The Humble Poster is Worth Collecting and can be a Winner!

I meet a lot of people who would like to begin making a collection of Art but are restricted by limited funds and hesitant on what to collect.

“Should I collect one artist’s work? Perhaps collect a particular genre or a subject matter I’m interested in” I often get asked.

What should I collect?
vintage travel poster
Vintage travel poster

These questions I cannot answer and each person would have to make their own decision.  A great deal will depend on available funds.  Collecting a well-known artist is likely to be costly and this route is only open to a few people.  However, it is possible to begin collecting art on a tight budget and one area where there is plenty of opportunities is posters.

Collecting a well-known artist is likely to be costly.

I’m not talking about the posters on cheap paper that you can pick up for a few pounds but vintage posters that have some age, have become highly collectable and the price of some is sky-rocketing.

Film Poster
Film Poster “Bus Stop”

Let me give you an example.  Back in 1963 workmen working on a building discovered hundreds of posters by Toulouse-Lautrec rolled up under some floorboards.  Now they weren’t all in the best condition but the best ones sold at the time for a few hundred dollars.  In the 1970’s those posters were changing hands for around $800 each and today their value is around $40,000 each and more.

Posters can be a Good Investment

These are eye-watering amounts and if you are fortunate to acquire posters that are in demand, the prices will increase.  It can turn out to be one of the best if not the best investment you ever make.  Certainly better interest than in the Bank.

Continue reading The Humble Poster is Worth Collecting and can be a Winner!

Fancy being an Auctioneer and selling paintings for millions?

The auctioneer
The Auctioneer

No, I’m not talking about auctioning household stuff where the maximum price is likely to be in the hundreds.

I’m talking about being a Fine Art auctioneer for someone like Christie’s, Bonhams or Sotheby’s.

What do you think the requirements would be to become one of these top auction houses auctioneers?

Well, the first thing is you have to be good at maths.   You also have to possess an authoritative voice which is clear and everyone who is bidding knows you are in charge.

How do you get to become an Auctioneer?

The first thing is to join a top auction house and become involved with the various auctions that they have virtually every day.

Knowledge of all the items that are sold through the auction house is important and this is the time to gain that knowledge as you handle items of great value.

Over time, you will specialise in a particular field, e.g. silver, pictures, ceramics etc.  The main auction houses always have auctioneers who specialise in a particular field, and these are the auctions they will take.

Continue reading Fancy being an Auctioneer and selling paintings for millions?

Banksy – the enigma who has puzzled the artworld.

The elusive artist Banksy has done a good job of keeping his true identity a secret for well over a decade.

Numerous names have cropped up but none to-date have been confirmed.  Apparently, the most likely suspect is a man by the name of Robin Gunningham.  Scientists at Queen Mary University of London claim to have “tagged” Gunningham as Banksy using geographic profiling.  This technique is usually used for catching serial killers.

Is Gunningham Banksy?
Robin Gunningham - Banksy?
Robin Gunningham

If Gunningham is Banksy then we know a little about him.  Gunningham is a former public schoolboy who attended the £9,240.00 a year Bristol Cathedral School.  On enquiries, it was discovered that he was a gifted artist at school thereby adding weight to him being Banksy.  Banksy rose to prominence in the Bristol street scene, therefore making it likely that he came from around that area.  Of course, you can now find his work all over the world with his latest show “Walled Off Hotel” in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem which has caused quite a stir.

Other names have cropped up but so far, Gunningham is the front runner.  I suppose until the day Banksy reveals himself or slips up in some way, we will never know his true identity.

It is understood that he was influenced and inspired by the French stencil artist Blek le Rat and an artist from Bristol, Robert del Naja, who went on to form Massive Attack.

Elusive and identity unknown
Just Google it - Banksy
Just Google it ~ Banksy

Banksy’s elusiveness and unknown identity have turned him into something of a celebrity and in the process made him rich. -very smart!  Not bad for a graffiti artist who predominately uses stencils for his work.  However, he has a social conscience and a lot of his work is bringing to the public eye issues of equality, brutality and unfairness in our society.

Continue reading Banksy – the enigma who has puzzled the artworld.

Hotels getting the message about Art with greater bookings

There was a time when you booked into a hotel it would just be for a comfy bed, a nice shower and maybe a good breakfast in the morning.

original Art in Hotels
original art in Hotel

Your room would probably have relatively cheap prints on the wall and public areas would be the same.  All a bit boring!

