IN THE NEWS
A Vision of America: Major exhibition of new works by Bob Dylan opens in London
Bob Dylan, music legend and Nobel laureate, is also a prolific painter whose works depicting the landscapes and culture of the United States are now the focus of a major London exhibition. Around 200 paintings by the US singer-songwriter, produced by the 75-year-old in the last two years, are on show from Saturday at the Halcyon Gallery in the British capital's plush Mayfair district. The collection of oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings reveals a different side to Robert Allen Zimmerman, an icon of 20th century US popular music, whose poetic lyrics earned him the Nobel Prize for literature last month, to much surprise. Dylan announced last week that he would travel to Stockholm to receive the prize, making the timing of this exhibition all the more apt. "It's a great honour for us hosting the exhibition and for him to have received that honour at the same time," Paul Green, president of the Halcyon Gallery, told AFP.
Art Money, a New Startup, Offers Collectors Free Money to Buy Art (via Artsy)
Gallery-hopping in Chelsea on a Thursday night or strolling through the booths of an art fair can be a masterclass in window shopping. For most people, the pieces on sale are simply impossible to afford or financially irresponsible to buy. Even for those with means, who would technically be capable of purchasing pieces at the lower end of the market, $1,000 to $50,000 can feel like a prohibitively expensive amount to spend all at once. But Art Money, a company that launched in the U.S. during EXPO Chicago, is looking to change the mental math behind buying a work of art.
Art Money offers buyers interest-free loans, allowing art buyers to pay off the price of a work over the course of 10 monthly installments rather than shell out the full price tag of the piece in one fell swoop. A $10,000 work becomes an initial deposit of $1,000 and nine equal subsequent payments.
Payment plans have long existed in the art world. But they’re rife with risk for the gallery. It’s routine to hear of payments stretching long past their initial schedule, leaving both artist and dealer in the lurch. Given their cost and the attention they draw, lawsuits aren’t generally a practical option to enforce delays or non-payment for most sales, particularly on the lower end of the price spectrum. With Art Money, galleries are paid within two weeks.
Payment plans also have drawbacks for collectors. Buyers may not be able to take a work home until it has been paid for in full. This is particularly the case for those who are new to collecting and thus don’t have a longstanding relationship and established trust with a gallery. (A notable 25% of the company’s loans thus far have gone to first-time collectors.) Art Money’s loans, however, allow the piece to be taken home with the buyer on day one. “It may sound trite, but it really is a win-win,” says founder and CEO Paul Becker.
Since launching, Art Money has partnered with a growing handful prominent New York galleries. Becker said he’s designed the company to make it easy for galleries to say yes because it “doesn’t cost them anything unless they make a sale.” Art Money doesn’t charge galleries to partner but rather charges a set fee, framed in its agreements as a percentage discount against the total cost of any work sold using the service.
For buyers, signing up is as simple as visiting Art Money’s website, putting in some personal information, and waiting 10 minutes for a credit check to run. The company’s algorithm looks at this and other basic financials to determine whether it’s comfortable with the risk exposure for the collector’s requested loan. “A lot of people say this is for people who can’t afford” to purchase art, said Becker. He reports that 90% of Art Money loan applicants have been well-qualified for the amounts they’ve requested. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the psychology of it, it’s about feeling responsible. Spreading out the payments makes sense, just as it makes sense with everything else you purchase in your life.”
In the U.S., the company currently offers loans from $1,000 to $30,000. The average amount of the over 500 loans granted since Art Money’s initial launch in Australia in April 2015 has been around $5,000. There have been zero defaults to date. Though Becker concedes that the inevitability that this will occur is “part of the risk we built into our business model,” and that the company then has immediate rights to repossess the work.
Becker expects the U.S. market to push its average loan size higher and notes that even blue-chip galleries have a significant stock of prints and works on paper that would be eligible for Art Money loans. Buyers can sign up at the time of a sale or be given a credit amount in advance to spend when a work strikes their fancy. The loaned amount can include shipping, framing, or any other service the buyer and gallery agree on. “We’re an enabler,” jokes Becker.
