A virtue of the art collector is maintenance. When you purchase an original piece, there’s more to the cost than the price tag—costs such as making sure your shiny new work doesn’t get destroyed!
That was something on the minds of art collectors all over the world when rumour spread that Charles Saatchi, one of the key patrons of Brit Art, had let an ice sculpture melt. But this was no ordinary sculpture—Marc Quinn’s Self was a life size cast of the artist’s head frozen with 4.5 litres of his own blood. Needless to say that a piece like this is very delicate and requires proper refrigeration.
It was reported that builders who were renovating Saatchi’s kitchen accidentally unplugged the freezer that he had kept the piece in, and it was only once the fridge was oozing that it was discovered that one of the pieces of this on-going project had melted.
Though this story is a rumor that Saatchi has rejected as a fabrication, it is a reminder of the fragility of many artworks and the way it cannot be commercialized. In fact Quinn’s next piece, Self 2, also nearly melted at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humblebaek, Denmark after the temperature-controlled display case failed. Luckily, the curators had a second freezer specifically for this very emergency and so a potential disaster was averted.
There are many factors that may stop a work from appreciating in value, with damage being one of the biggest. From negligence to light to moisture to bugs and other potential problems, the preservation of an artwork requires a commitment on the part of the collector to reap the full benefits later on.
A striking aspect of the artwork of Francoise Nielly is the viewer’s ability to understand and relate to the implicit emotions that are portrayed by human subjects. When I saw Francoise Nielly’s “Three Faces” at the Navillus Gallery, the facial expressions of the people in the painting reminded me of the changing emotional states of a human being – one moment an individual can feel confident and secure, and the next moment they can feel confused and alone. It is Nielly’s excellent understanding of human emotions such as melancholy, anger, confusion, loneliness, pride, courage, happiness, and joy that make her an incredibly unique artist.
Francoise Nielly, “Three Faces”
In addition to facial expression, the emotions of Nielly’s subjects are also portrayed by her use of bright and exhilarating colours as well as the nature in which she applies the paint to the canvas. For example, in Nielly’s painting “Shanghai” the woman’s feelings of envy are further portrayed by Nielly’s use of alarming bright reds, juxtaposed with shades of dark purple and black. Additionally, the way that Nielly applies the paint to the canvas, which is by using a square knife to layer different colours, creates a chaotic geometric composition that provides insight into the subject’s psychological state.
Francoise Nielly, “Shanghai”
In her online biography, Francoise Nielly describes certain events, figures, and inspirations in her life that may have facilitated her emotional and dramatic artistic style. She describes the vibrant and exhilarating colours of the South of France, where she grew up, which may have influenced her use of bright colours in her paintings. She describes her father as being strict, which may have triggered her interest in human emotions. Francoise Nielly also states that she was inspired by the urban city, which may have triggered her inclusion of the geometric shapes that are reminiscent of a city’s blocky architecture.
The feeling that I get when I look at a Francois Nielly is the same feeling that I get when I am walking down the busy streets of Toronto – I encounter a variety of faces with different emotions, but I am blind to the personal stories that have triggered these emotions.
While we already discussed the potential advantages of starting an art wall (a collection of small artworks), there is a drastically different route you can take which is just as effective. Although it might be intimidating to think about bringing home a piece of art that is larger than yourself, a big piece of art can be all you need to add personality, drama and intrigue to an apartment or home. Especially with the rise of condo-living these days - where people are often faced with a fairly minimal aesthetic and open concept layouts, a large painting or photograph can have an amazing impact on those spaces. Although larger scale pieces tend to be higher in price, they can add enough to the aesthetics of a space that there may be little else you need to do by ways of interior decorating. Here is some inspiration for how you can tackle a large-artwork in your own home.
There are some magazines that are made for flipping through while in the doctors office, or running on a treadmill; these are not them. These are the kind of publications you find tucked away in boutiques and independent book stores, that you read when you have time enough to digest and savour them; a Sunday morning paired with eggs and coffee, or an evening in with a glass of wine.
Recently there seems to have been a boom in magazines that feature overlapping content in art, fashion, photography, music, literature and film, perhaps reflecting a rise in collaboration amongst creative industries in general. And it isn’t just their content that expresses this trend. Highly aesthetic layouts and graphics make them rivals to any coffee table book you might have in your house. For instance, Canadian publication Corduroy describes itself as “Part gallery space and part storybook […] as much about quality writing as it is about strong design.”
