Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Original Art a commodity, a luxury item or simply a wall decor?

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Markets collapsed around the world and many billionaires have lost most of their fortune virtually overnight and they are billionaires no more. The remarkable thing is that even with the decline in the art prices some managed to keep their billionaire status thanks to their valuable original art collections.

So is art really a commodity?

There are many definitions of commodity, but one fits art particularly well - "something useful or valued". Well all art, or at least most of it, is useful for home décor, and all art, or at least most of it, is valued. It doesn’t matter if art is created by armature or well known artist, original paintings are never cheap. The value varies from hundreds of dollars to many million dollars, but none can be obtained for a few bucks unless it is a cheap reproduction.

So is art really a luxury item?

Yes and no. Many original artworks are affordable and simply a good investment, some are excessively expensive and they are luxury items. However, a definition of a luxury item is - something that not many people can afford, but those who can afford it have to actually use it. Unfortunately many famous artworks in private collections are just simply sitting in the volts. They are put away next to cash, gold and other valuables, so at that point art is simply an investment vehicle and not luxury item anymore.

So is art a wall décor?

For the most part it is, but it is kind of difficult to accept the idea that a million dollar painting is on the wall simply for decoration purposes.
It is interesting how the commodity definition fits art best out of the three. In most cases they are always exceptions, and there is no such thing as a definition of art, since everyone seems to have their own way of defining and describing art. Most likely art is little bit of all of those things and more, so that is why it is so hard to define.

Billionaires are probably some of the smartest people in the world, or some of the luckiest ones, and many chose to have large portion of their fortune kept in original art. When economy collapsed and many stocks are now worth less than the paper they are printed on, or less than the fee brokers charge to sell them, art is still standing strong.

This is truly remarkable - original art that used to worth thousands of dollars yesterday still worth thousands of dollars today when everything else that was considered valuable took a big dive.

Original Art

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oil Portrait Paintings – Real or from Photograph?

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What is the difference between a portrait oil painting done from a photograph and the one created in a live session? Is there a difference and which one is better?

I guess to answer this question a few things have to be considered first:

1. Creating portrait from a photograph is a faster more affordable way to get a portrait done.

2. Oil paintings take time, long time, a quality oil painting takes usually up to three months to make. Not because it is a slow process, but just because it takes time for paint to dry up. Other media, such as acrylic, require less time to dry up so they can be done a lot faster.

3. A portrait created from a photograph is a skillful copy of the photograph, and it is just that. A portrait created in person by a professional artist is most of the time not just a portrait but a work of art.

So, based on the above it is easy to do cons and pros:

Painting from photograph:

Fairly fast process and you do not have to be present in person. A photograph can be shipped anywhere in the world nowadays and the portrait can be ordered over the phone, on-line, etc...

It is more affordable than real portrait and doesn't require scheduling appointments and waiting for an Artist to become available.

You get to chose how you look. You can pick a photo that you like the most and that is what you are getting back in form of a painting.

You getting a signature of a well known artist, or at least possibly well know to be artist on your portrait, and one day it can worth a lot of money to someone.

If a portrait is done from a photograph (and it doesn’t have to be a portrait, it applies to any painting done from a photograph) you just getting a copy, yes it can be a very professionally done copy, but it is a copy.

In many cases it is better to just enlarge your photo and frame it, and it will look as good as the painting, but it will cost less.

Real Portrait:

You are guaranteed to get a work of ART. It doesn't really matter if it is done a professional artist or an armature, it is real art.

It is an investment. If done by a well known artist or an artist that is going to be famous the portrait is not just a portrait any more it is 'money in the bank'.
Original paintings do not get boring over time like a photograph does. Some photographs have memories associated with them and can stay 'fresh' forever, but a copy of it will get boring soon enough.

It is a status thing, very few people can say that they have an original oil portrait done by a professional artist in a life sessions.

You will learn more about yourself every day you look at it. It will look different every time and the thing that real paintings have is every time you get to discover something new about them.

Real portraits take time, be prepared to wait for a few months, after all you want the artist to be in the 'creative mood' when a portrait is created.

You do not choose what you are going to look like. You getting real you, and even with many artist now accepting the idea that they should make people look a little better than they actually look (no one wants to see a portrait of themselves on a 'bad' day), it is still a pure view of the artist. This is how the artist sees you, and there are no second chances.

They are more expensive, not just cost wise but the time you have to spend away from other things that you need to be doing, so these are for wealthy.

There are exceptions (there are always exceptions):
TV made impossible things possible. When a person is on TV an Artist now can capture their character and emotions and translate them in to a portrait even if it is done form photograph. (This is harder with politicians since by the nature of their work they tend to hide their emotions).

I'll let you to decide what is better and why.

Let me know what you think about original oil painting of Oprah Winfrey above. You can always leave a comment here or visit Oil Portrait Paintings to see more oil portrait paintings and drop me an e-mail.

Mikhail Onanov