Tag Archives: Contemporary Art

Can Trash Become Artistic Treasure?

scaled vector version of originalThe saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” seems as old as time. It is often said at garage sales and donation centers. For instance, a man might shout this when he finds the perfect 9 iron for 25 cents. Or, a woman when she finds a beautiful piece of artwork for pennies. Now, this statement is being proclaimed in art galleries around the world, and the trash being referenced is worth a whole lot more than a quarter.

From New York to Argentina and all the way to Rome, artists are proving trash is worth its weight in gold… and then some.

It wouldn’t be surprising if entrepreneur Justin Gignac could sell ice to Eskimos. After all, he has made a business out of selling trash to people all over the world. His company was not intentional but the by-product of a bet. In 2001 Gignac was an advocate for the concept of product packaging. He believed nicely packaged products would sell, even if the products were… well… trash.

He started creating NYC Garbage Cubes to prove this point. Gignac fills clear cubes with trash found on the streets and sells them for $50 per pop. He has sold over 1,400 of them. These NYC Garbage Cubes are believed to have made their ways into the homes of people in over 30 countries.

Unlike Gignac, nothing about Elisa Insua is packaged. The Argentinean artist describes her work as, “mixed media art.” To create a single piece she might combine hundreds of small items, like dice, pieces of jewelry, buttons and nails with a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. Insua puts these pieces together in creative ways and ultimately comes up with what she likes to call “resurrected trash.”

In Italy, one cleaning woman might find herself wishing trash would resurrect itself. An art exhibit in Bari included cookie crumbs scattered on the floor. It is easy to guess what happened to this display. She accidentally threw away an estimated $13,700 worth of artwork because she thought it was trash.

What one person sees as trash, another person considers treasure. Contemporary artwork is not always understood in its own time. Currently, the rising popularity of using trash as an art medium is anything but ordinary. In fact, it’s quite extraordinary. Who would have thought to collect and sell trash? Or use cookie crumbs in an art gallery exhibit? Perhaps Elisa Insua says it best with her term for the mixed art medium she loves. It is resurrected trash. In its new form, it is art.

Read more Segmation blog posts about out-of-the-box art:

Art Making from Unconventional Objects

Chalk Art Transforms the Sidewalk into a Canvas

Man Uses His Own Blood as an Art Medium

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on FacebookSegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com

Red Artwork is Worth Fortunes

 

The color red is loud. It makes statements and sends signals. But the impact it has on the world of contemporary art goes beyond trendsetting. People are trading their fortunes for predominately red artwork.

At a recent auction, Sotheby’s in London recognized a shocking trend: five of the six highest-selling masterpieces were mostly red.

Forbes contributor Danielle Rahm points out that this sale took place right before Valentine’s Day. However, it is hard to believe the romantic holiday could drum up the prices of red artwork to nearly 30 million dollars.

Alex Brancik head of Contemporary Art for Sotheby’s in London sheds light on this expensive trend. “Red is a color that incites passion. It’s the color of the sunset, it’s the color of blood,” he says. “When we’re pricing things we’re aware of the power of red.”

Putting feelings of romance and passion aside, what encouraged the buyer of Sotheby’s recent high seller (Wand by Gerhard Richter) to spend 28.7 million dollars on the piece? New sales numbers show that increased value of contemporary artwork infused with the color red may depend less on Valentine’s Day or emotional influences and more on the buyer’s cultural heritage.

Affluent Cultures Embrace the Color Red

To be more specific, affluent cultures may be the reason why certain pieces of contemporary art are selling high.

Countries all over the world embrace the color red. A number of these nations are located in Asia. In China, for instance, red is synonymous with luck and joy. In addition, on special occasions, Chinese nationals extend their cultural roots by offering a monetary gift known as a “red envelope.”

Considering the positive message red sends, it is understandable why red artwork may be appealing to people who live in China. In fact, Christie’s auction house reported that “…one in three of its customers were new in 2013, many of whom came from emerging markets such as China,” and “Sotheby’s estimates that China now accounts for $14 billion of the $58 billion global art market.” Sales reports go onto claim that there was a 36 percent increase of art sales in Asia and the Middle East. Another interesting fact shows the rate at which European’s purchase art dropped by 12 percent while the Americas, Hong Kong and Dubai all increased their fine art spending.

Nevertheless, China is viewed as playing a prominent role in the current health of the contemporary art market. An Associated Press article claims that China is “one reason the art market has rebounded from the global financial crisis of 2008.” People with new affluence in China are collecting contemporary artwork and may be encouraging art trends more than any color could alone.

While red has proven emotional draws and psychological intrigue, some wonder if growing affluence in China is the reason why red artwork is worth a fortune.

Read more Segmation blog posts about red artwork:

The Color Red and its Many Meanings

A Closer Look at the Color Red

Red and Green are an Unlikely Pair

Be an Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)

Segmation

Join us on FacebookSegPlay® Mobile iTunes now available for iPhone and iPad

www.segmation.com