How to Choose the Right Auction House for Your Art

The high end art market is dominated by three main auction houses, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg. These three powerhouses have existed for centuries. When choosing an auction house from these three for your art, it’s important to take a variety of factors into consideration.

Guarantees

Obviously money is an important factor in selling your art. Many auction houses’ success has stemmed from their guarantees, which ensure that the seller receives the amount of money they expect for their art regardless of how much it is is sold for at the auction.

Guarantees, however, can lead to conflict, especially when the top three high end auction houses are trying to work with a limited number of the same collectors. Remember that money is not normally the deciding factor when collectors are choosing an auction house. Clients often place more importance on personal relationships and the auction house’s past record.

Relationships

Personal relationships are one of the most important factors in choosing an art auction house. These days, clients have a lot to be worried about: dips in the economy, terrorist attacks, and talk of price fixing. They’re looking for an art auction house that is reassuring, personal, and professional. In a consignment based industry such as art auctions, networking and word of mouth referrals are extremely important. Each of the auction houses have different connections with sellers, clients, and fields.

Field Speciality

Each of the three high end houses have unique specialties. Sotheby’s is known for their expertise in American furniture and photography, while Christie’s specializes in European furniture, as well as books and manuscripts. While to an extent Phillips is still establishing its business, the auction house seems to be focusing on Impressionist, Modern, and contemporary art. Phillips now also includes one of the top automobile auctioneers, Bonham & Brooks. The best auction house will have a specialty that matches your art.

Track Record

Past performance is another important factor to take into consideration when selecting an art auction house. Christie’s is one of the world’s top art auction houses. In 2000 they had $2.3 billion in sales! Sotheby’s, on the other hand, has won 20 of the top 25 single-owner sales. These included the estate sales of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. It’s important to choose an art auction house with a track record that matches your goals.

When selecting one of the top three high-end auction houses, you need to consider their financial guarantees, the relationships you’ll be able to build, their field speciality, and past track record.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

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How to Choose the Right Auction House for Your Art

Inside the AI-Created Piece of Art

The day has come where Artificial Intelligence is now creating works of art. Many of us never thought we would see the day, and for many more of us, the thought that this day might come never even occurred to us. But, “robots” are creating art – and the first piece has sold for $432,500.

The high price tag was unexpected, as officials predicted it to go for anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000. That is the beauty of auctions such as Christie’s, the art house in NYC where this was sold. Christie’s wonders if AI art creation is the next big medium for the world stage.

The AI system that created this artwork, which is titled “Portrait of Edmond Belamy,” was constructed with a learning algorithm; both the AI system and the algorithm were designed by an art collective in Paris called Obvious.

There are similarities to this painting that compare to those famous ones through history. Many believe the subject matter, Edmond Belamy, is a man of the church due to his white collar and dark clothes. The man looks toward the painter in an austere manner with a fixed but abstract background. Conversely, the face is less defined than those in many paintings which it would be compared to. Christie’s offers this difference, along with the empty areas of the background.

The painting was described by Richard Lloyd, sale organizer at Christie’s, as not being much different from those that they have been selling for hundreds of years.
The process, on the other hand, was vastly different than any other painting that has been through Christie’s. Obvious, the art collective, put a total of 15,000 portraits from between the 14th and 20th centuries into the Artificial Intelligence learning system, then activated the “Generator” to create a new image. After the “Generator,” the next step is the “Discriminator,” which works to find the differences between the original portraits and those generated. The goal is, essentially, to fool the discriminator.

Obvious has experienced with AI-created art in many subjects, from portraits and life scenes to nature, but have found their best results with traditional style portraits.

While this may open up questions about who the official artist is to receive credit, Obvious chose to “sign” the painting at the bottom, not with a name, but with a part of the algorithm they created.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Inside the AI-Created Piece of Art

How to Start an Art Collection for Beginners

No matter what your age is, if you have always admired art and have wanted to have your own art collection to view, appreciate, and enhance your home, following are some suggestions as to how you can slowly begin this exciting and unique hobby/investment:

 

Research Before Buying

 

Have the fun of getting to know what type of art and which artists really appeal to you. You can do a lot of that online at your leisure, but it is even more enjoyable if you are able to go to art galleries, openings, exhibitions, and art fairs to get a major feel for what will really “turn you on.”

 

Find out about the artists, their various works, what their styles are, the galleries where they have been featured and shows they have been in, their previous sales, and as much information as you can put together.

