Beginners Guide to Art Auctions

The battlefield in the art world has always taken place at the art auctions where wealthy collectors and art speculators have all converged in the salesroom to compete with each other. It provides a strange delight for the onlookers who have attended the event to specifically have a look at all the action. When an art auction performs poorly, it undermines the confidence of the entire industry. For those getting started, it can be tremendous fun to watch, and sometimes the record-high prices elicit a gasp and roaring applause. If a person has no familiarity with the baroque logic of the art auctions, it might sound like an impenetrable mystery.

 

The Auctioneer

The showman of the art world, the auction employs humor and drama to raise the prices even from the most reluctant of bidders. Each auctioneer has his signature style, and the younger generation of art gavelers has leaned more towards the edgy and in-your-face style.

 

The Hammer

Known as the Excalibur of the auctioneer, he wields this combination of baton and judge’s gavel with astounding alacrity. When it comes down, sometimes it taps the table lightly. Other times, a crashes with an unmistakable thunk to show a sale has been completed.

 

Paddle

A snooty cousin of the ping pong paddle, this numbered instrument gets used as a telegraph to bid. Many of the high-flying buyers have chosen one of the more discreet approached to help in signaling the auctioneer, but sometimes the process can be as simple as nodding.

 

Appraisal

An appraisal gives the art collector the approximate market value of the items at the auction house. This is the process of developing an informed opinion on the value of an art collection. This will get assigned to a lot from the specialists of the auction house.

 

Estimate

The estimate is what a particular work will fetch in the sale. Art collectors will see both the high end of the estimate and the lower estimate. For example, they might have something that says anywhere from $14,000,000 to $18,000,000.

 

These are some of the terms for a beginner to understand about art auctions. Sometimes a dealer will bid on behalf of an artist he or she represents, and he ensures that the price of the work never drops below a specific price range.

Celebrities With Impressive Art Collections

Celebrities have the financial means to spend their money on a number of expensive hobbies- a popular choice as of late is collecting art by world-renowned artists. Listed here are celebrities with the most impressive art collections.

1. George Lucas
George Lucas is a filmmaker who loves to collect pieces of American Illustration. Amongst his collection are pieces by Norman Rockwell. In fact, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg lent a portion of their collections to the Smithsonian for an exhibit.

2. Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer is a famous actor who happens to be a collector of Contemporary Sculpture featuring artists such as Roxy Paine. Rumor has it that he is working toward building a sculpture park on the large property he owns in New Mexico.

3. Jane Holzer
Jane Holzer is an avid art collector, movie producer, and Warhol Superstar of the past. She collects Contemporary art from a variety of artists including Andy Warhol, Fischli and Weiss, Andreas Hofer, Jean Michele Basquiat, Jonathan Seliger, Christopher Wool, and many, many more. She has real estate in Palm Springs and from there is mostly a full-time art collector.

4. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt is an actor and art collector of contemporary art and modern and contemporary design. His collection includes work by artists such as Banksy, Yayoi Kusama, Neo Rauch, and Marcel Dzama.

5. Maddona
In 2009, Maddona’s art collection was valued at a whopping $160 million! The singer/actress collects artwork in the realm of contemporary and modern (with an emphasis on powerful female artists). Among them the famous Frida Kahlo, Tamara de Lempicka, Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Damien Hirst, Man Ray. She enjoys art depicting often controversial and thought-provoking scenes.

6. Neil Patrick Harris
Actor Neil Patrick Harris is a collector of contemporary and Americana artworks by artists such as Andrew Sendor, Tony Payne, and Darina Karpov. Several times, Neil Patrick Harris has opened his home to show his collection as an effort to raise money for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles- and has proven to be successful in doing so.

7. Steve Martin
Steve Martin is an actor/comedian who has become more outspoken over the years becoming an advocate of the arts. He collects pieces of modern masters including Pablo Picasso and Georgia O’Keefe.

Art Collecting’s Technological Transition

The world of art collecting is being transformed by apps like Artland, Artsy, and Magnus, as well as websites like Paddle8. These resources bring the hobby of art collecting to people who cannot frequent gallery shows and art auctions, leveling the playing field among collectors. While these options broaden the pool of potential buyers, they have been met with resistance from those heavily involved in the art scene.

 

Each technological option operates in its own way. Artland, for instance, charges galleries a monthly subscription fee to list pieces on their service, through which both aspiring and seasoned collectors offer bids for individual pieces. Artsy focuses on educating novice collectors on the practice of art collection, and, like Artland, offers galleries a monthly subscription to show their pieces. Magnus serves as an aid to those attending shows and auctions, allowing the collector to capture a picture of the piece in question with their phone and run it through a database that estimates its potential value based on the artist’s other works. Paddle8 operates as an online auction house that has recently stepped into the future by collaborating with The Native to orchestrate auctions accepting bitcoin.

