Is That An Original?



Buying an art print is, let’s face it second best to buying an original painting. But obviously, getting to buy an original art painting means spending time searching out something you would like. Making a choice can be overwhelming because of cost of understanding value.  You won’t be alone if you feel it’s just all too much to make that decision and leave it to those that know more about the subject. 

Checking out websites that sell original work, visiting the commercial galleries and even having a look at the Auction Houses online makes for an interesting afternoon for web surfing.

Australia has a unique breadth of commercial galleries that are free for anyone to visit. The long running magazine and online resource that promotes all galleries is called the Art Almanac. In this magazine every month new shows are listed in commercial galleries Australia wide. The magazine also provides competitions and everything you need to know for artists and those that are interested in the Australian contemporary art scene.

Fresh new work from Artists all over Australia just keeps coming, month after month and with that are those sociable and interesting Exhibition openings.  Even if you are new to the scene, generally all are welcome to come along. To get an invite, usually it’s just a simple click on the Gallery subscribe button. 

Having the listings of galleries at hand in the online Art Almanac, it gives you the opportunity to seek out what lies in the Commercial Galleries stock rooms.  Here you will find, the galleries ‘stable’ of promoted artists and their work that hasn’t sold in their shows, is available to buy.  Styles on prices vary significantly. 

An idea of how to display art prints or paintings in your space is perhaps taking on a theme or particular structure.  Themes can be from a particular art period, such as the 1950’s art of Australia.  Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Fred Williams and Russell Drysdale just to at name a few.  Some of these artists were part of a group calling themselves the ‘Angry Penguins‘. Their work is crude.  Gone are the soft muted lines and the tonal gradations of shapes of the earlier Australian Impressionists.  Instead, representation is carved, flat and abstracted. During this period of art creation, ideas of being taught traditional methods of painting were scorned.  Instead, the personal touch was revered as being unadulterated original talent.

In a way, Australian academic thought on this, ironically was a bit behind the times, as it was the Italian Futurists, which declared when the 20th century replaced the 19th, that all that academia art was dead and should be seen floating down the Seine.  The famous Poet and guru of their times had written a poem dedicated to this new and exciting subversion.  His name was Andre Breton.

Sidney Nolan - Ned Series
Arthur Boyd - Self Portrait maybe?
Alber Tucker - Judas

The images above do show you a shared expression. Arguably the best element of interest to speak about might be the price these paintings are now being paid for at auctions.  Where most of the artists works are held in national collections with a few on the private market, their scarcity generally, causes the sale to set records. Sidney Nolan is said to be an example of this and as such is notably internationally acclaimed. However, very recently in November 2020, the now deceased Brett Whiteley broke the Australian record selling at 6 million dollars. This went beyond the yard stick of Nolan’s sales.  An art critic expressed the Whiteley sale as a person going shopping rather than an intimate genuine interest in the artist and the aesthetic value of the painting. The critic didn’t think much of the buyers taste, saying that ‘would-be-collectors have money to burn are likely to ignore quality works by less prestigious artists.’ 

Brett Whiteley's painting about Matisse
Dr Gachet - has it been cursed?

I’m guessing a lot of us would have to say that is an obvious sentiment.  Collectors generally buy because they actually like to make money and if they like the art work too, then that’s a bonus.  Investment bankers and Chairman’s buy in the art market, because art holds it’s value better in the downtimes and it gives those that buy a bit of prestige – although it didn’t quite work out for Alan Bond.  Nice returns are made, if you don’t buy too high and don’t buy a forgery.  Investible art is a bit like buying a car park in a prime location.  Very little maintenance, wait 10 years and if you are still alive, sell it and you should reap a figure that’s an inflation buster.  

These record prices are a news worthy read, especially if there’s a bit of ‘uh oh’ about it.  Take Van Gogh’s ‘A Portrait of Dr Gachet’ – when it sold in 1990, it doubled the expected sale of 40 million and with such a huge margin, that paintings resale may never have returned on the investment and I doubt if it did as a result of the death of the buyer 6 years later.  The Japanese business man, is said to have quietly sold it on to an Austrian before he had had his heart attack and died. The Austrian businessman also dead now,  was said to have then sold it onto an Italian business man who now is also dead….spooks.  

That portrait seems to have been given the evil eye, perhaps because it had a dark start, stolen by the Nazi’s. So now the painting is apparently with the family of the Italian businessman and they are wondering what to do with it.   But then all this secrecy could be a story to create the provenance for a clever forgery.  The Japanese businessman was said to have put his foot through the back of the canvas when he realised what price he had paid, then declared to have it cremated with him to avoid tax debt duties for his family. 

It will be interesting to see if the painting ever gets to an Auction house and be examined under the scrutiny of experts or never to be seen again. 

Anyway, the reader, will be mindful that only one suggestion so far has been made as to defining your space with an art structure.  Periods of art, yes, but also genres of art, colours of art and having all your art work framed with the same frame.  Below is an example of just having black and white art work in your space.  The art work is large, and crosses different styles.  Clean abstraction, with a variation of line vs wide painterly shapes that resembles a roller rather than a brush application, and then there is the figurative piece that is making a clear statement.  Having large art prints, has an astonishing affect and gone is the question, is that an art print or a painting?  So if you’d like a larger art print, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can also give you an idea how the art print will look on your wall prior to you buying the print.  

Framed Art Prints Black And White
Australia Black And White Art Prints
Framed Art Prints Black And White


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