NEWS

Art market trends, insights and tips on buying, selling & collecting art...

#19 THE REAL COST OF SELLING AT AUCTION


Have you ever wondered why the art market isn’t a more widely-considered asset class with a greater liquidity? In this post I explore the mechanisms which help drive (and thwart) the market here in Australia, from a perspective that you may have not yet considered...

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#18 9 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS TO VALUING AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART


  An Early Broad Shield   nineteenth century, New South Wales   To be offered for sale in my June exhibition of  Important Australian Indigenous Art .

An Early Broad Shield
nineteenth century, New South Wales
To be offered for sale in my June exhibition of Important Australian Indigenous Art.

In my line of work I'm often asked 'How do you place a value on art?' 

In some cases this question is asked from a philosophical viewpoint, from which I'll spare you the answer. 

Mostly, though, it's a question from people with a serious interest in starting or building on their collections and wanting a strong framework with which to make their buying and selling decisions.

It got me thinking, while placing a value on an Indigenous artwork utilises many of the same criteria as with 'Western art', there are also many differences in our approach...

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#17 THE TOP 5 POSTS TO HELP BUILD YOUR ART COLLECTION IN 2017


As 2016 comes to an emphatic end, no one can be in any doubt that 2017 is going to be a very interesting and exciting year.  All eyes will be on global market movements over the next 12 months but it's safe to say that astute investing in objects of beauty, rarity and value will continue to be an enriching and rewarding experience.

Here are my top 5 posts that will help build your art collection in 2017...

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#16 ART MARKET INSIDER GUIDE / DECEMBER 2016


If I could sum up the 2016 Australian art market in a concise fashion it would be: the high-end excelled and the mid-low range languished.

In general, 2016 has seen marked positive shift for Indigenous and non-Indigenous art on the secondary market, highlighted by several extraordinary results at Sotheby's in London for Indigenous art and backed up with several record barriers being moved by Sotheby's Australia earlier this month. Both auctions highlighted the fact that important works with impeccable provenance and exhibition history and that haven't been overly exposed to the market, will garner significant attention by astute collectors...

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#14 THE COLLECTORS GUIDE: THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVENANCE


When a painting titled Five Stories by Papunya artist, Michael Nelson Jagamarra came up for auction recently at Sotheby’s in London, it was surprising to see it given pre-sale estimates of £150,000-200,000.  

A quick glance through Jagamara’s AASD entry will show that the highest price previously achieved for his work on the secondary market was AU$17,080 – which was for a painting sold at Mossgreen in 2012 and the next two highest results were way back in 2004.  

In the end the Sotheby’s estimates actually looked somewhat conservative and many in the industry were scratching their heads when the painting was eventually knocked down for over double its high estimate to achieve £401,000 IBP (AU$687,875) - an auction record for any living Australian Indigenous artist.

How did this astronomical result come about?  What drove the buyers to bid so feverishly for the painting at auction?

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  MICHAEL NELSON JAGAMARA, born 1948,   Five Stories.   Sold at Sotheby's in London, September 2016 for £401,000 IBP

MICHAEL NELSON JAGAMARA, born 1948, Five Stories. Sold at Sotheby's in London, September 2016 for £401,000 IBP

#13 AUCTION REVIEW: ABORIGINAL ART AT SOTHEBY’S, LONDON


 WARLIMPIRRINGA TJAPALTJARRI, born circa 1959  Untitled  Sold for £167,000 IBP

WARLIMPIRRINGA TJAPALTJARRI, born circa 1959
Untitled
Sold for £167,000 IBP

I was recently in London for the second annual auction of Aboriginal Art at Sotheby’s, curated by Tim Klingender. I was bidding on behalf of several clients and it was encouraging to see the market at work from an international perspective.  Although the results were uneven, there were several standout results which only the international market and the international brand could deliver.

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#12 THE FASTEST GROWING MARKET SECTOR NOBODY TALKS ABOUT


 An Important Private Collection of Shields, nineteenth century and earlier

An Important Private Collection of Shields, nineteenth century and earlier

The fastest growing market sector in recent years is undoubtedly Private Sales.  We only have to look at recent moves by Christies and Sotheby’s to further expand their private sale showrooms internationally as well as Sotheby’s acquisition earlier this year of art advisory firm Art Agency, Partners to see that the big guys are investing heavily in this area...

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#11 RAISING THE BAR

  EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE, circa 1910-1996   Wild Yam and Emu Food  , 1990

EMILY KAME KNGWARREYE, circa 1910-1996
Wild Yam and Emu Food, 1990

After battle-testing my 3-tiered platform for almost 12 months it’s time to take stock of what has worked and what can be improved so that I can continue providing you with the best possible service...

