All posts filed under: Market

Part 1: A Little History of the Art Market

Have you ever wondered how an art market even came into existence? I’ll tell you. And I will start from the very beginning: from the emergence of the art object to the birth of auctions, patrons, artists, academies and professional art dealers. Sit tight boys and girls, your history lesson is about to start in two parts (so that I don’t saturate your mind with way too much fascinating information). Part 1.0 Let’s start off with a fun fact: the Venus of Berekhat Ram (700,000 – 290,000 BC) is considered to be the first art object ever in the history of art objects. It was actually discovered not long ago in the Golan Heights by an archeologist in 1981. It is essentially a small rock that looks like a pregnant woman and it is believed that it was created during the Stone Age most probably by Homo Erectus (WOW!). But there’s no evidence of any trend of cultural collecting  in societies at this point in time so we can assume that artists were not competing with each other. As a result …

Part 2: A Little History of the Art Market

After the longest nap in the history of the naps – that had to be taken by force thanks to none other than Christianity – the ‘art market’ woke up with the early Renaissance in the 14th century. Two novelties had taken place: on one hand people had developed a new taste, almost a fetish, for finely bound books that developed into a whole other complex market. On the other, Medieval guilds were still regulating the quality of art which partially castrated individualism amongst artists. But among all this, in Florence, a hero was born. Hello Giotto – the absolute most important painter of the early Renaissance who introduced perspective and the third dimension to painting.  Yes, that is why painting is what it is today. Basically, and he changed the rules of the game for everyone. At the same time, a new type of art patron emerged. The most well known were the… come on, you know who… Their name starts with an ‘M’ and ends with ‘edici”. It was a Florentine family of merchant …

Blooming Mavericks in a World of Giants

This article was commissioned by and for Inside the Burger Collection and it was published in Art Asia Pacific in May 2018. Read it here. Nothing sounds more gratifying than making a living from selling art, right? The mere thought of spending your days surrounded by works that nurture your soul and spark your creativity make my hairs stand on end. The idea of supporting Art History, contributing your tiny grain of sand, traveling the world all year long attending art fairs and biennales, getting caught up in mind-blowing conversations with curious, like-minded nomads such as yourself is so romantic. All the while, you’re selling the work of artists you are passionate about that in turn allow you to live a full, exciting and comfortable life.  But having your own gallery is no walk in the park, and the job of a gallerist is the toughest one of all.  Enter Maria Bernheim: an art world wonder-woman of many talents. Petite, ambitious, dynamic, knowledge-hungry and sassy. Born in Romania but raised in Paris, Maria grew up …

A Few Great Reasons Not To Open Your Own Art Gallery

In a perfect world, nothing sounds more desirable and gratifying than to be making a living from selling art. Think about it: you will be surrounded by art all day that will nurture your soul and creativity; you will be supporting these genius creators of art – art being the most intimate form of communication of certain concepts that cannot be described by words alone. You’d be supporting art history itself, contributing your little grain of sand to the history of mankind; you would be traveling to far away places like Istanbul, Hong Kong and Venice on a yearly basis to attend art fairs, exhibitions and biennales where you would interact with like-minded, cultured, curious individuals like yourself who are constantly exchanging ideas. Lastly, you would be enriching people’s lives in turn by selling them incredible, unique artworks whilst making very good money that will allow you to live like a king or queen. Luckily for all of us, dreaming is free as my father would say, and a successful gallery is a dream come true for a few visionaries and lucky ducks. But …

Praise for Jerry Saltz

I think I fell in love with Jerry exactly one year ago during Art Basel in Switzerland with a picture he posted on Instagram. Love sweet love. The picture was of a beautifully pink and ripe tangerine and the caption read, “Dasha Z. Sent sent this selfie to me just now. I’m a frog prince in Heaven #artbasel2015”… I mean, are you in love as well already? I remember my stomach hurting from laughing, tears came to my eyes and after that and to this day, Jerry Saltz is my go-to guy for my daily dose of laughter. I can just imagine Dasha Zhukova and Roman Abramovich sipping their morning coffee in bed or eating a bratwurst outside of the fair, reading this and almost choking. The guy has the best sense of humor ever. He’s provocative, blunt, loves confrontation and I suppose he might have a death wish. This is Jerry Saltz: 65 years old, senior art critic for New York Magazine and he happens to be married to the admirable Roberta Smith, art critic for …

