Monday, February 2, 2015

Saturday, May 25, 2013

版画投资入门

作者:苏佳

 在王嘉蕾位于北京的三家高档口腔诊所中,都挂有他精心收藏的吴冠中版画,当等候就诊的患者无意间看到时,几乎都会被大师的作品所吸引,随之而来的就是他们就诊前紧张的心情被释放和化解了。

  而有客户去同样是王嘉蕾投资的口腔技术公司洽谈业务时,往往也会第一时间注意到墙上的“吴冠中”,尤其是那些“老外”客户,对于吴冠中“融合中西绘画技法”的作品更感兴趣,“他们内心里就会觉得,眼前准备和自己合作的这个人原来很有“品位”王嘉蕾说:“当初买画时可没想到会有这么多意外的收获。”

  早在7年前,王嘉蕾就已经进入了当代艺术圈,经常跟朋友结伴逛北京的798等艺术区,最开始频繁接触到的是限量版照片。2007年,受一位艺术圈开画廊的老朋友影响,王嘉蕾开始正式收藏吴冠中和杨飞云的版画。“花上四五万元,就能得到一张吴冠中大师的作品,感觉很值。”如今,王嘉蕾已经陆续收藏了吴冠中的10幅版画和杨飞云5张的版画,分别挂在家中、口腔诊所和公司,朝夕相处。

  王嘉蕾感受到,收藏版画这样的事已经在一些特定的职业圈子里形成了不错的氛围,这似乎是一件值得被大家推崇的收藏方式,越来越多的中产阶级和新富人群开始接触,喜欢上,并从中获益。

被低估的版画市场

 有了一定的经济基础和个人品位,在成功打拼事业和投资股票、房产之余,如果还有理想试图去提升自己的境界,做一个更独特、更有趣、更有文化的人,那么,投资艺术品应该是最佳的选择之一。

  在艺术品投资领域有几条铁律:宁肯买贵,不能买错。但是,对于动辄上千万元甚至过亿元的大师级原创作品来说,又有多少人能够消费得起呢?幸好,艺术市场上还有大师级版画作品的存在——既让你满足拥有大师作品的虚荣心,又不让你破费太多的辛苦钱。

  在欧美、日本等艺术市场发达的地区,版画一直是销量最大的画种,在绘画艺术品市场占有的比重可以达到60%以上。主要原因是版画的品种丰富多彩,价格又相对原创作品低廉,很适宜普通家庭的收藏和装饰。

  版画作品是经过繁琐工序,耗尽财力物力纯手工制作而成的,画作是有艺术家认可并在下方亲自签名并且详细编号的,这种独特性和稀缺性就决定了其艺术作品的收藏价值和投资价值。

  比如毕加索或达利的油画原作都是天价,中产阶级只能望画兴叹,但他们的版画作品价格则相对低廉很多。随着毕加索和达利的油画原作在这几年中价格飙升,他们的版画作品自然也跟着飙升,得到投资原作同样比例的投资回报。正是因为这种原因,版画作品在西方相对成熟的艺术品市场中,始终是一个亮点。

  国际市场上,在世大师级画家的版画国际均价大致是5万美元左右。相比之下,作为中国艺术家群体中顶级大师的吴冠中版画,目前市场的价位仅仅是10万元人民币。而王嘉蕾在2007年购买的吴冠中版画只花了4万元人民币。

“毛边”丝网版为主流收藏

  中国国家博物馆创意顾问、中国数字艺术协会秘书长王泊乔介绍说:在1960年维也纳举行的国际造形美术协会会议中,决定了国际间通用的版画定义,作为创作版画的标准是:

  1、为了创作版画,画家本人曾利用石、木、金属和丝网等版材参与制版,使自己心中的意象通过原版转印成图画。
  2、艺术家自己,或在其本人监督指导下,在原版直接印刷所得的作品。
  3、艺术家需负有在前述画作上签署的责任,并要标明试作或套版编号。

  版画是可以复制出多份相同内容的作品的绘画形式,由作者限量印制,通常印数较为靠前的画印制的质量也比较高,印数靠后的画会因为翻制时的磨损而较难掌握。在完成作品预定的数量后,一般会把母版毁弃。

  版画因为复制的特点,在签名时有一定的格式,签名一般用铅笔。而国内很多艺术家为了不影响作品的美观,常常会有自己独特的签名方式,“吴冠中喜欢用黑色笔签名,而杨飞云的版画签名则是金色的。”中国国家博物馆创意顾问王泊乔告诉记者。

