Tag Archives: art

How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake Art Buyers Make.

 

I was in Washington D.C. attending a conference for social studies teachers. The conference developed some major problems with over booking of session spaces.  This had the effect of leaving a large crowd of history teachers in walking distance of the National Mall with nothing to do for an afternoon.  A history nut within walking distance of the Smithsonian Museums and the National Gallery Of Art with nothing to do?  Yeah right…

In a flash I was out the door.   I went to the National Museum of the American Indian where upon hitting the gift shop I saw a Clown Clan Koshare.  It was a clay figurine representing the Hopi Clown Clan and made by a Hopi Indian.  It was only about 6-7 inches tall and hand-made and painted.  This was not your typical tourist trap ceramic doll.  It was a real piece of sculpture. The clown is seated with a watermelon in his hands and featured the traditional black and white stripes of the clown clan. The price for the figure was perfect, being on the low-end of  what you’d expect for fine southwestern art of this type.  It was a good bargain for a real piece of  Native American art.  Not that any of this actually mattered.  I liked it.  I wanted it.

It was at that point where my brain became my worst enemy.  I stood there contemplating how I could get it back home without damaging it or having it lost at the airport.  I decided that it would be best for me to wait until the last day of the conference and come back with a better plan on how to stuff it in a backpack to carry it on the plane.  So, grudgingly, I left without buying it.  When I came back the next day, it was gone.  I found out it sold later the same afternoon I had visited.

Thus, I learned the harshest lesson of art.  If you find a piece of art that is handmade, authentic, and you really like it.  Buy it.  Don’t worry how you will get it back home. You may never get another chance to get it. I learned the hard way that sometimes you only get one chance to own art.  Oh, and the salt in the wound?  I realized at that moment, I could’ve had it shipped home.

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Want to know more?   Check out this article at the Peabody Museum  http://tinyurl.com/d47v9q3  and a modern description of the way a clown acts during the ceremonies at http://www.sfaol.com/life/koshares.html

 

How Will You Benefit From The Dallas Museum of Art’s No Admission Fee?

Great news!   The Dallas Museum of Art has announced on 11/27/12 that they are doing away with admission and membership fees on January 27th 2013. More here.  This is a fabulous development.  Why?

 

1. Convenience – Money is a serious consideration in doing anything and admission fees play a huge role in what people want to do and what they actually do.  There are now 2 museums in downtown Dallas, The DMA and The Crow Collection of Asian Art. Both are within easy walking distance of each other and both will be free.   They are top quality museums that allow you to spend hours in admiring both ancient and modern art.

 

2.  Opportunity – For many people, no fees mean a chance to go see forms of culture and history that they would not ordinarily get a chance to see.   More people walking through an exhibit mean a greater chance for donations and volunteers to the museum.  It also provides an opportunity for people to give donations according to what they can afford and get a feeling that they belong to a special organization.  This will stimulate the need for more exhibitions and even more art.  When that art exhibition is photography, it means more demand for photographs.

 

3.  Exposure–  What photographer doesn’t like excellent exposure? The lack of admission and membership fees is good for new converts to the modern art world.  This includes people seeing photography as an art.  I find it likely, as photography becomes more and more accepted as an art form, free admission will result in more viewers seeing more photos in a form recognized as fine art. Over time, more viewers lead to more patrons and patrons mean more business.  This encourages a greater understanding and acceptance of photography as a fine art.

 

This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.  Museums get more members and donations, more people see and get education in the arts, and more people get to see photography as a fine art form that leads to business opportunities for all photographers. It’s a good day for photographic art.

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5 Issues Decorating with Light and Fine Art

 

If the light source of a room is from windows or a skylight, your decorating design will need to be different from a dark hallway or windowless room. Lighting is the lifeblood of any art.  Why?  Color.  Different light levels and types of light can influence the color of a displayed picture.  What does the room look like during the daytime hours?   Are you positioning your artwork to take advantage of the light sources?  Light and color attract the eye.  The pictures above are of the same piece of plastic under a different type of lighting to give you a sense of how dramatic the change in color is.  Use this to your advantage when placing your art.

1. Non-direct natural light is best.  If the light source is from a series of windows, diffuse any excess light with window dressings like shears or light draperies.

2. Avoid direct sunlight.   It will wash out all colors and eventually ruin photographs and other fine arts.

3. Avoid fluorescent lights when possible.  These lights give off a harsh light.  Thus giving things a different color tint.  Further, many people report having migraines if subjected to fluorescent lights for an extended length of time.

4.  Be careful with halogen lights.  Not only can the light source be bright but also halogens spotlights are known to give off heat.   They are useable, but keep them away from any fabrics, drapes, or photographs.

5.  Be careful with soft white or yellow lights.  Yellow lights are, well, yellow.  They offer a wonderful mellow warming effect against cool colors like blue.  However, too much yellow will change the color.

All lights have their uses.   It is impossible to say that you should use only this type of light or that type of light every time.  Determining the effect that you want the lighting to have in a room before hand will aid you in choosing the types of lighting that will go best for your situation.

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Does Your Art Have Heft?

Here is a post brought to us by Michael Zhang of Petapixel.  http://tinyurl.com/cxcutk6 about a review of photographic art by Andrew Graham-Dixon of The Telegraph in London.

It’s a great post, and the article in The Telegraph http://tinyurl.com/corwqco is worth a read also. However, I do not think that Mr. Dixon is a big fan of photography. He is too busy lifting the weight, heft, of his bias towards only one form of art. The quote in the article is:

“The truth is that very few photographers have ever produced images with the weight of thought and feeling found in the greatest paintings. The camera is certainly an artistic tool, and photos can certainly be works of art. But can they be works of art of the same order as paintings? Modern critical orthodoxy would say yes. But the real answer is no. Photography lacks the depth and heft, the thinking sense of touch, that painting possesses.

That is why the greatest images of the last 150 years– the images people argue about, contest, return to again and again – are not photographs but paintings”

This made me wonder what would happen if we started to look at other forms of fine art from the same hefty reference point.

“The truth is that very few sculptors have ever produced works with the weight of thought and feeling found in the greatest paintings. Clay for bronze casting is certainly an artistic tool, and sculptures can certainly be works of art. But can they be works of art of the same order as paintings? Modern critical orthodoxy would say yes. But the real answer is no. Sculpture lacks the depth and heft, the thinking sense of touch, that painting possesses.

That is why the greatest art of the last 150 years– the art people argue about, contest, return to again and again – are not sculptures but paintings.”

Nope, still sounds rather hefty.  I wonder how he would define a class of preschool finger painting?
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Do You Only Make One Print?

 

I came across this post on the Fashion Copious blog.  The author of the post claims that the reason photography has a hard time being considered a fine art is due to making multiple copies of our photographs.

I more and more believe that photographers who want to be taken seriously as fine artists should only produce a single production of a photo. The same way a painter only paints a single one off. This idea of producing multiple copies in editions is utter…” “ and the reason why art photography is perceived inferior to painting, sculpture, etc… Artist’s Proof is another marketing joke in the life of a photographer. No guts, no glory.”-   http://goo.gl/ctXTA .

Is it true?    Naturally, I have my own ideas.  But I’d like to hear from both the fellow photographers and the people who buy and collect art.

 

Would photography be more respected as an art if photographers only allowed one print of their work made?