What is Environmental Art?

Environmental art, also referred to as ecological art, is a genre that encompasses a blend of both craft and nature. The idea of showcasing the Earth through art has been around since the dawn of man, starting with paleolithic cave paintings. They were, in essence, the beginning of landscape art. Back then, their only purpose was to display the beauty of nature itself, not to send any type of political message. In this era of a growing concern for our planet, a lot of people are feeling ecologically motivated to send a social message along with displaying their talent. There is a strong movement towards educating the public about growing concerns all around us. 

Instead of using nature as merely a background that is used to tell human tales, many artists nowadays are working alongside nature to create works of art in order to convey a deeper message about climate change and how it relates to society as a whole. By choosing a specific landscape to showcase their work instead of working within the confines of a studio, environmental artists help draw their audiences’ attention to the canvas of nature itself. This can help bring attention in a positive way to those areas that need human intervention.

Some artists in this field have chosen to express themselves in a very literal sense, using only all-natural materials and working only within natural landscapes. This can be rural, urban, or a combination of both. These particular artists try to achieve two things simultaneously – they seek to display a certain area as it has always been in its natural state, while also transforming it into a new vision to send a message. The purpose of having a twofold goal in mind is to help people see the existing world around them from a new perspective. 

A common thread among environmental artists, regardless of location, is that they must do no harm. Their purpose is to raise awareness while drawing attention to a specific area or plight without harming it further. Some artists take a more figurative approach, but most of them will use organic material in order to represent their subject matter. The types of substances they might use include rocks, sticks, leaves, sand, flowers, or water, to name just a few. This leaves them open to vulnerability, much like in nature itself which falls prey to the changing of the seasons and predictable decay. 

 

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.

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.

 

Tips for Starting An Art Gallery– According to the Experts

 

The most important consideration for individuals who plan to start an art gallery is to know your target audience. The next most important tip is to study the planned location of the gallery.

 

In large urban areas like New York City, starting an art gallery is a relatively simple matter of choosing a location with a lot of daily foot traffic. In large crowded urban cities, there is less worry about a target audience since throngs of people pass by an art gallery and, on impulse stop in due to an art collection that captures their attention. In these large cities, art galleries crop up on sidewalks, in local parks and in strip malls.

 

The Grand Opening of an Art Gallery

The most momentous occasion for a prospective art gallery owner is the Grand Opening. This event should attract artists, art lovers and buyers. Choose a specific theme for the Grand Opening that becomes a signature style of the gallery’s offerings to create the gallery brand.

 

This event should create a lasting memory of your gallery’s purpose and artistic potential for a wide range of patrons. A Grand Opening announcement should be done several weeks before the date of the opening through advertisements and public relations. Don’t be afraid to contact local dignitaries for a “ribbon cutting” ceremony.

 

An Art Gallery with Curb Appeal

The other facet of starting an art gallery is creating a proactive calendar of gallery events. These events include guest artists’ collections or an open house during the holidays. The purpose of starting an art gallery should be clearly defined before a location is chosen. Decide whether renting or leasing is within budget.

 

Advertising and PR – Tools for a Solid Start

Experts agree that art galleries with the greatest success are those who have a well designed advertising and public relations program in place. An effective advertising plan should include social media and some form of hard copy ads in local papers and magazines.

 

The public relations plan should focus on encouraging regular gallery patrons of the art. Successful art galleries often choose activities for patrons like a “wine and cheese” art collectors’ and buyers’ soiree. Don’t be afraid to start gallery events with a program by professionals in art restorations and identifying valuable works of art.

 

Collectors and Buyers – The Lifeblood of a Startup Art Gallery

Obviously, without art collectors and buyers, a gallery’s finances suffer. Before the Grand Opening, create a list of potential collectors and buyers for the type of works of art that will be on display.