  另外,版画原作作品画面上还要标明印数和印张,印数编号一般是用阿拉伯数字的分数形式写成的,艺术家还要根据自己的习惯,在作品画面上选择合适的位置签名和签署制作年代。

  丝网版画是所有版画门类中表现形式比较自由但更注重装饰意识的一个版种,丝网版画创作由于自身的工艺特点,制作过程本身就决定了它的装饰性。丝网版画的作品允许运用虚拟、象征、抽象、夸张的手法,以达到引导人们联想的目的。从构图到造型及色彩都允许和客观现实保持距离,摆脱单纯的形似,同样达到了艺术美的较高境界。

入门者须知

  艺术品本身是不可再生的资源,进入拍卖市场的“商品”更是有限,如今中国艺术品拍卖市场已经过近20年的发展,市场中的“商品”数量开始显得匮乏。因此,各大拍卖公司都已经将注意力转移到那些被暂时遗忘的角落,于是,版画开始引起越来越多人的关注。

  在版画的投资中,除了关注作者的名气之外,最为重要的一点,就是要区分版画的性质。版画作品的印刷通常由艺术家本人操作,或者艺术家与工人合作,在印刷出来的作品上要由艺术家本人签名,并标出作品的编号——方法是总印数为分母,每一单幅作品的序号为分子。如共印出80张,其中的第6张即为6/80。而且,通常惯例版画作品的原版都会在公开场合销毁。因此,对于投资者来说,首先应该搞清楚,这件作品到底有多少件复制品。

  还有一些技术环节需要特别注意。按国际版画公约规定,要用铅笔在作品左下角注明编号;右下角签名,有的还注明年代;下面的中间注明题目。另外,在欧美还可以看到作品上特别注明的字样,如A.P.artist prove艺术家认证),P.P.(出版商样本)和H.C.(业务员使用的非卖品)。不管是成品,还是A.P.P.P.或者H.C.,只要是艺术家本人签过名的,就都具有收藏价值,但它们之间的价格会有高低之分。

  有资深业内人士分析,对于初入行的普通投资人,目前可以大胆买进一些版画作品,除了价位偏低外,还有一个重要原因:由于版画市场仍处于冷门阶段,以至于市场上相应的赝品数量较少。只要投资者认准品牌、信誉良好的画廊或拍卖公司,再加上对限量和定价有一个基本的把握,那些要素齐全的版画作品就能带来较为满意的投资回报。

  20多年前在中国台湾地区就曾上演过类似的一幕,不少版画作品的买家后来都成了大收藏家,而许多骑着摩托车到处拜访企业家的版画推销员,则成了著名画廊的老板。


Friday, May 17, 2013

Insider trading knowledge - the basic facts about investing in prints



By Gabriel Clark-Brown

Being a printmaker and a print dealer I have seen quite a bit what works, and simply doesn't- these past twenty years, I have seen the rise of Kentridge from humble 2 to 6 zeros, but luckily for SA printmaking Kentridge is not the only SA fine art print success story.

To understand why collectors do what they do I have written some guidelines on how to select your collection of works.

Talent, bottle it, it also comes and goes in artists lives
Talent: Talent is a rare thing in art, if you see it as a gallery you snap it up, it's a commodity that sells, and not easily faked or forced by a desperate the very best PR companies.
Very few talented artists escape the gallery system, even the illusive Fred Page was picked up and sold via a system. Some artists are not talented, but have a charismatic lifestyle that assists selling their work (as part of their character spin off), and vice versa- some artists are awfully dull, but produce good work. Sometimes you do get a highly unusual mix of talented and extraverted artists such as Walter Battiss. Either way with most artists' talent comes and goes, or you want to purchase work from the artists most talented and mature period of the artists' life.

Artist's careers: there is no sure thing in any artist's careers; people make the common mistake that artists produce the same consistent brilliance throughout their careers. Some works done in inspired years are amazing compared to money hatchet jobs that may come later.

Buy low sell high, better still buy the artists strongest works

Very few artists produce a consistently brilliant body of work. A good collector can stand back and see through the potboilers, and stuff that was rushed on a bad hair day, and focus on a few pieces of strong, iconic work. The strong iconic signature style pieces or turning points are what are reaching the best prices on auction now.
Example 1: William Kentridges Orchards were produced in the 1980's, there would fetch a great deal more that his nose series (1500+ were printed almost as collectable toys that follow a Disney movie blockbuster).
Example 2: Don't buy 12x poorly Irma Stern's at a Million each, rather buy 2 x strong works for 6M each.