Successful Single Ladies in Art

My life is confined to a couch, a computer, a book, my phone, and Apple TV. Oh, and I have coloring pencils and white paper just in case I get desperate. Why? Simply because my knee was crushed, pulverized and manhandled last week. It was felt up on a sunny morning in a surgery room in Bern, like a slutty teen in the back of a pickup truck in 1963. I’ve digested magazines back to back, procrastinated on reading the last ten pages of my book because I don’t want it to end, skimmed over endless movie trailers online to pick one film, and I’ve starred at my dangling foot and a pack of ice over my knee that is currently the size of an elephant, more than I’ve dared to look at myself in the mirror in the past week. It’s not about vanity; it’s about the blasting pain I feel when I get up and the blood rushes back to my foot. Surgery is the price to pay for ski season. After all, I do …

How To Become a Gallerina(o)

Ga-lle-ri-na (noun) – as defined by Urban Dictionary (my favorite), “The waif-like girls in opaque tights who rule the art galleries in Chelsea and other art districts. Like ballerinas, they are generally delicate-looking, coiffed, and can come off as cold. “ Art Gallery + Ballerina = Gallerina Although the term is as feminine as can be, gallerina applies to girls and boys alike, and we’ve all been gallerinas at one point or another (normally in your first job in a gallery). If you’ve been working in the art gallery circuit for over 5 years and you’re still a gallerina – run for the hills, my friend because something’s not right. This delectable term and stereotype came to my attention in 2008 when I was a sophomore in university, thanks to this must-read NY Times piece. I was majoring in Art History and interning at Marlborough Gallery in New York, and this article was my epiphany. The universe asked, What do you want to be when you ‘grow up’? 19 year-old me: A Gallerina! WHAT DO THESE GATEKEEPERS TO THE ART WORLD ACTUALLY DO, YOU ASK?  Gallerinas …

Canvassing for Colombia

Written for issue 5 of Suitcase Magazine I am extending a formal invitation to my favorite place on Earth: the place where palenqueras – dark, beautiful women clothed in colourful skirts and dresses – carry deep trays filled with fresh fruit on their head; the ancient entrance to South America that was once the object of desire of every pirate in the Caribbean; the old, walled city where vallenato is heard at all hours and a mix of sweet, delicious coconut pie, ocean and ceviche fill the air. This, my friends, is Cartagena de Indias, the most magical place in the world. In the past ten years this city of stories and legends, lust and love has become a cultural hub in Latin America. Next year, the name, Cartagena, will be ringing in your ears even more as from the 7th February until the 7th April 2014, the city will play host to the first biennial in Colombia: the International Contemporary Art Biennial Cartagena de Indias (BIACE). With the purpose of promoting contemporary domestic talent, a range of 150 to 200 local and international …

Is Buying Art as an Investment a Good Idea?

Buying art purely as an investment is a very risky business, in my opinion. This morning I read an article in El Economista about Javier Lumbreras, the founder and director of the Artemundi Global Fund (AGF) where he talks about how there is no doubt in his mind that collecting art is currently the best investment as it will never lose its value, it is anti-inflation, the risk is very low, and the art market is booming. A few big figures were thrown in here and there by the author of the article, Vicente Gutierrez, like the fact that the art market is currently a $60 B I L L I O N dollar industry (Oh my!). However, Gutierrez failed to specify the minor detail that these $60 billion dollars don’t represent fine art sales only: they encompass everything from luxury goods to real estate, to wines and memorabilia, decorative art and contemporary art. It is a very fragmented market and so that massive figure presented on its own is very, and I mean very, misleading. This article got me …

The Holy Grail of the Auction World: The Mighty Auctioneer Book

This might seem absolutely ridiculous but I admit it, the one thing that has been nagging my curiosity for the past four or five years – ever since I got serious about this art “stuff” – is what the hell the auctioneer’s book looks like on the inside. That little black book that is printed an hour before the auction begins and is meant for the for the eyes of the auctioneer only and a couple of other top gear, auction house employees. So many people wish they could get their hands on it to see how many bidders have pre-bided on a lot (absentee bids), who is consigning the work (we all like a little gossip here and there), and names, newly scribbled bids and the amount of eager telephone bidders that want each lot. If you’re still lost let me put it in simpler terms: it’s physically a book whose pages the auctioneer skims and doodles on as the auction progresses. Get it? Today after years of waiting, asking around, plotting and scheming …