 

A great many artists will also sell their art for extremely reasonable prices on their own websites or on Instagram because they don’t have to pay all the extra costs involved in commissions when represented by galleries. You can also save money by going to auctions during the off-season.

 

Making Purchases

 

Once you have looked at length, realize what your particular tastes are, and you suddenly see something that jumps out at you and is within your budget, go ahead and make the purchase. You will stretch your dollars if you consider an emerging artist that is new with his or her career but is being successful at making sales as compared to a popular and established artist.

 

Consider Prints or Multiples

 

If you just “have” to own a certain piece of art or photographs offered by a particular artist but just cannot afford an original, there are often prints available at a much lower price. For example, check out benefit auctions where the proceeds will go to a specific charity that you are happy to help sponsor.

 

What is Editioned Work?

 

That means that a set number of the prints or photographs has been designated, and once that number has been sold, no more can be purchased. In addition to your knowledge that you have something unique, there is a better chance of the piece increasing in value over time because of being a limited edition.

 

For Pleasure or as an Investment

 

Whichever way you decide to dedicate your art collection, the main idea is to have something delightful to look at and which will add to your decor. ENJOY!

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How to Start an Art Collection for Beginners

What to Know about Robin Williams’ Art Collection Sale

The late comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams was known for his wild standup routines and a wide variety of movie and television performances.

 

Maybe that is why his collection of artwork bears a similar diverse portfolio of some extraordinary and eclectic pieces.

 

Sotheby’s New York is selling the art collection owned by Williams and his former wife Marsha on Thursday, October 4th. The sale is titled: “Creating a Stage: The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams,” and now the public will have the chance to bid on these personal items. Williams was married to Marsha Garces Williams for 20 years, and the couple was avid collectors.

 

The Williams family has decided that proceeds from the auction will be divided among several of the late star’s favorite charities. Some of these organizations include the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Juilliard School, Wounded Warrior Project and Challenged Athletes Foundation.

 

The sale is expected to realize between $3.3 million to $4.7 million, according to Sotheby’s New York.

 

Robin Williams was revered for his unique sense of humor, and the range of objects from his interesting art collection that he shared with his then-wife Marsha reflects their vision. The works feature pricey sculptures, paintings, timepieces, sports and movie memorabilia, a selection of bicycles and design.

 

For instance, the first edition of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (est. $1,500–2,500) is up for auction. Williams starred with Steve Martin in the 1988 production at Lincoln Center.

 

A Gryffindor robe worn by actor Daniel Radcliffe in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is also up for grabs (est. $10,000-$15,000).

 

Robin Williams’s Golden Globe award for his winning role in “Good Morning Vietnam” will also be up on the auction block for bidding (est. $15,000–20,000).

 

A colorful and striking contemporary sculpture titled ” Le poète et sa muse” by artist Niki de Saint-Phalle is also part of the art collection sale (est. $350-450,000).

 

Even the actor’s famous Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque (1990) can be bid on by the public (est. $3,000-5,000). It was presented to Williams by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on the day of the placement of his star.

 

Robin Williams was 63 when he committed suicide in 2014. It was reported that he was suffering from depression.

 

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

What to Know about Robin Williams’ Art Collection Sale

Why You Should Support Local Artists

The importance of supporting small and local businesses is something you may hear often, but you may not know why it is necessary to support these local endeavors. When it comes down to art, individuals may have even more questions about why they should support local artists. Plenty of reasons exist as to why this endeavor is a worthwhile one.

 

Better the Community

When members of a community start to break away from one another, a host of problems often comes to fruition. For example, crime rates may begin to rise because residents don’t seem to care about the neighborhood. It’s also possible that the schools will experience problems as parents and children seem to suffer from a disconnect. Local art helps to bring the community together, which serves as a significant improvement for neighborhoods.

 

Stimulate the Economy

When individuals consider the economy, they often think on a more global level; they may not recognize how much their local economy matters. If they think about the connection between low economic productivity and crime levels, they may then realize why this endeavor is a worthwhile one. When people purchase art from local artists, they are helping to better the local economy.

 

Improve the Environment

Individuals who are interested in local art should find out what the artists are doing to protect the environment. They may very well find that these artists are interested in sustainable methods of producing art. It’s difficult to deny the beauty of a local environment that is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of nature.

