Question of Ethics

“There are things too personal to be disposed of, not unless one is in dire straits. If an auction house values its integrity, they should be more stringent in accepting consignments, otherwise they’ll suffer the risk of being labeled a dumping ground. Sketches, prints of all types, posters, studies, generally they cluster into a special category called ephemera or paraphernalia acceptably but separately categorized inside the same catalogue. There are cases where consignors needs to force sell, and cases where auction houses are coerced to sell, but there too are situations whereby collectors scale down or inherited properties disposed of because the heir is not keen about art. But even-though so, it is the duty of responsible auction houses to advise the courts in the case of force-sell or in other cases, the would-be consignor, the fair market value of the property consigned. Fair market value is determined by the art appraiser using approved formulas. Not by the whims and calls of the consignor nor the auction house. That said, malice becomes the glaring motive when an auction house especially an experienced one being aware of the fair market value, agrees to an undervalued consignment from an experienced consignor.

Going back to the first point, the consignment is more a case of ethics than anything else but it could be better handled by the auction house otherwise misunderstanding will occur.

As for the undervalued estimates of other properties under consignment, force selling, selling off an old investment and disposing inherited properties are all acceptable reasons, very frequent appearing as ‘No Reserve’ lots, but they need to be investigated on a case by case basis by the auction house concern. Galleries and living artists are frequent victims of such irresponsible estimates.

But if a collector insists that he can do whatever he wants since he owns the artwork, or the auction house insist that they can call whatever price they want despite the resources available for reference, then it is perfectly correct to imply that their motives are intended. For the fact that every action is a manifestation of one’s intention.”

Advertisements

Taste

Taste is the ability to judge what is beautiful, good and proper. It is aesthetically driven. Not by the most exquisite of brands. But by the ability to juggle form, color, texture, patterns and space well. Not everyone has taste. That’s why brands sell.

Matrix versus Print

“It is ironical for a self proclaimed printmaker to sell the matrixes separately from the prints in an arts show not unless the print edition is classified ‘unique’ and it came accompanied with the matrix. If the matrix is sold separately as a work of art beit or not at a reduced price, then the purchaser of the prints should be informed and those matrixes shall then by right be regarded as ‘wood carvings’ which in this case is not since the artist did not regard himself as a ‘wood carver’. This wood carving is by right a tool, medium or mode the printmaker uses to create his art and at most times is kept by the printmaker or dispose of since it no longer has meaning after the ‘unique’ copy is sold. The question then arises that if both prints and matrixes are up for sale, which then should a collector collect in this case and which has more value? The logical answer would be the print since that is the ‘end result’ of the printmakers craft and the matrix is but the ‘medium’. But preferably, the collector of the ‘unique’ print should own the matrix also if the printmaker wishes not to keep it. And it is not ethical for the printmaker to sell both the positive and negative separately, each as an artwork by itself. Moreover whoever owns the matrix could summon for multiple re-edition of prints made without the knowledge and consent of the printmaker or the owner of the unique print. And this, the ignorant collector should by right be informed as it lends concerns towards authentication issues.

If one looks back at the history of printmaking, the craftsmen doesn’t sell their matrixes. And in each artwork, there are as many matrixes as there are colors encountered.The key point to know about matrixes is that it is technically not ‘the’ work of art although many may admire its reverse intricacy and it will not appreciate in value or have a value equivalent to the print from which it is printed from provided in due course, the unique print is unintentionally or intentionally destroyed, went missing or disposed of for whatever reasons. In the last case the matrix can acquire antique value with collectors of matrixes which is rare or museums of printmaking provided the printmaker is highly regarded in the printing world.

The next question that beckons interest is can collectors add value to a series of prints that he deliberately purchased and then have them destroyed to reduce the edition number? The answer is yes. Scarcity adds value to the print concern provided the matrix held by the artist is also destroyed. But that act should preferably be staged as a public performance known to the art community. It must also be remembered that the act of destroying cannot be constituted as an element or trajectory of the print provided the artist is physically involved in the process. That act itself also does not lend new meaning to the original intention it was meant as a print neither does that act transforms it into conceptual art or makes the collector the artist of that print.

There is a tendency for collectors to want to add value to his collection by this act. But generally not unless he is the sole owner of that print, and provided it is a work from a notable printmaker.”

Fiveloaf 2014/2019

Ton-Tin

“When one loses at the gambling table, one can either swiftly stand up and leave quietly or stay to sharpen one’s skill by deepening one’s anguish. One has no right to accuse the croupier or worse, corrupt the entire deck that has already been distributed. That is the trait of a loser everyone abhors.

In this scenario, the loser in his endeavor to stay relevant turns crafty thus he devices a ton-tin scheme where unbeknownst to the stakehouse, he manipulates the game by convincing all the naive gamblers to be his cohort because when no one wants to lose, everyone is kept on their toes, thus, he himself is kept safe.’

Size as yardstick

If size is the yardstick used to gauge the prices of artworks, then I guess I’m worth no different than the other 1.76m tall baboon of similar weight standing next to me. That also means that everything else I am capable of to outwit that baboon is redundant. And that includes even when I am more handsome or intelligent. Does that answer your question?

Monopoly

“Market forces and demand varies the world over. Thus, to market a fair that claims to cut across the continents is amusing, if not to continuously keep the pecan pie to yourself by killing two birds with one stone. 1) by depleting the coffers of smaller galleries by inducing them to pay exorbitant fair charges which stumps their cash flow and stunt their growth; and 2) using those gains to boost and sustain the star status of bigger galleries and their artists thus deflating the prospect of smaller galleries, all in the name of western monopoly.”