6 posts categorized "Art As Vice"

July 25, 2009

Pictures from the MAO Summer Vacation

IMG_0220 Pictures from the MAO Summer Vacation.

Yes.. MAO got a much needed vacation during July.


IMG_0254 Bridge_by_Calatrava And no vacation is a truly a vacation without drinking lots of alcohol taking in some great contemporary art.

So, Can Anyone guess where MAO and Dr. Quiz went?

One small hint.... Bridge by Santiago Calatrava !!

February 12, 2007

Top 10 Women Photography Obsession...

There was such an outpouring of female group love on our last post about top (most influential) contemporary living/working women photographers. A number of pushy, demanding inquisitive readers have now requested the MAO top 10 for non-working/deceased female photographers.

Crowntiara Actually, this list was much more difficult to compile.  Unlike a list of top 10 female : Pop Artists, Minimal Sculptors, or Abstract Expressionists, in photographic art history there are so many great women. It was almost impossible to eliminate names... It's amazing the number of women who were the pioneers in art photography.

FYI.. On Wikipedia the Pop Art entry.. it lists only 3 women (Marisol Escobar, Yayoi Kusama, and Aya Takano... who?) of the "34 Notable" Pop Artist listed. For Abstract Expressionists it was 6 of 48, and for Minimal Sculpture is was 3 of 14.

Well.. Here it is.. our MAO Top 10 (most influential) Non-working/Living Women Photographers

  1. Diane Arbus
  2. Dorothea Lang
  3. Berenice Abbott
  4. Julia Margaret Cameron
  5. Margaret Bourke-White
  6. Imogene Cunningham
  7. Helen Levitt
  8. Lisette Model
  9. Tina Modotti
  10. Ilse Bing

I apologize in advance for any I overlooked or had to cut off the list..

But if you can only pick 10.. Who would you include??

October 19, 2006

Lisa Hunter Interview Part 4....

Thanks, we never knew we had so many friends! Who would have guessed, since writing there was consideration to giving away the less expensive works in the MAO family art collection, our mailbox has been filled with emails from forgotten old and some new "Enterprising Friends" looking for handouts.  Well, thanks for all the dinner invites.. but, FYI.. these were meant as illustrative questions, just to provide helpful information from Lisa Hunter to the many art collecting readers....

MAO Question #5 :   So you've built an art collection which you are very proud of, it’s all on display or in storage in your home. Together it has a value way over the home owners insurance policy.  You can’t image a low-end home burglar ever stealing an art work… they’d probably take a TV or Buffy's jewelry first. So, do you need insurance? Is it a necessary evil… or a waste of money? What do most big collectors and institutions do? How much should this typically cost?

Lisa Hunter Answer : Why do you assume a “low-end home burglar” is the only person who’d steal your art? Have you never seen the movie Diary of a Mad Housewife, where an expensive objet d’art is pilfered at a Central Park West party by “Whats-his-name Who Won the Pulitzer Prize”?

The bigger risk, though, is damage. I used to live next door to the 72nd Street building that was hit by an airplane this week, so maybe I’m especially aware of fire right now. I also had a valuable oriental rug seriously damaged by a burst pipe once when I was on vacation – the rug stayed wet too long and started to rot. I think it’s nuts not to insure valuable art, but I admittedly have a very risk-averse personality.

Some people are comfortable with risk. A serious antiques collector I know doesn’t insure his furniture because, over enough years, the premiums would be higher than the replacement costs. Me, I’d be insane with worry if I owned an uninsured Townsend & Goddard. So I suppose the decision depends as much on personality as on actual costs. (Museums, however, are required to insure.)

The cost of specialized art insurance depends, of course, on what you own. If you’re concerned about high premiums, perhaps you could lend some of the art in storage to a museum or university, which would then be responsible for the insurance on those items.

Whatever you decide, be sure to keep precise records of your art collection, including photos of each piece. It’s a good idea to store this documentation somewhere other than were the art is, for obvious airplane-flying-into-building reasons.

And let me get on a soapbox here for a moment: If you’re fortunate enough to own important art, you have a moral obligation to preserve it for future generations. If it gets damaged, you need to shell out for top-quality restoration, whether insurance is reimbursing you or not. No cutting corners.

