Has the recession hit the art world?

With England still regrettably in recession, it is most logical to come to the conclusion that all industries are suffering and struggling to sustain their hold on the market. However, I have found this is not the case for the art world. Just last month Christies announced that Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Curved Form (Bryher II)’  sold for £2.4 million setting a world auction record. This shows that people are still investing heavily in the art market.

As I ask myself why this is the case, I realise that during the recession, people turn to the arts for inspiration and it allows people to express themselves. However, more importantly, people who are financially buoyant usually want to invest in something that will keep or increase in value, regardless. For this reason, art is a very shrewd investment that may be a more reliable location to store money than anywhere else at the moment, if cleverly invested.

This is brilliant for the art market as it is providing a steady income and boosting the economic state of the industry. After all, as Beverly Sills said, ‘Art is the signature of civilisations.’


Flower Power

I believe that through art you can express your spirit and soul, it is a way to escape the conventionalities of the world and immerse yourself in whatever world you want to. I also think that art enables the viewer to be taken on a journey and as you look closer into an artwork, more of its features start to show themselves to you like an never-ending adventure.

A while ago, whilst visiting a small market town in Gloucestershire, I went into a flower shop which, from the outside, looked no different from any other flower shop. Whilst perusing, I noticed that hanging on the walls there were lots of big paintings of flowers, they were oil paintings and quite abstract. Their vibrant colours and sparkling sheen caught my eye. When I asked the owner and artist, she said that to create this sheen effect, she had used copper powder and blown some of it onto the wet paint. I loved this addition to her works.

Her flower shop and art studio are joined together and so when you enter the shop, the creative spirit is immense and a wonderful place to be for an art lover, especially if you want to buy some flowers!

Jackson Pollock’s ‘Untitled’ masterpiece

Jackson Pollock - 'Untitled'Whilst at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice, yet another painting grabbed my attention and lured me in with its vibrant orange strokes and abstract shapes.

Jackson Pollock’s painting which is ‘Untitled’ was made using gouache and pastel on paper. This is an extremely abstract piece and does not seem to resemble anything. Even Pollock could not think of a name, suggesting he himself did not know what it was.

At first I thought this work was insignificant and wondered why such a seemingly unstructured painting was included in the gallery. However, after standing looking at it for a while, I suddenly understood its appeal. As I looked closer, I took in all the precise marks and colours included. It evokes such emotion through its bright colours and strong marks. After contemplating what made the piece evoke such emotion, I realised it is the deep, intense blue surrounding it and forming a frame.

I loved this piece and it is well worth visiting when at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice.

When you wish upon a tree…

Wishing TreeThe Wishing Tree at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice is a must see attraction when at the Guggenheim. At the far end of the Nasher Sculpture Garden, behind a beautiful pagoda, lies The Wishing Tree. It is an olive tree which symbolises wisdom, peace, hope and light amongst other things. This makes the olive tree apt to use as a wishing tree.

The placard on the side instructs to write down a wish and attach it to a branch. It then says “keep wishing, until the branches are covered with wishes.”

I think this is a fabulous idea and although it may be debated, I feel it is a piece of artwork and it could be argued that it is more valuable and a greater masterpiece than some of the other works at the Guggenheim. This is because it is an interactive piece that is on-going and can never be finished. This makes it very special as the outcome cannot be predicted and the presence of the unknown makes it all the more exciting.

So, when you’re next in Venice, go and put your wish upon the tree and it will forever be immortalised.

Was there Moore meaning to Henry’s work than meets the eye?

'Working Model for Oval with Points' - Henry Moore

“A piece of sculpture can have a hole through it and not be weakened if the hole is of a studied size, shape and direction.” – Henry Moore

Having specialised in bronze sculpture in the Modernism movement, Henry Moore has since become a well known figure and he is best known for his semi abstract monumental bronze sculptures. Whilst visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice, my eye was caught by Henry Moore’s ‘Working Model for Oval with Points.’ Its flowing shape and uneven texture reflect light that bounces off from all sides. This however, is the only compliment that can be found.

This piece is so abstract that not only is there no point of its image, it does not portray any deeper meaning or reasoning for its form. I believe that this piece was conjured up through no real planning or thought and it was an accident of a bronze figure gone wrong.

How can it be determined if this piece is art? There is no doubt that his other works of bronze figures are skilled pieces of art work, but this sculpture does not have the same feel of his other works. Henry Moore himself said “All art is an abstraction to some degree.” However, personally, this is so abstract that the viewer is left wondering its purpose and the reason for why this piece is part of the fabulous collection at the Guggenheim.

How does interest in art become love of art?

My love of art has developed over the years beginning from when I was very young. My first taste of art was the Mona Lisa in Le Louvre, Paris. I fell in love with the iconic image and since then have always viewed art with an inquisitive eye.

I recently visited the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice, Italy, which is home to many masterpieces which Peggy collected for her house whilst she was alive. She collected works by artists that she thought were up and coming and favoured modern artworks. The Nasher Sculpture Garden in particular caught my eye, presenting the works of Henry Moore and Giacometti amongst others.

I find Peggy fascinating and inspiring, as she too, like me, loved art so much that she surrounded herself in it and immersed herself in the art world. Although her personal life was somewhat tumultuous, she provided a fantastic showpiece and left a marvellous legacy which art lovers can still enjoy today.

When romantics say Venice is the place to fall in love, I can now understand, as it was where I too fell in love: with the city’s magnificent art.