 

Motivate the Youth

Many young people are interested in entering into artistic fields, but they often encounter opposition. Mentors may tell them that the arts are not going to provide them with enough money. These young people may also hear that only a few jobs are available. This type of talk can batter their dreams. However, when residents take the time to support the work of local young artists, they can help to motivate these budding artists to pursue their dreams and talents.

 

The community as a whole can improve when people turn their attention to the work of local artists. Some individuals don’t realize this point, but supporting local artists can help every member of the community to thrive.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Why You Should Support Local Artists

Five of the Most Controversial Pieces of Art

Throughout the years, there are many pieces of art that have sparked conversation. But, some pieces of art make a bigger impression and cause controversy. Here are five pieces of artwork that have been considered scandalous.

 

Guernica by Pablo Picasso

This painting by Picasso is mural-sized, at 11 feet 5 inches tall and 25 feet 6 inches wide. The piece of art depicts the 1937 massacre of the Basque village of Guernica. The painting is controversial for political reasons, as it was a stand against the fascist regimes of Spain and Germany at the time. Picasso did not even want the painting displayed in France until peace had been restored to the country.

 

Fountain by Marcel Duchamp

The high point of the Dada movement, Marcel Duchamp submitted this piece to The Society of Independent Artists and was rejected, even though the rules of the exhibition stipulated all pieces be accepted. The piece was a standard urinal turned on its side, with “R.Mutt” written on it. The piece sparked conversations about what art was and refocused art’s purpose from physical practice to intellectual interpretation.

 

Myra by Marcus Harvey

Myra Hindley was one part of the duo responsible for the Moors murders. The portrait of her is made up of children’s handprints. When it was displayed at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 1997, protesters threw eggs and ink at the painting. Hindley herself even wrote to organizers of the exhibition, asking them to remove the painting because of the pain it would cause to the families of the victims.

 

Madame X by John Singer Sargent

Though the painting appears tame compared to plenty of artwork, this piece was the source of big controversy when it was displayed. The painting’s subject, Virginie Amelie Avegno Gautreau, was an infamous adulterer and her pose and dress offended the French sensibility. It was said that the woman’s pose was vulgar, arrogant and self-centered. The painting originally featured the strap of Gautreau’s dress slipping off her shoulder but was later repainted so the strap was in place.

 

The Death of Marat by Jacques Louis David

This painting depicts the murder of French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat. Marat was stabbed by Charlotte Corday who felt he was partly responsible for the more radical course the revolution had taken. The painting was viewed as controversial because it depicts Marat as a martyr for the French Revolution.

 

This article was originally published on EtienneKiss-Borlase.ch.

Five of the Most Controversial Pieces of Art

Lesser Known Art Museums in the United States

If you’re looking to experience some of the great artwork housed in the United States, consider a trip to a museum you may never have heard of. Skip the MOMA and the Met this summer and instead, take the road less traveled.

 

Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Norman Rockwell was an author, painter and artist who reflected American culture in his art. The Norman Rockwell Museum is home to the largest collection of original Rockwell art, including 998 original paintings and drawings. The museum focuses on Rockwell’s work and his contributions to American society, popular culture and social commentary. Rockwell resided in Stockbridge for the last 25 years of his life, so museum visitors can see the influence of the area and the residents in his work on display.

 

The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Dalí Museum is the largest collection of the Salvador Dalí’s works outside of Spain. The museum holds over 2,100 pieces of his surrealist artwork, from every moment and in every medium of Dalí’s artistic activity. The museum was founded by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, friends of Dalí’s who collected the artists work for 40 years before deciding to donate their collection for others to be able to experience the work.

 

Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri

Some curators consider this to be the finest art museum in the United States because of the architecture. The spare, modern setting encourages careful looking and quiet contemplation. The museum is a non-collecting institution, meaning there are only three pieces permanently on display, and presents both classic and contemporary artwork.

 

Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont

The Shelburne Museum is a single collector museum initially founded in 1947 to display the Webb family’s collection of horse-drawn carriages. After realizing she could use it to create a “Collection of collections,” she began collecting historic buildings from New England and New York and relocated them to the Museums grounds. Now, there are 39 unique buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga, on 45 acres of land. The museum displays Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, furniture and American art.

 

American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland

Self-taught artists largely ignored by mainstream art museums have found a home at this eclectic art museum in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s America’s official national museum and education center for intuitive, self-taught artistry. The museum relies on guest curators to populate the collection, and sponsors exhibitions based on a theme and not a specific artist or art style.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Art-In-Trust website. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Lesser Known Art Museums in the United States