Okay. Now I’ll get down from my soapbox and go back to fantasizing that one of the photos you’re tired of and want to give away is Nan Goldin’s Trixie. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

So Lisa..Thanks so much for all the great advice! Can't want to meet you at your NYC book signing.. The Intrepid Art Collector

Thursday, October 26
7:30 pm
Barnes & Noble
396 Avenue of the Americas at 8th Street (Greenwich Village)

And Sorry, But, If Dr. Quiz has anything to say about it, and she seems to always have way too much to say about everything, there's no chance Trixie will ever leave the MAO loft without a fight or a divorce settlement...

October 18, 2006

Good Will Art Hunting... Advice From Lisa Hunter Part 3

Freeadvice_1 So now that we're all filling out our Maidstone Club membership applications.. Here's some more helpful advice from The Intrepid Art Collector.

MAO Question #3: A gallery owner whom I’m friends with has offered to get any work from other dealers I’d want. Is it best to work with only one dealer and have them buy the work for me.. or should I go directly to the dealers who represent the artists? Does this end up costing us more or less?

Lisa Hunter Answer : Cost isn’t – or shouldn’t be – the main issue here. The best thing an ambitious collector can do is forge a relationship with a good dealer. Dealers sell more than art -- they also sell their expertise, reputation, their connections, and their "eye." If this dealer has access to work you can't get yourself, then it's worth paying a premium.

Many buyers seem to resent the dealer’s commission, but I think it’s sort of like paying an attorney to review a contract. You want the person’s years of expertise. Why shouldn’t you be willing to pay for it?

MAO Question #4 : When I first started collecting I had a very limited art budget... so I bought some works I liked; they are nice, but very inexpensive, more common pieces.  Like photo prints that were in editions of 500 or more.  I've since increased my art collecting budget, and now I'm running out of money wall space.  I don’t need the cash, but it seems silly to pay for storage for these inexpensive works.  Even though I still like them, I was thinking of selling some just to make room. What do you suggest I do with these?  What are the best places to sell them, donate them to, or should I just give or lend them to friends?

Lisa Hunter Answer : The definition of a "collector" -- as opposed to a mere buyer -- is someone who keeps acquiring even after all the wall space is full. If you still like the pieces, maybe you should consider rotating them. Install shallow shelves and prop your photos there for an ever-changing display. (From a conservation standpoint, it’s probably good for photos to spend some time in dark storage anyway.) You could also store them in old-fashioned portfolios that you and your guests can flip through – not everything has to be on the walls.

If you’re determined to sell, most auction houses have divisions for less-expensive works. You could also approach the dealer who sold the prints to you to see if he/she wants to buy them back or sell them on consignment.

If you decide to donate the prints, I’d recommend offering them to a charity auction rather than a museum; a museum probably won’t be interested in inexpensive multiples.

And if you decide to give them to friends, I’ll send you my address! J

October 16, 2006

Art Hunting at the Maidstone Club

So now that we've all changed our last names to Guggenheim and Whitney just to get into the great galleries and country clubs..Themaidstoneclub ...It's time for more helpful advice from Lisa Hunter!!

MAO Art Collecting Question #2Every time Muffy & I go to the Maidstone Country Club in East Hampton (I wish!!), our next door neighbors, Prescott and Bittzy, keep bragging about how great their smart Art Consultant is and what great access they have to all the best galleries. She gets them first pick of every hot artists work... My wife, Muffy, has a masters degree in Art History, we think we know a lot about the art world, cause we read Artforum weakly, and have just begun to build a small but "very high quality" collection.  Do you think we should use an Art Consultant?  I've met some art consultants that were totally nuts and clueless. What should Muffy & I expect to pay a consultant? Should we use our friend Bittzy's consultant, and if not.. how do we find a better good one?

Lisa Hunter Answer :  If you know about art and have a high-quality collection, you’re probably doing fine on your own. You only need an art consultant if you a) don’t feel you know enough to choose art on your own, or b) don’t have the “in” to buy the work you want. (And if you’re teeing off at Maidstone, you’re probably pretty well connected already.)

