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BMW (Jeff Koons) and art cars

 

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I love cars and really appreciate when a car has a beautiful design and a futuristic technique, but if there is one car make that i personally truly detest it is BMW. It not the cars that i think are detestable but more the drivers who drive a BMW. The cars have a fairly good designed exterior and a beautiful “top in class” interior, but the drivers are arguably the worst there ar on the road. In general they think they are invincible and superior to any other driver, drive to fast and are rude in traffic. That said … there is an aspect to BMW i like instead. The BMW company has a large art collection and because they value art, famous artists are invited to decorate their cars. Because the car itself represents the design of an era , the invited artist can enhance such a design. In the Netherlands a BMW was decorated by Herman Brood, but the factory BMW art program is from another level.

The best modern artists are invited to make the most spectacular designs. Among them….the late Andy Warhol and more recently Jeff Koons who worked on several of the latest BMW cars.

There are other car manufacturers that have a comparable program, but the quality of the BWW art program stands out from the rest. There is a nice book on cars and art available at www.ftn-books.com

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Art prices… gallery versus auction

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ilona Staller..La Cicciolina and Jeff Koons

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Yesterday, i held a catalogue of a Jeff Koons exhibition in my hands and it reminded me that Koons at one time in his life was married to Ilona Staller . Staller known for her (soft) porn movies in those days must have been the ultimate muse for Koons , because in the years he was married to La Cicciolina (1991-1994)

he made several photo series with Staller in which he exposed himself and Ilona in erotic interaction. The series was shown in the Stedelijk Museum during the Jeff Koons exhibition, but it was one of the few occasions where it was shown, because on many occasions this series was forbidden.

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Still it can be found in several Jeff Koons publications of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Peter Halley (1953) and THE HORN OF PLENTY

 

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1989.. Wim Beeren curated one of the iconic Stedelijk Museum from the 80’s….The Horn of Plenty.

 

Contributions by Bickerton, Cemin, Doran, Dunham, Eckart, Ziegler, Gober, Halley, Kessler, Koons, LAsker, Prince,Rollins, Steinbach, Wool and Yarber. a great list of great artists from the eighties. One thing they had in common. They were all from New York. Koons is nowadays the most famous one, but i noticed that Peter Halley is among them and beside some smaller exhibitions . He is hardly known in Europe and specially this artist deserves far better. Still the exhibition one of those from the eighties that is remembered by many followers of the Stedelijk Museum exhibitions and it was one of the last gtreat ones which gave an overview of New York modern art in the eighties. This catalogue is available at www.ftn-books.com together with some catalogues of the artist mentioned . specially the Halley is rarely encountered in the Netherlands.

 

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Jeff Koons / Ushering in Banality

 

The first time i could see the works by Jeff Koons in a museum setting was during his first exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. It was 1992 and Wim Beeren, the former director of the Stedelijk, had just bought Ushering in Banality. It was  a scandal , because of the price he had paid for the sculpture. ( If i remember well it was 300.000 guilders / is $ 120.000) …. a steal, but more important it is still on show and one of the works that raises many smiles. I even saw people taking photographs leaning on the statue. Of course this is not allowed , but it shows the popularity of this impressive work.

Since, i have encountered on many occasions the works by Koons in different settings and he always amazes me. There are several in the Guggenheim in Bilbao ( In and outside the building), of which the most important is the very large PUPPY outside covered with flowers. Koons is an artist who shocks and pleases, but in almost all cases , you look differently at an object after you have seen the work  Koons has made after it.

For me it means …i can not pass a shop with “Hummel” statues without thinking about the USHERING IN BANALITY by Koons.

For some nice publications on Koons visit my shop www.ftn-books.com

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Walt Disney in Art

Yesterday, the post on Wim Delvoye made me think about the influence Walt Disney had on art during the last 50 years. The influence must be extremely large because many of the great Modern artists from the last half century used Disney icons for their art. Wim Delvoye made me think about this relation because his signature is crafted after the original Walt Disney signature. But there is also Jeff Koons who uses Snow White and Mickey Mouse.

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The skull that is in the picture is a combination between 2 iconic elements in art. The skull by Damien Hirst and the ears of Mickey Mouse. Kitsch, art and a laugh combined in one work…..beautiful ;-). Andy Warhol began making silkscreened prints of Mickey Mouse , when he realized that beside the celebrities he used for his silkscreens he made in the factory, Mickey Mouse was such a celebrity too and needed to be depicted in a large silkscreen to honor him.

Just about a year ago the art world was surprised with a complete new amusement park. Dismaland…. a Disney inspired park by the famous Banksy in which he uses Disney themes and make these his own by making his own interpretation on these classic Disney themes and gives comments on the world around him.

Finally Keith Haring…..Haring uses the Mickey Mouse ears almost every time he makes a selfportrait. Showing that his art is rooted within the comic art of Walt Disney….great art by great artists and all inspired by the master of animation and comics…Walt Disney.

 

 

wilfried / www. ftn-books.com

 

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Wim Delvoye and Jeff Koons….

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Who is the better artist?… I truly do not know.

The last couple of days not a daily post except for the Piet Dirkx daily. We had a long weekend near Colmar in France and on the way i visited the Museum of Modern Art in Luxembourg, where a special exhibition on Wim Delvoye is being held. I do not know much about Wim Delvoye , but the instant i entered the exhibition  i was reminded of Jeff Koons.  When you enter the building , the first you see is his shit producing machine “CLOACA”. It is the center piece of the exhibition and all the exhibition rooms surrounding it show some different aspects of his art. Statues, sculpted tractor tires, ceramics….Delvoye is an artist who masters many disciplines and one can only be amazed (and smile) when you see his works. Whenever you can visit this compact museum try to visit it with this Delvoye exhibition, in all other cases  visit it for the architecture of the building by Pei ( the architect who designed the pyramid entrance at the Louvre ) and go to the first floor where there is a chapel by Wim Delvoye.

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It belongs to the permanent collection and together with the CLOACA machine these alone were worth the visit.

Delvoye publications are a hard find, but Jeff Koons you will encounter at www.ftn-books.com