Prints allow you to spread your assets.
Instead of blowing 100K on one Ernst de Jong painting I would recommend spending the same amount on 12 good prints by good, solid SA Artists. Your returns of over 10%-20% pa on the better investments would give you greater yields on your investments in the long run.

Make friends with you Print Dealer and Print Publisher.
The biggest secret in collecting contemporary prints is to call up your print publisher and ask them which print series are selling the quickest over the past 2-3 months. Generally because the print sells there is a demand for the print (Not all print editions move). Even more when the print series sells out, this is the time that prices start to rocket, as the print moves from a controlled set price market to a stock market floor retail market model -and both scarcity and demand value jack up the prices even more.
The ultimate prize is to follow the shooting star of these sales of prints in the edition until the last 10 of the edition are available that you buy for a knockdown price (the initial edition is usually sold off buy the publisher). Once you have bought these 10 you are in business and this is the perfect time to mature your investment by holding onto the prints for 2-3 years before selling them on.

Example 1 A friend of mine bought 5 x Robert Hodgins from me that were selling in their edition for R 3 000 each, he beat me down to R 2400 each if he took all 5. 3 years later post Robert's death the prints now retail for R 8 500, each, and because he bust me down as a young dealer, to R 2400 he tripled his profit.
Example 2 When Mark Attwood released Sam Nhlengethwa Tribute series they all retailed for R 6 500. The Tribute to Kentridge sold out within 2 months, hence that print shot up in retail value. Almost a year to the day a woman paid R 18 500 that I had kept back, without blinking.

General Questions

Fine Art Prints are not reproductions
Fine Art Prints are usually first generation prints printed off from a "Matrix" (current hip word) the Matrix is the medium that holds the information of the prints such as an etching plate, stone/ plate litho plate or even a PDF file.
Reproductions of work were big in the 60-80 with Swchickerts making big impressions and selling them on to a rising white middle class, Treckikoff to make it big, but no-one made it as big as Hogarth, the grand daddy of artwork/ paint reproduction who steel faced his plate engravings reproductions of his oil paintings.

Edition numbers - don't matter bar the medium
Edition numbers of works do, and don't matter depending on the circumstance.

Low editions are good, except for "Fast selling Bingo Prints"
Most artists like to keep their editions low, as they think that they can get more money through the exclusivity of the print. In addition to this the low edition number keeps the production of the print lower as less revenue is put out for the editing of the print (this is more the case of poor, younger artists).
The problem here is that no -one knows - when the print is made- if the print will sell or not. If that print is the 10% Dream Bingo print that sells out in days, the artist will never realise a good profit on the print- as it goes quickly from the artist price, straight to a secondary market.
If the artist had printed 20 Bingo prints they would have benefitted more (unless the artists hold back on some of their prints for investment purposes)

Edition numbers do matter when
1. You print more than 1000 in an edition or so, when you are dealing with a small South African market. The usual edition run generally would be between 12 to 50 or so.
2. If the matrix, say soft zinc plate is used, the quality of the print will deteriorate after 20 or so impressions, especially if there are fine lines.

Things you don't want to say in professional print dealers circle.

1. Printmaking as a democratic medium
2. Prints are accessible artwork
3. The way to price prints is the division of the main image divided by edition number

Prints as a democratic medium
This is a term that came about in the mid 1980's; I think it came about because democracy was on everyone's mind. There is no real relationship between democracy and printmaking, maybe Printmaking as a way to get your revolutionary ideas across would have been a better, more hip way of describing print making.

Prints are an accessible art medium
Fine Art Prints are not cheap, not to make, or to market, or to buy. If you were a photographer you would cringe at someone saying that postcards and photographs are the same thing, the same thing goes. Of course there would always be printmakers who whack things out for wedding invitations, or painters who create cheap scrubbers, but these works don't apply to good quality fine art printmakers. If you consider handmade wrapping paper and wedding invites as accessible art, then its best to stick with that and discern the difference to quality fine art prints.

You can't divide the total cost of image into edition
Some people try to price a print according the the image could fetch if it were say a painting. An example could be say if a Madonna and Child images was a painting it would reach say R 25 000, and one printed 25 prints and sold them on for R 1000, this would be the right thing to do.
This formula might be a guide, but simply can't work, it's like if you chop up the image and sell the image off for R 1000 per square 10cm

Example: Kentridges Orchard Print sells for R 600 000, does this mean that image of the combined edition should be multiplied by 50 - this is not fitting to the consistence of Kentridge prices.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012