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Welcome to the BOLD Blog: We aim to provide you with the latest art news at bold, whether its new art arrivals, new artists, the latest BOLD news, upcoming events, BOLD art (corporate art), Artist tips & techniques, or general art market information from around the world. We would like to hear your point of view, your expectations of art, your comments on particular pieces of art, artists etc... So don't be Shy, be Bold!

06 November 2008

Investments in art today....

At a time when the stock and property markets are looking dangerously unstable, many investors are turning to art as a way of diversifying their portfolios. When pieces are invested in with time and consideration, they can be a solid form of capital, and often appreciate in value over time.

So what do you need to know before becoming one of the many art investors out there? Here are a few tips to help you make informed decisions and wise investments.

First of all, it is a good idea to take an interest in art in general before spending money on it, just as with any other type of investment. While it is not necessary to have a degree in art, knowledge of the basics can be a great help to you, as it gives a chance to familiarize yourself with styles that you particularly like, as well as detailing the different types of art it is possible to buy. There is no need to limit yourself to buying paintings, as photography, sculpture and prints are some of the many other options available, and may better suit a smaller budget.

Another thing to be aware of is the rising incidence of art fraud, which has caught many unsuspecting buyers unaware. Because the internet is used so widely nowadays, it has become easy for scams to spread; such as where a poster instead of the original and/or a forgery is sold as a “limited edition” (sometimes even along with an equally fake “Certificate of Authenticity”). The best rule of thumb is to avoid buying art over the Internet as a beginner to the art market, stick to what you can see and touch with your own eyes. In this vein, good places to buy from include art galleries, the artist themselves, or reputable auction houses.

Once you have found the type of art you like and a place to buy it from, what we would most importantly advise is this: Buy something you know you like, that you could enjoy looking at every day. It is very possible that your purchase may take years to increase significantly in value, so treat buying an artwork as you would treat buying a home; as something you will live with for a significant amount of time. That way even when the market fluctuates (as will almost always happen) you will still get satisfaction from your investment.

A good way to determine whether you are choosing an artwork that will hold, or ideally, increase in value, is to look at the career of the artist so far. If they are being exhibited frequently over a number of years, has an agent, or is regularly receiving publicity in the form of good reviews, articles etc.; these are good indicators that the artist in question has a good chance of wider success and financial investment.
Once you have invested in your artwork, keep in mind that the work will need to be kept in top condition to retain all of its value in the event of it being sold again. Ask before you collect your artwork how it should be cared for. If you are considering selling your piece soon, have it appraised by a qualified professional. Once you have an idea of what your art is worth, you can establish an asking price. Remember; always sell to or through a reputable source. As you establish contacts through your art collecting, so will you get a good idea where your art should be sold. Auction houses are good options, although keep in mind that the auction house will retain a commission for selling your piece. Private collectors and art dealers are also options but finding one suitable will require more research on your part.
Whether you plan to invest for a lifetime purchase or as a portfolio expansion, we hope you follow these guidelines, and enjoy your new artwork!

Artist of the Month - Conor McGuire

Conor McGuire was born in the west of Ireland and has chosen to live there as his influences are taken from the local rural landscape and townscape. His technique can vary from realism to abstract depending on the subject, but he finds his artistic home to be in an impressionistic impasto technique. He loves the quality and light in the west of Ireland and the shifting transience it brings to the subject matter. He likes subjects that are timeless and speak to the viewer without requiring them to be political or analytical. To his viewer Conor hopes they get some sense of the quirky essence that makes the west of Ireland life so special…..a sense of the timelessness of the place, its friendliness and beauty.

The type of medium he uses depends on the type of painting he is working on; for landscape and townscape he uses oils and then acrylics for abstract work. He favors lush textured brush strokes, allowing the paint to convey and suggest form and detail. He does however `go in` and add detail with a sable brush but tries to keep it light and unlabored.

Conor avoids being overtly political or attempting social commentary but he hopes to convey a sense of joy of being alive and living a full life in a unique and beautiful place.

“I hope the strong cultural identity of a place like Galway will survive the constant pressure of modern living and there will always be that local Galway feel to the city and environs.”

“I love the impressionists and expressionists but will always admire a technically well produced piece of work regardless of what school of painting it might lay claim to.”


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Graffitti: Is it a a form of expression or public anarchy and nuisance?

In a growing city like Galway we have ever more graffitti on our walls, parks and often on windows... Who are the artists and, like most other modern cities in the world, do we need a place for this form of modern art to be expressed? Maybe some of our walls should be cleared white for new graffitti artists to make their mark?

Firstly, it is important to note the difference between graffitti art and what is known as 'tagging' which is essentially a way of leaving one's mark, nickname or 'trag' by spray painting it on any and every available surface. This has been likened to dogs marking their territory, and has no real artistic or creative value, nor makes any statements of note. It is often also very detrimental to the appearance of a town or city. Here in Galway for example, one lone tagger did untold damage to businesses in the city centre when they tagged various buildings using a form of liquid acid. This can take up to 20mins to show on a building or window, and when used on glass there is no way to repair the damage short of replacing it. It is behaviour like this that makes people unkind towards the idea of graffitti, but when used as a form of expression, and in agreed areas, it can have a meaningful and beautiful impact on the viewer and the surroundings.

Ireland has a long, albeit little known history for graffitti art. In the North, both Unionst and Republican graffitti was used as a means to communicate from the underworld, to air politcal views, hopes and grievances. The communities then could freely talk and express the underlining feelings of their people on the ground. The things featured in many of these pieces often spoke a truth not realised until later, from when problems of the 70’s first came to light and also in the run-up to the peace process of the 90’s. Around the marching season people still look to the graffitti lining the roads as an indicator of public sentiment.

So what about Galway? Previously we had boards at City Hall which were open to use for graffitti and it was great to let this form of art to be expressed. However this is no longer in place and to my knowledge there is now no public space in Galway that is used for this purpose. There is some space around the playground on Father Griffin Road that has been set aside for murals and graffitti art, this is well laid out, but almost full, and we could use more of the same.

So what have cities like London , Barcelona and New York done in this situation? Well they realise that graffitti is part and parcel of modern living. In New York it is zero tolerance other than on designated areas. London and Barcelona are somewhat more lenient than NYC, but do try to restrict graffitti artists to predetermined areas. Available space for graf artists to work in goes a long way towards making it more acceptable, although the draw of the forbidden is temptation to both taggers and legitimate graffiti artists.

Galway is growing with more houses and developments every week; the city is expanding in every direction. We should question in a case like this whether amenities are being put in place to help groups like graf artists perform to their utmost potential. It is a case of asking the planners of our city to think in the future… like where will Galway be in 5 or 10 years time. Have we given enough thought to the social consequences of not providing space for these people? We call on our youth to express themselves in life, to find themselves, to be themselves. Where in Galway do we give them the forum for this in graffitti? Oscar Wilde once said: “Youth is the King”. Maybe our ever growing cosmopolitian multicultural city needs a Graff wall! For starters...

If you are interested in finding out more about street art and graffitti, give these sites a try: - The website of French street art pioneer Blek le Rat. Blek was one of the first to use stencils in his graffitti, and his work is skilled and thought provoking. Kieran Herlihy is a young Irish artist working in Limerick who is heavily influenced by street art Banksy is a UK street artist who has helped bring street art into the mainstream. His work is often a great source of satire and social comment. The Wooster Collective was founded in 2001. This site is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world.

Your Words...

Any ideas, comments, requests....
It's your space,
Your words!!!!

"Sharp Light" by Joby Hickey