 

Each forum is designed to bring art to the masses, but current collectors hesitate to accept them. Many are concerned with robbing art collection of its exclusivity and mystique. By having prices available, the art world runs the risk of becoming an open market instead of an invitation only world, bringing prices down. Conversely, supporters of these apps praise them for their openness and demand even more transparency; only one third of the pieces listed on Artsy include prices, which is a staunch difference between Paddle8, which makes it a point to be upfront about monetary details.

 

Despite conflicting views, apps like Artland are poised to launch the world of art collecting into the future. Forbes quotes CEO Mattis Curth, “Until now, the art world has been small. Lowering barriers to entry will lead to a bigger market.” Without these barriers that the pioneers in art collecting’s digital age intend to complete their mission: to bring the art world out of its selective community and into the light, where any art lover has the power to view and purchase collections they otherwise would not have seen.

 

Most Valuable Art Collections in the World

Art collection supports local artists and the value it presents to society as a whole. In fact, art collecting has grown so big that the top five players in the game have more than $11 billion in assets. Art has become one of the most lucrative investments a human being can put their money into. In fact, to put art collecting into perspective, the Orange Marilyn silkscreens of Andy Warhol were originally bought for $2,400 in the ’60s. Auctioned at the turn of the century, they sold for $17 million, which is a 102,000% value increase in 40 years.

 

Here are some of the most valuable art collections in the world:

 

Francois Pinault

 

A total collection value of $1.4 billion dollars, Francois Pinault has a combined personal wealth of around $14 billion. Even small beginnings can have a massive influence, and when looking at Francois Pinault, he began from small beginnings. He started chopping wood in 1963, but he soon turned his business into a thriving profession. He grew smarter. Some of the investments he has made include Puma, Château Latour vineyard and one of the world’s largest art collections.

 

Philip Niarchos

 

Having a total collection value of $2.2 billion, Niarchos has a personal wealth of around $2.2 billion. Some of the collection of masterpieces include one of the world’s largest private stockpiles of Van Gogh and even the iconic “Self Portrait,” which took place before he cut his ear off. He bought it for $71.5 million, and he bought “Yo Picasso” for $47.9 million.

 

Eli Broad

 

Featuring a collection value of $2.2 and a personal wealth of $7.1 billion, Eli Broad has sometimes been called the “Lorenzo Medici of Los Angeles.” He’s a self-made billionaire who has done some famous philanthropic work. Broad’s interest in art dates to 1973 when he bought the Van Gogh drawing, “Cabanes a Saintes-Maries.” He picked up some other pieces like Picasso, Miro and Matisse. His collection has since expanded to include the likes of Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. He has over 2,000 artworks.

 

These are some of the most valuable art collections in the world. As art collectors, each of these men hold a special regard and respect in the art community.

 

Art as a Tourist Attraction

 

The concept of displaying art in galleries and museums have been around for over a century. Artists who are able to put their masterpieces somewhere that hundreds of people will see is a dream come true. While galleries and museums are still the end-goal for most artists, there is now a growing trend of seeing art in one of its purest forms, on the street. Thousands of tourists flock to various cities around the world, to get a picture of some of the murals and street art designed for the area. Check out some of the places, best known for their free displays of craftsmanship.

 

Miami. Florida

 

Becoming a famous locations for mural photo opportunities, the Wynwood Wall area of Miami is now a must-see for those visiting the city. Most are aware that every December, the city hosts a huge art fair, called Art Basel. The event brings in artists from around the world to showcase their contemporary art. The show is mostly for new and up-and-coming artists and a majority of the three-day affair is held at the Wynwood Wall. However, December isn’t the only time the walls get their chance to shine. All through the year tourists find themselves lined up to take some social media-worthy pictures in front of the massive displays of art. As Miami is such a colorful city without the walls, there are dozens of other beautiful murals around the area to see.

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

Many are surprised to find out that along with Brotherly Love, the city of Philadelphia is also nicknames, the City of Murals. All of the art that lines the streets of Philadelphia can be credited to the Mural Arts Program, the largest public art program in the United States. In an effort to reduce the harsh graffiti happening, the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network gave artists free canvas’ allowing them to express the deeper community issues through mural creation. Thousands of people visit this northeastern city just to see some of the well-crafted and meaningful murals on display.

 

Nashville, Tennessee

 

As the city of Nashville is becoming more of a tourist destination than ever before, the murals have become an integral part of the experience. From the notable “I Believe in Nashville” mural to the Draper James stripes right across the street, there are opportunities for art lovers all around. Everyone who passes it, has to take a photo in front of the 20 feet tall What Lifts You Wings. Even just taking your picture in front of it makes you feel as though you can do anything, even fly. From fun flowers to abstract colors and shapes, Nashville has murals for everyone to pose in front of or save as a unique new screen saver.