The benefits don’t mean galleries, often weary of change, are all rushing to adopt the service. “This is a new way to buy art,” said Becker. “It’s about culture change. This option has never been available.” Becker suggests that partner galleries integrate his company’s payment plans into their initial sales pitches rather than leaving them as a last-ditch attempt to close. “I say to galleries: There are two prices for every work now. $20,000 or $2,000 a month.”
Making art more affordable (or at least an easier cost to swallow) has significant potential to grow the number of buyers—something dealers are sorely looking for. According to the 2016 TEFAF report, some 73% of dealers said that growing their clientele is something they worry about. And despite what multi-million-dollar auction results might lead you to believe, the lower end of the market serviced by Art Money is where the majority of purchases by volume and value occur. According to the same report, 77.6% of all transactions in 2015 by volume (64.4% by value) were for works priced at less than $50,000, while 27.1% of sales, by volume, were for works priced between $1,000 and $5,000.
Art Money offers the potential to further expand and solidify this unsung segment of the market’s base. And ultimately, the company’s goal is a simple one, said Becker: “We want more people to buy art.”—Isaac Kaplan
On Friday, Germany passed a bill containing some of the world’s strictest rules concerning the import and export of cultural goods, prompting backlash from dealers and collectors.
(via The Art Newspaper)
Authorities hope the legislation will prevent black market trading of looted antiquities as well as place controls on blue-chip artworks leaving the country. More than 48,000 citizens signed an online petition opposing the proposed Cultural Property Protection Law, arguing for “the preservation of private collecting.” Under the new regulations, all objects with cultural significance that fit certain age and value specifications must receive permission from German officials before they can be legally exported. Additionally, artifacts designated for sale must have an export license from their native country. A group of museum directors cautioned that the impending legislation had already resulted in a series of valuable works being shipped out of the country, resulting in “enormous” damage that “cannot be reversed.” Germany’s culture minister, Monika Grütters, has argued that the law is a necessary step in ensuring that the country “live[s] up to its responsibilities for mankind’s cultural heritage—nationally and internationally.”
The Online Art Market’s Interesting Response to Brexit
During the anticipatory countdown towards Brexit, there were many doubts and questions about how it would affect London’s art auction on June 21, 2016. As for the results? Pretty extraordinary and here’s why. First off, Picasso’s 1909 Cubist painting “Femme Assise” sold for 43.4 million pounds, surpassing the estimated target of 30 million pounds. Just a few moments later, Modigliani’s “Jeanne Hebuterne (au Foulard)” was taken for 38.5 million pounds, wickedly exceeding the targeted estimate of more than 28 million pounds. With this encouragement, the depth of bidding also affected other works to receive impressively surpassed estimates.
After the big news on the Brexit result, the outlook is interesting for the ONLINE ART MARKET. Ion Ovidiu Fratiloiu, ARTSTAQ partner for the UK market, has confirmed a huge interest in trading emerging artists on the Artex500 exchange. "Investors have realized that art will continue its effective function as an alternative currency which hedges against inflation and currency depreciation,” he shared.
In this context, it's important to keep in mind that today the art market is truly a global affair. Buyers and sellers from around the globe are using new online trading models. Making any specific comments on the long-term impact on the art market would be premature, but we are ready to see how things will unfold. - courtesy of ArtStaq
Peter Brant Takes Over Art Magazines
The contemporary art collector and publisher Peter M. Brant announced that he had assumed full control over Art in America magazine and ARTnews, as well as a stable of other publications that were part of a merger in 2015.
In the deal, Mr. Brant agreed to sell Art in America, which has been published since 1913 but has struggled recently, to the company that owns ARTnews, published since 1902. Mr. Brant sold the magazine for about $17 million.
Under plans announced last year, Art in America is to continue its regular publication schedule of 11 issues a year, and ARTnews will come out in print about four times a year, continuing popular themed editions such as the annual list of “The World’s Top 200 Collectors.” Online, Mr. Brant said, the consolidation would move “under one umbrella” some of “the most important cultural publications that together provide the complete content and history of decorative arts, classical arts and art-related news.”