Here are just a few of our favourites…
With summer around the corner, the season of music festivals have begun! Widely thought to be the hottest events of the year, powerhouse festivals are notorious for killer lineups of both popular and upcoming artists, star studded attendances, dream like atmospheres, and of course, outrageous fashion. One of the most popular is Coachella, and this Californian centralized festival has hosted everyone to Snoop Dogg, Madonna, Pink Floyd and the Arcade Fire and widely reputed as the platform of whats new and amazing. The 6 day music session is divided over two weekends, and where passes are possibly more coveted then gold, it’s also one of the most widely published events as guests flood social media with infinite images proving their presence and flaunting their bold, festival attire.
Recently the festival has been putting more emphasis on its elaborate art installations, confirming Coachella as a celebration for music as much as it is for aesthetics. Already mastered are sophisticated lighting effects that fill the fields of Indigo with awe, but as bigger, more advantageous pieces are added its argued that this legendary festival will soon be noted as a frontier of contemporary art as well. Here is a look at some of the wistful and wonderful pieces that have us buzzing.
Since we here at Navillus Gallery are despising the current icey weather in Toronto, we are looking to warmer climates. This week is Fashion Week Australia and we desperately want to be there rather than here. Here are some of our favourite looks and how they match up with a few of our favourite pieces by Navillus Gallery artists.
A neon blue blazer, chic black purse, and heavy jewellery seem to go effortlessly with this Francoise Nielly piece titled Trauma.
Here a feminine floral dress emulates Christie Lau’s works, such as her Replicator series.
And last but not least, the girl on the left is sporting a shirt that reminds us of mixed media pieces by The 5 STooGES.
All streetstyle photographs by Tommy Ton for Style.com.
Please visit the Sunset BLVD website for prints by the artists above.
Hello Spring! We have a number of artists that this reminds us of… Kirk Mechar, Christie Lau, and Francoise Nielly to name a few!
A few weeks ago, those who could get a ticket eagerly gathered at the Art Gallery of Ontario to watch Patti Smith perform. The event was part of the AGO’s new “First Thursday’s” series, featuring musical performances, drinks, DJ’s, book readings and artists talks, while the creative, fashionable and artistically inclined mill about the gallery space, a space which seems cleverly designed for just these kind of social events.
MoMA PS1’s “Warm Up” series during the summer months follows a similar vein. Taking place in the MoMA PS1’s courtyard, transformed by the winner of the Young Architects Program, these parties feature live music and DJ’s and draw a large and rowdy crowd.
Even art fairs such as Art Basel (see our post about art fairs here), or Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (we also covered Toronto Art Festivals here), often seem to be more about the parties and events than the art.
Perhaps this shift in how gallery space is utilized began much earlier, when art left the gallery walls and began taking the form of installation, interactive, sound, or performance pieces. For instance, think back to Carsten Höller’s slide installation at the New Museum in 2011, taking visitors on a three-story child-like ride through the museum. With installations such as Höller’s, the gallery experience is already immensely different from the classic, quiet contemplation of paintings and sculptures that it once was - so is it a huge leap to go from a slide installation to getting your nails done at the pop-up salon at MoMA PS1, or taking a yoga class in the Henry Moore sculpture room at the AGO?
Art galleries as large as the AGO are not only for showcasing art; they are both a cultural hub of activity and a tourist attraction, and because of their function in these respects, restaurants, cafes and gift-shops become paramount factors in their design.
While it could be said that the importance placed on non-art spaces and activities deters from viewing and appreciating the art itself, it is perhaps also true that the innovative re-contextualization of these gallery spaces, whether for sipping cocktails to the sounds of a DJ, or stretching out in a downward dog, creates environments in which creative minds can gather, share inspiration across disciplines, and become integrated with art in new and exciting ways.
When I think of art I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye it is in the mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.
- Agnes Martin, born March 22, 1912
You may notice a bit of a theme to this week’s post…
The art wall is an amazing way to start an art collection on a budget. If you are nervous about investing in a large scale painting, you can instead start to buy smaller drawings, prints (check out SunsetBLVD prints), or paintings from artists that spark your interest. This way you can get a taste for artists that you might want to invest in in the future and you can get an idea of where to find said artworks. You will also discover how it feels to bring a work of art - no matter the size - into your home.
Arranged in this fashion there is no need to worry about the individual pieces looking lonely or small on a large wall. You can even contribute some images you may have laying around your house. Perhaps you attended a life drawing class but have been too nervous to show off your efforts, or you have a stack of drawings from your children waiting to be put on display. It’s like an adult version of a collage - have fun!
All images via Pinterest