Art Market Blog – My Two Year Old Did That, Really !!
Every year the best works of art from the New South Wales HSC (Higher School Certificate) visual arts exit exam are exhibited at various locations. According to the ArtExpress website, ArtExpress is a cutting-edge, stylish series of contemporary exhibitions of outstanding artworks created by NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) Visual Arts students from both metropolitan and regional New South Wales, Australia. I think that ArtExpress is a fantastic concept that has produced some interesting artworks over the years and has no doubt encouraged plenty of young artists to follow a career in the visual arts.
An recent article in a local paper about the ArtExpress show commented that the artworks in the show were so good that you wouldn’t even know that they had been produced by students. I am by no means suggesting that the artworks that these students have produced are not of a high standard but to suggest that they are equal to the work being produced by professional artists is a both naive and silly for the reason that in the contemporary art world an artwork is judged on way more than the physicality of the artwork. One of the biggest problems with the contemporary art market is that because the actual physical representation has become less important and the concept more important it is becoming harder and harder to actually determine whether an artwork is a good investment.
Take for instance the two year old toddler whose paintings, which included works created using tomato ketchup while sitting in a highchair, and profile were put on the Saatchi gallery website by his mother minus the details of his age. Amazingly enough, an art collector and artist from Manchester in the UK purchased one of the toddler’s works for 20 pounds. Even more incredibly a Berlin gallery emailed the artist saying they were having an exhibition and thought Freddie’s work was of a high standard and would like him to participate.
What does this tell us about the contemporary art market, well, that one needs to be aware of the factors that determine the desirability and profit potential for an artwork and make sure that you know everything about the artist and their work before investing in an artwork or you might get fooled into buying the work of two year old.
Image Above – Sunrise by Freddie Linsky
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.