Is it luck or did it had to be this way?,….. because a few months ago if finally could purchase for the FTN collection an important and i think beautiful and intriguing sculpture by Arjanne van der Spek. It must have been some 25 years or more ago that i think Gerrit Jan de Rook introduced me to Arjanne van der Spek. It was during the exhibition she had at the Gemeentemuseum and was joining Frank van Hemert in their joint presentation. A just starting, promising sculptor, who had finished her education and studies at the Ateliers 63 just half a decade earlier. She had her first solo exhibition at the Tanya Rumpff gallery who had started her gallery a few months earlier. I went to the gallery to see the other drawings and sculptures other than the ones i had seen and admired at the Gemeentemuseum and i really fell for her sculptures. As i explained to her a few weeks ago …they were intriguing and completely different than the sculptures i had seen before. The use of wood, steel, ceramic and tissues all in one sculpture were new to me. Unfortunately i could not afford a sculpture, but time changes everything and a few weeks ago i was able to buy KNAP KNAP KNA from the former Klein Breteler collection, who had the work acquired from gallery de Vries in Haarlem. The work was not sold during auction, but i was able to buy it in the aftersale. I informed Arjanne that i had bought the KNAP KNAP KNAP and she was delighted to hear it found a new home. She thought it to be one of her best works and is still very fond of it so i offered it on loan when ever she wanted to use it in an exhibition:
‘Knap Knap Knap’ (2009)
a mixed media object (ceramic, wood, paint, brass) in two parts, 70x100x40 cm
Provenance: Acquired from Galerie Rob de Vries, Haarlem
It is a large work which makes it not that easy to place although outside placement under a roof is an option.
I added this work last week to the FTN art section and for those interested in buying please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today i added to my inventory a book by Auke de Vries for his Museum Wiesbaden exhibition from 1990. i knew the title and had sold copies before, but what made this one special is that on ca. 10 of the pages yellow post-it’s were fixed with gallery prices in guilders. I leafed through the book and was surprised to find the prices to be as steep as 50.000 guilders. It was not long ago that i attended 2 auctions where several small and larger sculptures by Auke de Vries were sold , fetching prices between euro 2500 and 4000 for a larger sculpture.
I compared these with the 1990 gallery prices within the Wiesbaden catalogue and found that prices had devaluated with over 60% when compared with the actual auction prices including premium in 2017. Of course the gallery fees are between 40 and 50%, but when you consider that money has devaluated too in these past two and a half decades the devaluation of Modern Art of a very good artist like Auke de Vries is over 80% compared with the original gallery price. Should i then still buy art?……YES! because you can have tremendous pleasure from it. You search for and find good art and enjoy it at home when you bought or rent it and yes… you support the artist with your buy, but if you ask me , should i buy art as an investment? my advise would be …be careful for the artist you select, because most of them will not be worth very much after a few decades.
But when you are patient, that means a period of 20+ years, you will discover that works by the artist you admire start to appear at auction and are much more affordable and even can be bought by most collectors for as little as a few hundred euro. I can give you an example of a great Arie van Geest which recently was added to our collection for an extremely fair amount.
You only learn of the auction records by artist like Warhol, Koons and Hirst, but you can ask yourself…are these works by these artists really that special or are they a marketing product… a true hype? if i did not know who the artist is and did not know the value of a work …would i buy it ? In the case of Auke de Vries i personally would do so at the price level that i recently experienced at auction, but for the prices in the Wiesbaden catalogue i would “pass”. Art should not be bought as an investment and i dare say that the great collectors in the world never have bought art for its value, but because they admire the artist and his or her works and you should do the same, because there is still some great art to be found and bought at fair prices. www.ftn-blog.com and www.ftn-books.com have art for sale which is published in edition and is still affordable.
A week ago i found in a small bookstore a remainder of this excellent book on the works by Auke de Vries. A book i must share with you, because it not only is the largest, but also by far the best publication on Auke de Vries. In over 400 pages you will see the best of over 5 decades of this artist.
For all Auke de Vries fans, this is not to be missed and i have only 2 copies available at:
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20