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Art as an Investment

 
 
kayla
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 07:50 am
LW-You bring up a good point, copyright. What is the safest way to copyright your work? Joanne and LightWizard, you are most helpful.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 08:09 am
Kayla here is a link to the US Patent Office regs on copywrting for artists. Boring reading but necessary if you want to protect you work. Copyright Regulations
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 10:28 am
There are several online copyrighting services so check prices -- I don't know any reason for it not being safe as there's little benefit in anyone stealing the image in the process of its being copyrighted. The would have to spend some time in a federal prison for what?

http://www.legalzoom.com/legalwiz/copyrights/copy_procedure.html

If you request the forms from the government yourself, it isn't a lot of trouble to fill them out and provide a visual for copyright. I worked in an ad agency for two years and we did it all the time (incidentally, we copyrighted the ad imagery so the agency owned the copyrights -- unless the artist copyrighted their individual work, it became a part of the final creation).
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 12:27 am
Claiming no knowledge of either art or copyright law, I briefly worked in a shop that silk screened tee shirts. They purchased designs and rights from local artists, and immediately copyrighted each one. It was as easy and routine as collecting sales tax.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 11:31 am
You also have pointed out another example of where the artist relinquishes their rights to copy to a manufacturer by not copyrighting the material themselves.
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shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 08:47 am
Thanks for the illuminating discussion Lightwizard.....

I am wondering about the rights to use another artist's work. For instance both Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalli used the image of the Mona Lisa, but made a few changes, to make it their own.....?

Also what about using photographs (taken by someone else and
perhaps published in a magazine) as Reference material? I know
I have seen a certain National Geographic photo used in many
artists' work.....

I believe it is ok to use photographs so long as
you change them in some way....like flip them over ,
but I am not sure? Can anyone comment on this point.....
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 11:14 am
The "Mona Lisa" couldn't be protected by copyright. Da Vinci would have had to copyright it -- not up on history to know if there were such laws at the time but it would undoubtedly have gone into public domain by now.
Very Happy
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 11:22 am
As far as using photographs of copyrighted images, it has to do with the originator. I doubt that any of them would have a legal problem of your using the photos in an painting. I was involved in a law suit of Hard Rock Cafe disputing using their logo in a pop art image -- they lost based on freedom of speech but they sued for the wrong thing. They should have sued for a registered trademark violation and they sued for copyrights. Attorneys aren't always that smart and I'm not one but if you have an attorney, it's always best to find out.
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shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Dec, 2002 04:41 pm
Light...we were told in the graphics design course that copying a published photographer's work was out., unless we changed a certain percentage of it........I suppose because of possible lawsuits etc......

I assume that it is easier to assign"investment" value to Old Masters, for example, because they have some sort of previous sales history ....Contemporary art works , on the other hand, have had a very short life in the market place. Their real value may be based on completely artificial market forces.

I look at something like Claus Oldenburg's old (stuffed fabric) hamburger and am puzzled over its real value. I grudgingly accept it may have some position in the history of contmporary art. I do not, however, find it comparable in worth to a fine old art historical oil painting.
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Dec, 2002 05:53 pm
pricing art
Yes, Shepaints, it makes sense that it would be much more difficult to price a contemporary work for which there is no market perspective on it. Fortunately the "artistic value" (as opposed to the market value) of a work is very easy to assess, even if it inevitably differs from viewer to viewer.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Dec, 2002 06:20 pm
Robert Hughes has written a lot about the evaluation of fine art, especially contemporary works. In the last hour of "Shock of the New," he slices right through the baloney to reveal the game that the ultra-rich and the art dealers play to push art values through the roof. The auction houses got into a lot of trouble in the late 80's using financing to push up prices of art and there were some indictments. The intrinsic value of a piece of fine art is rarely the market value.

Oldenberg created a visual concept that is original and can only be done once. He's been aped by a lot of commercial products and whether he was flattered by that, I wouldn't know. It's really unbecoming of artists to become critics of work that has reached such stature with the danger of appearing sour grapes. I personally wish I'd thought of his method of isolating three-dimensional representations. That hamburger made me swear off of fast food.

You are correct that copying a photograph in a painted version is risky if the photograph is copyrighted. Of course, if you were every caught with a photograph in an art class of a reputable school, you'd be figuratively thrashed across the hand by the instructor in any case.
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shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Dec, 2002 09:33 pm
Light...the course I took was many years ago, and likely there are
new and possibly more stringent guidelines in place.

Classic works such as those of the Great Masters are always likely to appreciate in value. Whose contemporary work do you think will be appreciating in value 100 years from now?
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 12:27 am
I'm talking about art schools in the 50's and 60's (Otis, for one) and you just simply could not bring photographs into class. If you were doing any work at home, I couldn't see how they could know but you were first expected to learn how to draw and create your own compositions whatever substrate. You could use field drawings but still lifes, for instance, were set up in the art lab room. I've caught artists using pantographs and other optical apparatus to actually project a photograph onto the picture plane of the substrate. It's was because they really couldn't draw.

