Afrodizzia 1996 by Chris Ofili, one of British young artists, sold for $1,565,000 at Sotheby’s in 2014. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s
ART NEWS: It is important for young artists to follow art auction news and trends
When fine art students graduate from art schools, they do so with great hopes and dreams. For some young artists, the objective is to make a mark in the global art world in a short time while, for others, the vision is to become rich selling their works to wealthy art collectors and patrons. Recent fine art graduates look at young artists like Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Chris Ofili, Kara Walker, Vanessa Beecroft, David Choe, Shirin Neshat, Yoskay Yamamoto and other successful young artists to draw a parallel with their own artistic career growth.
What many recent young fine art graduates often overlook is that the bridge to success is long, full of hard work and disappointments. Successful young visual artists like Takashi Murakami, Kehinde Wiley, Chris Ofili, David Choe, Kara Walker, Rosson Crow and other successful young artists faced a lot of challenges and had to overcome many obstacles. In addition, they kept informed about their profession by following art auction news and understanding new art trends.
Why is it important for young artists to follow art auction news and trends?
There is so much recent fine art graduates can benefit from following art auction news and trends. Following art auction news and trends can provide education in areas that many recent fine art graduates did not get from college. From art business practices to setting prices, art presentation, communication and writing skills, there is so much to learn. Victor Ehikhamenor, a young Nigerian artist, explains why it is important for young artists to understand the art industry: “I believe any professional should be wholly aware or be educated about his or her industry. It is important to understand how the art industry works, especially the financial aspect of it so one don’t get swindled.”
Significant as the benefits of following art market news and trends can be for emerging artists, auctioneers and artists warn against total dependence on art auction news and trends for a career success. Leon Benrimon, Director, Modern & Contemporary Art, New York, Heritage Auctions notes that hard work and clear vision is absolutely important for any artists who wants to succeed. Switzerland based artist Roland Faesser, shares Leon’s view, explaining that ‘artists should learn to focus on their own works and not to be unsettled by all the current news and trends.’
While some art professionals may disagree with the concept of following art auction news and trends, there is evidently so much to gain from understanding art market patterns and trends. Here are just a few ways awareness of art market trends can facilitate the career growth of young artists and recent fine art graduates.
The challenges confronting young artists are enormous. Besides creating artworks in the studio, many are also burdened with the responsibilities of presenting and selling their own works. With all these hurdles, it is not surprising that young art graduates are unable to adequately follow fine art auction news and trends. Consequently, they are uninformed about what is happening at art actions, art prices and how other artists are presenting their artworks.
Setting Art Prices
Understanding art business and art pricing is one reason young artists must follow developments at art auctions. Knowledge of the art market and art business ensures a better insight for how young artists set prices for their work. For many young art graduates, this is very essential. With improvements in the economy, art sales have grown tremendously at art auctions.
In the last two years, many art auction houses, big and small, have presented works by young artists and old masters that have recorded incredible prices. From Christie’s to Sotheby’s, Bonhams, Heritage Auctions and others, young artists are making great impact on collectors. Included in these art sales are modern paintings, sculpture, art prints, photography and decorative art. While art auction prices may be different from what young artists will put on their artwork, following art auction news creates an awareness of art pricing methodology.
Knowledge of successes at fine art auctions are significant markers for any fine artist who wants to succeed. By following happening in the art market and art auction news, young artists get to know about art trends, how to price their works, and what to do to bring their works to the standards presented at the auctions.
While the knowledge of art trends are important, some art professionals warn against total devotion to trends. Leon Benrimon, Director, Modern & Contemporary Art, New York, Heritage Auctions agrees that following art auction news and trends can be important to young artists. He contends, however, that hard work and clear vision are of utmost importance. He notes: “Young artists may take note of trends but they should not be overly affected by what they see at one moment of time– they should work hard on their own vision and hopefully they will be represented by an art gallery who finds their vision compelling and is well connected with the collecting community.”
Presentation is an integral part of art marketing. In this era of artists curating their own shows, marketing skills and lovely presentations are essential. A badly presented work of art will not only repel buyers but also present the artists in a bad light. Art auctions present very rare opportunity for artists to learn the tricks of how to present their original art for sale. Painters, for instance, can learn how to hang and present their own original paintings for sale by watching art auctions presentations.
Art Auction Catalogues
The art auction catalogues have significant benefit for young artists who want to learn how to describe their art, write artist’s statement, and also present their artworks for sale. Art auction catalogues contain outstanding description of artworks and essays written by exceptional art scholars. Artists can emulate the examples of these writings to write compelling artists statement, strong headlines, and also describe their work and inspiration.
There is no doubt that young artists have a lot to gain by following art auction news and trends. Besides learning about art auction prices during fine art actions, they will also learn how to write about art and also present their works to art audience. Above all, they become better informed about which direction to take their creativity if they must survive the intense art market.
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