Thursday, December 18, 2008

Art For the Holidays

It is that time of year when we all strive to find the perfect gifts for our loved ones.  Most people get bogged down with the malls and the latest electronic gadgets.  It is easy to buy our brothers his favorite movie of 2008 on high-def DVD, and our sisters that killer top she would look great in.  These are great gifts by all means, but often off-beat gifts are the most memorable.  I will let you in on a little secret...not all art is hundreds of dollars.  There are thousands of art shows, fairs, and galleries across the country where artists offer prints or small originals for under $100.  My favorite Christmas gift was two hand built and painted ceramic plates that my mother found while off-beat shopping.  Not only did I love them, they were the first piece of art in my collection.  I still have them on the wall and think of my mother every time I look at them.   Let's not forget about all of the artist made jewelry, accessories, and handbags.  These pieces are one of a kind (mostly) and who wouldn't appreciate a one of a kind gift?  

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I recently asked a friend, if she were to read a blog about art what would she want to read about?  She replied interpretation.  This reminded me of my college days when I would learn about the history of a painting that I previously hadn't liked and immediately gained a new found respect and even love for the piece.  Is it necessary to know everything about a painting to appreciate and like it?  The answer is no, but it is sometimes easier to enjoy something when you understand it a little better.  Interpretation is key in whether or not you love a work of art.  There are two kinds of interpretations in art.  The first is the artists interpretation.  What did the artist actually mean when he created a piece of art?  Well, only the artist can give an answer to that one.  Not even the most pompous art critic can truthfully answer the artist interpretation.  This may be important, but it is not as important as personal interpretation...that means your interpretation.  What do you think it means as you look at it?  The first thing you can look at is the artist's biography as this helps get you in mindset of the artist.  The next thing you can look at is the title of the piece.  Sometimes it this is the easiest way to understand a work of art.  The next thing to do is to personalize it.  What does the scene remind you of?  How do the colors look together, and how does that make you feel?  Are the brush strokes vigorous and expressionistic or are they soft and planed?    Your personal interpretation is never wrong.  The artist's and your interpretation go hand and hand, and many times if you really take the time to look at the painting and the artists life, you can figure out the artists intention.  Many people are better at interpreting art than they think...people come into the gallery and ask me to explain a painting, I ask them first what they think it means.  They tell me, and more times than not they are telling me what I would have told them.  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Authentication and Appraisal

After perusing the different websites out there about art and investment art I thought I would post this tid-bit of knowledge for you.  Just because a dealer or gallery boasts that a piece of work has a high appraisal value does, by no means, mean that it is actually worth that much (don't get confused by words that some unethical galleries/dealers throw around.)  An appraiser usually works under the assumption that a work of art is authentic.  Despite what you may think there are a lot of fakes and forgeries out there.  An appraiser is not an authenticator (although many appraisers are experienced and know what to look for in an authentic work by a particular artist.)  There are also only a handful of official authenticators for certain artists.  For example there are only four authenticators for Salvador Dali, one for Pablo Picasso.  If you decide to have a work of art appraised, find an experienced one that you can trust.  Having a work of art authenticated or appraised is not necessary to own it.  Buying art should be fun!