Art Market Blog Art Collection Update 3
The Serpentine Gallery recently is currently holding a 20% off sale for a majority of their limited edition prints so I took the opportunity to purchase a particular work that I had been contemplating purchasing for quite a while. With 20% off I couldn’t hold out any longer and am now the very happy owner of a limited edition print by Rikrit Tiravanija titled “Untitled, Rainbow Speech”. What originally captured my attention with this print was the rather unique and striking use of colour and the rather intriguing image of a small lego man standing on a radio who seems to be verbalising colour as indicated by the multi-coloured speech bubble.
According to the Serpentine Gallery website “untitled (rainbow speech) 2005 references the radio drama that was broadcast from the Serpentine Gallery during Tiravanija’s exhibition. The speech bubble to the left of the radio serves as an invitation to speak one’s mind and activate the image. It also reflects the participatory quality of Tiravanija’s nature, as well as his interest in the potential of broadcast media as a tool for social and political change.”
To understand the work a bit more one needs to know a bit more about Tiravanija’s history and background. Born in Buenes Aires in 1961, Tiravanija was the son of a diplomat and as a result has lived in several different countries including Canada, Ethiopia and Thailand. Is it Thailand where Tiravanija spends most of his time and is the country he most identifies with. Tirivanija’s rather eclectic cultural identity is expressed in his work most of which looks at the social role of the artist and encourages participation from visitors. Although he spends most of his time between New York, Berlin and Bangkok I can see strong evidence of his Latin American heritage in this work particularly with the colours and the speech bubble which seems to resemble a map of South America.
Having received the the Hugo Boss Prize by the Guggenheim Museum, “in recognition of his profound contribution to contemporary art.” in 2004 would suggest that an investment in a work by Rikrit Tirivanija has excellent profit potential for the future. The artist has also exhibited at many prestigious institutions such as the The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1999); Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan (2000); Portikus, Frankfurt (2001); Secession, Vienna (2002); Galerie für Zeitgenossiche Kunst, Leipzig (2003); and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2003–04).
Another thing worth me mentioning is that I have never seen a print so well wrapped and protected in all my life. The care and effort that Serpentine gallery took to ensure that my print arrived in perfect condition was nothing short of astonishing.
The Serpentine Gallery limited edition shop can be found here:
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.