on laptops, PCs, smartphones and tablets) - with it came more delights and challenges. How does an artist or a writer, or any creative person sell what they create over the web? Amazon are making it work, moving beyond sales of books, to video, film, software apps, music and even more besides. We book our hotels now and even plane tickets and it has become standard to us. A habit in fact.
We can subscribe to things. We can go to Seven-Eleven and buy Google or Apple App Store vouchers, coupon credits and simply buy things on the Android or Apple platforms. We can opt for PayPal or Apple Pay, or just use our credit or debit cards. We have so many ways to buy. But how about selling?
When Online art Galleries began to appear in the mid and late 2000's, artists were jubilant. They were thrilled, because finally art could be shown, showcased, and finally sold online. All the artist needed was a laptop, some photo manipulating software to tidy up and resize images, and a way to receive money payment electronically.
Art galleries prospered. And the growth of interest in art boomed. It is still booming. But interestingly, some online galleries closed down and went out of business. Why?
Art galleries are business ventures, and online galleries are the same. They have costs and overheads. So the incoming flow in money must exceed the money that is outgoing. Alas, this was not always the case for some galleries, as people weren't ready to buy artwork by emerging South-east Asian artists online without further understanding the artists themselves, the art work and the region they came from. And to be honest, some galleries were unlucky to be just ahead of their time. Some parts of Asia for example suffer from chronic slow internet, and lag behind Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, who's fast internet is hitting Gigabit speeds.
One way that artists and galleries online could flourish is for online blogs and websites to focus on nurturing artists, curating informative exhibitions and having conversations with new collectors and bringing interested parties closer to one another. The internet is good at this. But some galleries that floundered in recent times may have suffered because they felt that personal interactions could not be replicated online. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Instagram and Pinterest... now they can.
The big keyword here is ENGAGEMENT. Bringing the conversation right into people's lives, so that people are not just passing by art, but living with art. There are so many online galleries on the net now, it has become better from the point of having choices, but tougher, as galleries have to compete more for space and getting attention. And the galleries that shout the loudest are the ones most visited, and so do the most business. (Of selling art.)
Galleries could be doing more in other ways. Forming partnerships and teaming up to show collective exhibitions has become the big trend in recent times, as the Affordable Art Expo and other shows are frequently reporting successful results. The love and allure of art galleries will prevail as long as we keep loving art and showing our love for it. We just have to learn, as artists and sellers of art to find and manage new ways to reach the audience. Telling the story of artists and their art works is something gallery owners and art sellers can do.
In a gallery, art literally sells itself. On the internet, the gallery must get the attention of the online visitor. Groups, lists and listings, art directories, collectives, club, organizations, societies, educational institutions all vy for attention. By using social media cleverly, we can leverage this and make online galleries not only succeed, but thrive. Authors are making use of WordPress and Weebly free or paid sites to engage with their readers and audiences. So too can artists. And they don't have to work in isolation from online galleries.
Some creative people think or feel the "middle man" is getting too much of a "cut" of the price. Really? So make deals, then. Agree on how to cut the cake, just as sellers online of other products use affiliates. There is more than one way to sell art online. Thanks to platforms like "Ecwid" and "Shopify", art galleries, artists and authors have moved their e-commerce and sales efforts on to Facebook pages - and with more than impressive results. Ecwid has no set-up fees and allows you to sell a small number of items for free, and they will only collect a small percentage of the sales price.
Art can be a success if artists and galleries work closer and partner up, and involve themselves in more joined-up thinking. The only boundaries to what can be done lies with us, and now, together - we can rise above them.
(Alan Mc Keogh)
Well, it's back. It seems like it was only a few months ago that the last Affordable Art Fair was held in Singapore. This time it's going to be even more ambitious.
The Affordable Art Fair has the aim of making art as enjoyable, accessible, and affordable as possible. Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned collector, or a new art enthusiast, everyone is invited to bring large carry bags and to explore, ask questions, explore the many styles and forms of art in the enormous venue, fall in love, and take some beautiful art home with you.
In the November 2015 Affordable Art Fair, the venue was held in the F1 Pit Building for the sixth successful Autumn Edition with 15,150 visitors and S$3.9 million sales in art. Now it's going to be bigger and with even more incredible art. Join us!
Alan Mc Keogh
I am an artist, web and blog designer, and I enjoy creating art, whether people, still life, or landscapes. I blog and write to grow the masses. Logos are a growing passion here. Come to me, brethren! New projects coming soon.