Fees and reputations vary widely. “Art consultant” is a catch-all title that might mean someone who advises David Rockefeller, or someone who helps you pick out a couch-matching acrylic monstrosity at a department store. Ask collectors whose art you admire for referrals. You also want to make sure a consultant can get you the specific artists you crave, because even someone well-connected might not have an “in” with every important dealer. Just as at the Maidstone CC, the art world has cliques, rivalries, ex-lovers who refuse to be in the same room together, etc.

By the way, if you’re buying something other than white-hot contemporary art, dealers themselves will often serve as your art advisor. If they know what you like – and you’re a good client -- they’ll seek out pieces for your collection. For a commission, they’ll even vet art at auction houses for you, and bid on it in the showroom. Museums ask dealers to do this for them all the time. There’s no reason why an individual collector shouldn’t do the same, assuming you need an expert opinion and can afford the commission.

In a strange coincidence, since Lisa & I wrote this Q & A last week... The New York Times ran a much more dull  lengthly article by Mia Fineman this Sunday about just this Art Consultant topic. I guess as they say.. great minds write and read blogs think a like.. but here's the story.. So Check it out.

Oh.. and did I mention Lisa Hunter, has a new great book out??? You can even buy It NOW!  "The Intrepid Art Collector: The Beginner's Guide to Finding, Buying, and Appreciating Art on a Budget"  Right here!

Lisa Hunter Interview Part 3 coming soon! And for those who have no clue about The Maidstone Club..don't worry..you'll never be able to get in it's the most elitist place on the planet.

October 14, 2006

Big Game Hunting - Art Advice From The Intrepid Art Collector

Lucy_the_psychiatrist So.. Today we at MAO introduce our first part of an interview with expert Art Collector and Author Lisa Hunter.. Hey, we figure it's about time something intelligent is posted on this website!! So of course we had to find another blog writer!!

You may already know Lisa Hunter from her great Art Blog - The Intrepid Art Collector. Or you may already have pre-ordered your copy of her amazing new, Must Have Book - The Intrepid Art Collector. So, if you haven't ordered one yet.. there's still time.. I think there's still one or 2 copies left on Amazon...click here to get one while you can! 

Our first MAO help session question.. is a bit near and dear to the Art Obsessed heart.. so it may sound just a little too familiar...Let's just say, We will file this one under.. getting fucked over by looked over by the hot NYC gallery system..

MAO Question #1 :  So there’s this young super hot artist, and you’ve fallen in love with their work.  In your heart, you already know they are the next Andy Warhol. You've saved up the last several months (or even years), enough money to buy one of the artist’s signature works. But the gallery that represents the artist seems to only want to sell the work to Museums, “Important” collectors and Institutions. They don't return your calls or emails, since your last name is not Perlman, Rockefeller, Gund, Kravis or Lauder... What do you suggest the small unknown collector with an obsession a passion do?? Maybe changing our last name to Broad, Tish, Bronfman or Stern would be easier ?

Answer Lisa HunterThis situation stinks for a collector who really loves the work, but the dealer has the artist's best interests at heart. After all, being in the “right” collection is part of what makes the artist “the next Andy Warhol.” For the locked-out collector, there are still a few back doors to try:

For starters, align yourself with an art world power. Most people assume this means hiring a well-connected art consultant, but you could also take an entrepreneurial approach. For example, if you're involved with a contemporary art museum (and you SHOULD be if you plan to collect seriously), approach the curator and ask if they want the artist's work in their collection. If so, you might be able to make a deal whereby you’d purchase the work and let the museum have it on long-term loan. That would satisfy the dealer’s desire to have the work seen and recognized, and you'd get to own it -- although, obviously, you'd rather have it in your living room. (Collectors with deeper pockets sometimes agree to buy a work to donate outright to a museum for every work they’re allowed to buy for themselves.)

You could also pay through the nose when the work finally comes up for auction. Or just wait for the next recession. When the economy tanks, someone is likely to auction “the next Andy Warhol.” I bought things in 1992 I could never afford today – back when the first Andy Warhol was going for a (relative) song.

Stay tuned for Lisa Hunter Interview parts 2 & 3.

In the mean time.. I'll be at the NYC court house.. changing my name.. I'm thinking maybe Mike Perlman sounds like it has a nice ring to it, or maybe Michael Kravis ??....hmmmm....What do you think?