One also had to stretch watercolor paper and canvas -- no watercolor board or pre-stretched canvases or, horrors, canvas board.

Commercial art and design you could bring in photographs and they were also allowed to be used as elements in an ad, for instance.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 12:31 am
You second question is that most the artists are still living whose work today is appreciating into the millions. Robert Rauschenberg has stated that he can't even afford to buy back any of his work. Artists of the past five to ten years, I wouldn't even venture to guess which ones will bring multi-million dollars purchase prices 50 or 100 years from now. In 100 years, they all become antiques!
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HumsTheBird
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 12:46 am
To Be Honest...
To be honest, I'd never purchase any of those options (Poll [^^]), but I have and do purchase pieces that I find evocative.

I have two originals of prints by Eadweard Muybridge, which I bought from Sotheby's because they were so moving.

Moving.

Other works, particularly painting, I buy and sell, at different times, depending on how I feel about a piece. My own paintings, however, I like to hang onto and have a real emotionally strained experience whenever I part with one of them.

But, I always know where they are, and try to visit them whenever I can.

About a Poll, an opinion about a genre, though, as to collectability, nothing can compare with Italian Renaissance painters.

Reubens is pretty schweet, too.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 01:07 am
While in Japan during the early 70s I purchased some etchings and woodblocks that turned out to be good investments. They were purchased because I loved them and wanted them in my home and they still are, in my home. My taste in art still leans towards Asian work; however, I now prefer to collect Indian miniatures from the 17th Century Moghul period and when I can afford it I like to play around with small purchases if Hindu icons. I love auctions and love bidding, using OTP money though, Embarrassed
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 09:27 am
Each period and genre of art has its time in the spotlight with the ultra-rich collectors who drive up prices. It was Impressionism in the 80's. In the 70's, Japanese graphics were at a low ebb so Joanne bought at the right time. They were up in the late 80's quite a bit, down during the recession of the late 80's and early 90's but I'm not certain where they are at right now. I wouldn't get them appraised until the next decade but an inquiry to an auction house could give you a good idea of how much they are worth on the market. The real telling market value is to actually go out and try to sell them. Putting them on E Bay at over the high end of an appraisal would be a good gauge (beware that you might get a bidder, of course). It's expensive to keep a record of auction prices and the other volumes that appraisers keep in their library and database on their computer. I'd always recommend one get an appraisal from an accredited appraiser (American Society of Fine Art Appraisers) which can start around $400.00 for one to three pieces to several thousand dollars for an entire collection. The auction house appraisals which are often at no charge are usually on the low end of the market value -- after all, they want to sell the art!
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 09:42 am
BTW, modern 20th Century art has broken all records as far as appreciation in the last thirty years. Italian Rennaissance has been unpredictable and not even close -- it was in the spotlight for investors in the 50's, 60's and early 70's, J. Paul Getty being one of the private collectors who donated his collection to the museum of the same name. It went out of favor during the late 70's until the mid 90's. French impressionism and artist like Van Gogh in percentile increases were very good from the 70's through the 80's. Italian Rennaisance has shown some indications of a come-back with collectors but the prices are in the multi-million dollar range and not that much is on the market (the works being predominantly in museums who seldom put works back onto the market). Some drawings and graphics from the Italian Rennaisance come up on the market but they are extremely expensive. Rembrandts and other works of that period were also bringing huge prices during the 80's. There are many pieces from the Italian Rennaisance that are just simply priceless and nobody would know exactly what price to assign to them. I believe that is why Jespah left the period out of the poll -- if there's someone on this forum who could actually afford any of that art, let alone those that are listed, please let me know. I might have a business proposition! Laughing
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HumsTheBird
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 10:05 am
Well, Poll Title DOES Read...
Well, Poll Title DOES read, "Assuming, unlimited funds..."

So, hey, I'd take a Rembrandt any day, since I wouldn't have to consider financial restrictions or some measly budget of only one or two million to spend.

Oh, the humanity. Sob.

Same with Italian Renaissance, which I'd purchase with my unlimited funds, not because they're worth unlimited amounts of money (which many are), but because they MOVE me.

Which is why I appreciate and value whatever I appreciate and value and would or do own (no, I don't own any works by Italian Renaissance painters, though, but I can dream about it), because they are evocative.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 10:42 am
You caught me! I was being facetious so deserve facetiousness in return. Actually, limiting it to genre's is to make it rather exclusive. Periods like 16th Century, 17th Century, etc. would perhaps make more sense. I would use my bucks to collect 20th century art, especially DeKooning and Diebenkorn. The abstract expresssionist have become rather pricy, now topping out over 20 million for major works (and they're only around 50 years old!) It's been hard to drag the actual answer out of me, but you could not go wrong buying the art of the 50's and 60's right now if you are in your 30's. By the time you are retired, you'll easily have made money off your investment and likely better than any stock. One can still buy a Jasper John's graphic, for instance, under 25,000.00. The exciting prospect is, however, to collect art by new artists without thought of how it will appreciate. This is a lot of fun too imagine being able to afford any of the art here -- but, for instance, Picasso has topped out right now.
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