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#10 ART MARKET INSIDER GUIDE / JULY 2016


This quarter’s Art Market Insider Guide will focus solely on the current state of the Australian Indigenous Art Market.  As well as being my main area of expertise, it’s a field that has been severely affected by global markets as well as ill-timed (and ill-considered) government policies over the last decade.  However, several shifts I have observed in recent years indicate a clear and positive renewed interest for Australian Indigenous Art.  I will examine these shifts and provide reasons for my optimism in this post.

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#9 GET BACK TO BASICS: COLLECTING AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ARTEFACTS


For the last 20 years the market for Australian Indigenous artefacts has shown steady growth with objects of beauty, rarity and a solid provenance in strong demand among a focused group of collectors and institutions.

The market has broadened over the past several years with artefacts now being viewed as artworks in their own right. Taking the form of a shield, club, boomerang or any other tool developed over generations to cope with the harsh Australian environment, these objects, when placed in a gallery or private collection, easily hold their own form alongside paintings and other sculpture...

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#8 JANUARY-JUNE 2016: TOTAL SALES


It seems incredible that it has been 6 months since I launched my new business – it has been a very exciting time. 

With my annual exhibition now finished I can take a breath and look back at how my new venture has performed since January - I am thrilled with the results...

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#6 BARKS: BEAUTIFUL, RAW, CHALLENGING...& UNDERVALUED


One of the first questions I get asked by people when they find out I sell art for a living is:

“How did you get into that?”

And for me it’s always the same, simple answer:

“Barks.”

One of the most affordable mediums in the Indigenous art market today is also one of the most important in terms of their cultural and historical significance. For this reason I believe they are still largely under-valued and under-appreciated. But I also believe that the recognition of the importance of bark paintings is gaining strength at a collector level. I will explain why in this post...

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#5 IMPORTANT AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART - OPENING NIGHT


On Thursday 2 June William Mora and I opened our inaugural exhibition of Important Australian Indigenous Art at his gallery in Richmond. The night was a great success and we'd like to thank everyone who came along. 

The exhibition will continue until 30 June, Wednesday to Saturday from 10am-4pm.  You can also check out the catalogue here.

Or, for more opening night photos, click here to read more.
 

SYDNEY HOME YIELDS RARE CLUB


Peter Fish - Australian Financial Review - 1 June 2016

Aboriginal-art specialist D'lan Davidson, formerly with Mossgreen and Sotheby's Australia but now operating his own business specialising in tribal art sales, has turned up a rarity – a Sydney Aboriginal sword club which is said to date from early in the 18th century. Apparently the club has been in a Sydney private collection, unidentified, for some 30 years.

The leaf-shaped club, 88cm long, bears a distinctive zig-zag design. It has already attracted interest at around $30,000 and will go on display at an exhibition this month.

Davidson says the Sydney clubs were used as weapons in the early colonial days, but only a handful survived and were preserved. He says one is in the Australian Museum and another in the Charles Heape collection at the Manchester University Museum in England...

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#4 IMPORTANT AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART - WITH WILLIAM mORA: VIDEO


I launched this new venture at the start of the year with the goal to bring a quality selection of artworks to the market on a monthly basis, while retaining the most exceptional, top-tier works to showcase in an annual exhibition.

As the date of the opening for this exclusive exhibition approaches, William Mora and I sit down and discuss a few highlights in this short video...

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#3 ART MARKET INSIDER GUIDE


A quarterly look at top trends and artists to watch each season

One of my goals in business is to provide honest, straight-forward advice in a market that can be a difficult place to navigate. With this in mind I’m going to write a post each quarter that will be an ‘insider guide’ to what the major players have been up to and who have been the key movers, in terms of artists and artistic periods, selling at auction and privately...

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#2 FLYING UNDER THE RADAR: tHE DISCOVERY OF A LOST MASTERPIECE


   George W Lambert's portrait of an unidentified sitter, found at auction in the UK.


George W Lambert's portrait of an unidentified sitter, found at auction in the UK.

It sometimes happens that important artworks fly under the radar at auction. In many cases the work may be unsigned or have been attributed to the wrong artist at some stage in its life and never corrected.  The work may also have been passed down through generations and its significance lost over time. 

These lost artworks occasionally find themselves in one of the many small, provincial auction houses around the world and sold for a fraction of their true value had they been identified, correctly attributed and marketed to the right audience.  

In the internet age not a whole lot gets missed anymore and competition can be fierce.  However with the right knowledge and a lot of perseverance, finding these hidden gems can be a rewarding and often very profitable experience.  In this post I share some of my best tips and strategies to discovering important works that fly under the radar...

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