Donald Trump and Art
The Republican primary is effectively over with Donald Trump’s win in Indiana, and while he dominaties the 2016 election news cycle little is known about The Donald's interest in the art world.
Donald Trump claims to be worth $10 billion, but unfortunately for me, it doesn’t seem to be invested in fine art. Other savvy investors and real estate moguls, such as Aby Rosen, are driving the art market higher and higher, but there is little evidence that blue chip artworks are among Trump's assets.
I am not 110 percent on this, but I’ve been told the French-impressionist paintings that decorate his homes are likely — don’t call them fakes — reproductions.
A smaller version of the real “La Loge” by Renoir — an 1874 painting in the collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London — was sold by Sotheby’s in 2008 for $9.67 million to an unidentified buyer. But what is probably a skillfully painted copy hangs in Melania Trump’s office in the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
If Trump’s paintings were originals, his collection would be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. And most people have no idea they aren’t real. “When it comes to investing, he prefers higher-return investments,” said one longtime Trump friend. “Trump can appreciate great art, but he finds the New York arts crowd elitist and phony. He prefers real estate.”
The Met Gala, 2016
The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Tonight, celebrities from the worlds of fashion, film, sports, art, and music will gather at The Met for the Museum's Costume Institute Benefit. This year's gala celebrates the exhibition Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, on view May 5–August 14, 2016. Beginning at 6:30 pm EDT, gala Co-chairs Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jony Ive, and Anna Wintour and red-carpet-ready guests will walk the iconic steps of The Met Fifth Avenue. The evening's celebration provides The Costume Institute's annual funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and capital improvements. Manus x Machina features more than 150 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear dating from the early 1900s to the present. The exhibition examines various creative processes and unravels how designers reconcile the handmade with the machine-made in a world increasingly influenced by technology. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, colloquially "the Met", is located in New York City and is the largest art museum in the United States, and among the most visited art museums in the world.
New Paris Museum for Luxury Goods Mogul Francois Pinault's Art Collection
Philanthropist David Geffen makes $100 million gift to the Museum of Modern Art
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of Modern Art announces that Los Angeles-based philanthropist David Geffen has given a $100 million gift toward the Museum’s renovation and expansion, the largest gift to the institution’s Campaign.
In recognition of Mr. Geffen’s extraordinary gift, three floors of new galleries, created as part of the Museum’s expansion into the tower being constructed immediately to the west of the Museum at 53 West 53rd Street, will be named The David Geffen Wing. In addition, the fourth-floor suite of galleries in the current museum building will be named The David Geffen Galleries this spring.
The building project will add 50,000 square feet of gallery space, allowing the Museum to reconceive the presentation of its collection and exhibitions, and will provide greater visitor accessibility through the enhancement of the Museum’s public areas. When making the pledge, Mr. Geffen stated, “My passion for art began while visiting The Museum of Modern Art as a young man. Art has been an important part of my life ever since, so I am delighted to lend my support to this exciting effort to celebrate the museum's history and contribute to its future.”
“David Geffen is an extraordinarily gifted collector and an unstintingly generous philanthropist,” said MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry. “We are honored to recognize his commitment to modern art, and to the city of New York, here at the museum where he first encountered the art that was to have such a deep impact on his life.”
"Whether through his professional success, his discriminating eye and passion for collecting, his unparalleled generosity to arts institutions, or his commitment to education and medical research and clinical practice, David Geffen has changed the cultural, social, and healthcare landscape of this country,” said Marie-Josée Kravis, President of the Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled that his transformative gift to MoMA will support our efforts to grow our audiences and deepen and improve our programs and collections. We are deeply grateful to David, a longtime and loyal MoMA friend."
A Year of Highs and Corrections in the Art Market
Drips, Dropped: Pollock and His Impact
$40 Million MoMA Gift from Kenneth C. Griffin Brings Naming Rights to Johnson Wing
Ellsworth Kelly, Who Shaped Geometries on a Bold Scale, Dies at 92
With $170.4 Million Sale at Auction, Modigliani Work Joins Rarefied Nine-Figure Club
Frieze London: Regent’s Park, London October 14–17, 2015