Well, times are changing.  A number of Hotels, particularly boutique Hotels and even Hostels are looking at putting original pieces of art on the walls.  Even theming their rooms in a particular style and customers are liking it.

Its a win, win situation for hotels

It’s a win, win situation for the Hotel and artists.  Hotels can hang original art on their walls at a reasonable cost or at no cost at all dependent on their agreement with the artist.    For the artist, they have the opportunity to put work in prestigious buildings.  Which means they are guaranteed that their work will be viewed by a great number of people.

Some agreements allow for the work to be sold to clients and a replacement put in place by the artist.  Others insist that the work stays up for a period of time and is not available for sale until the period is up.

Art in Hotels bedroom
original art in Hotel Bedroom

There is no doubt that original art enhances the experience for guests.  It adds character and makes public areas and rooms more personal.  It is attracting more customers to the Hotel’s which must be their ultimate goal.

For the artist, it is an opportunity to showcase their work and propel their careers to the next level.

Diversity of Art in Hotels

You will also find a diversity of Art at these hotels.  Some go down the contemporary route. This gives them a large choice in the type of picture they are looking for.  Some are hanging more traditional pictures which fit in with their decor.  Others are embracing the style of street art while others pop art.

Wherever you go in the world, you will find Hotels embracing this concept.   If you are interested you just need to do a search on google to bring up these hotels.

It is well worth a bit of investigation.


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Dirty Hans and Urban Art ~why has it become so popular?

This post is about an urban artist, Dirty Hans, I promote in my Gallery.

First, it is well worth looking at the concept of urban art, what is it? How did it come into being?  Why has it become so popular?

“Urban” means “from the city”

The term “Urban” means “from the city.”  It is associated with artists living and working in cities.  It is loosely associated with street art.  Many people would say it is the same thing but the purest like to separate them.  They would say that street art in its rawest form is graffiti that adorns many of our buildings in our cities.  It is art that is created on the street whereas Urban art is created in the studio.

Whatever your view, many Urban artists originated from the street and many of the most successful Urban artists were once graffiti artists.

Statements about social issues

When it all began, it was artists making statements about social issues.  Sometimes local but also national and international.  One of the most famous street artist that nowadays would be described as an Urban artist would be Banksy.  His popularity and value of his work has soared over the years and nearly everything he produces makes a comment about something going on in the world.

Not all Urban art these days is about making a statement but artists often take a well-known image and overlay the image with other images (similar to a collage) to produce another picture.

Dirty Hans is one such artist.

Dirty Hans
Dirty Hans

 An original Painter & Illustrator, Dirty Hans specialises in High Impact Contemporary Urban Art.  He is a self-taught artist, born Liverpool/England.

Painting brought about a calming influence

Hans began painting upon finding it was the only thing that brought a calming effect over his childhood hyperactive tendencies.

Seeing the work of artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec works strongly influenced his painting style.

spraying in the rain
spraying in the rain ~ Dirty Hans

Living in Antwerp for 7 years with Travelling experiences have influenced his techniques giving the enthusiasm to focus unrestricted energies in simplifying paintings in a bold, fresh way.  Inspiration for his work has come from many things.  The imagery of the 1950`s culture, movies, comic books, pulp magazines travelling and studying more traditionalist contemporary artists.

He paints with acrylics, spray paint on canvas and has produced pop art and renaissance pieces now branching into the “Digital art Media”

Dirty Hans has exhibited in Antwerpen/Brussels/Toronto/Paris/Berlin/Miami and now exploring the digital arts. Featured twice in the daily mirror newspaper and Appearances on Tele2 (French Morning TV) with a mention in NY and more.

You can see a selection of his work by going to our Gallery

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Buying a painting? Things to look out for before parting with your cash!

buying a painting ~ The Art Connoisseurs
The Art Connoisseurs Louis Léopold Boilly

This article is not about new paintings but concerns buying a painting with some age, value or both.

Many people are sold paintings by unscrupulous dealers that are not what they appear or  told, or they pick up a painting from an auction believing it to be by a particular artist, only to discover at some point that it is not by that artist at all and the painting is not worth what they paid for it.

Buyer beware!! –  there are many traps that the unsuspecting purchaser can fall into that can end up costing a great deal of money. Continue reading Buying a painting? Things to look out for before parting with your cash!