Saturday, September 13, 2008

Art investment consulting for individual and corporate clients

We are very happy to announce that we now offer art investment consulting services for individual and corporate clients led by Ms. Cappy Price!

Art isn't an asset that readily springs to mind when thinking of investment alternatives but its long-term performance record argues that it should be. Cappy Price spent 14 years as a portfolio manager, including helping to spearhead William Blair's development of a value investment discipline and related products for institutional and mutual fund investors. A partner at the firm, she co-managed assets in the small cap universe, primarily stocks with market capitalizations below $1.5 billion. She currently consults on Art as an Alternative Asset Class, in addition to being the co-owner of the online art auction site background enables her to meld the seemingly disparate areas of finance and art, and she welcomes the opportunity to make presentations.....on Art as an Alternative Asset Class.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008



"Non-financial assets form the greater part of world wealth and have been more stable in value during periods of financial and social turbulence." Roger Ibbotson and Gary Brinson, "Global Investing"

The devolution of confidence in traditional investment alternatives, in concert with the elevation of the importance of design and aesthetic throughout the world, points to a renaissance in the value of art to a degree never before witnessed.After all, the art auction market is fair and transparent with a degree of stability that many financial institutions, and even some AAA-rated U.S. government debt, can only dream about.

The very fact that sovereign wealth funds are dramatically altering their asset allocation decisions for the first time in decades, in recognition of a drastic change in the risk profiles of traditional and even AAA-rated securities, should prompt a revaluation of individuals' investment parameters toward the incorporation of real assets that have served as stores of value throughout time, such as art.

"The main contributor to both absolute total returns and to the variance of total returns was the asset allocation policy decision." ( Global Investing: The Professional's Guide to the World Capital Markets, Roger G. Ibbotson and Gary Brinson)

Even absent the conditions present in the market today, making the deliberate decision to remain in the stock market inherently implies acceptance of a degree of risk. In that case then the decision should be made to diversify with the inclusion into the portfolio of assets which have no or little correlation with that of the market, in order to minimize risk and maximize return potential.

As a real and tangible versus a monetary asset, art's low correlation with the stock and bond markets makes it an excellent diversification vehicle -- enabling reduction in overall portfolio risk. A key study examining the returns of 82 large pension portfolios by Gary Brinson, Brian Singer, and Gilbert Beebower uncovered that over 91% of the variance of returns is attributable to the asset allocation policy decision, rather than specific stock or bond selection decisions. (Gary P. Brinson, Brian D. Singer, and Gilbert L. Beebower, "Determinants of Portfolio Performance II: An Update," Financial Analysis Journal, May/June 1991.) Therefore, the research data argue persuasively that allocating a portion of all investment portfolios to art as an investment class is as imperative as the very decision to employ an investment policy. It shows that for an investor with the twin goals of preserving wealth and growing capital, with today's market conditions, history points to the capital preservation and return superiority of art.

Hence, it doesn't matter what genre of art is selected, what matters most is the policy decision for its inclusion. This study therefore highlights the importance of the investment policy with a clear implication for the Art market. Why not apply the respected and proven paradigm of the investment world as it relates to financial assets, to the real, tangible asset that is Art?

Art's status as a store of wealth is undeniable by historical standards. Under the old paradigm, one would observe that with a buoyant art market in large part due to exuberant participation of buyers from a single industry, that with the sudden ill fortunes of that industry, would necessarily mean at lease the near-term deceleration of the art market. Not so this time. The growth of the current art market is traceable not simply to a single industry or even a single continent, but to a hitherto unseen confluence of global wealth and acquisitive desire.

It has been an incredible year for contemporary and modern art. Christie's and Sotheby's together posted record sales over $12 billion. Despite all the economic travails discussed in these posts, art has been one of the only asset classes that has continued to outperform and bring an important degree of diversification to owners' portfolios. If you consider the fact that the 10-year inflation-adjusted return of the benchmark S&P 500 has actually been negative, that real estate can no longer be considered an asset upon which to retire, and the inflation which will only continue to ravage real returns, the choice for art becomes clear.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


"Non-financial assets form the greater part of world wealth and have been more stable in value during periods of financial and social turbulence." Roger Ibbotson and Gary Brinson, "Global Investing"

The devolution of confidence in traditional investment alternatives, in concert with the elevation of the importance of design and aesthetic throughout the world, points to a renaissance in the value of art to a degree never before witnessed. After all, the art auction market is fair and transparent with a degree of stability that many financial institutions, and even some AAA-rated U.S. government debt, can only dream about.

The Inflation Problem
Economies around the world are experiencing slower growth. However, the imported inflation in those countries where the currency is tied to the U.S. dollar has eliminated central banks' option of reducing interest rates in order to generate growth. Growth has been further stymied by those countries' losses from their dollar-denominated assets. Of all the maladies around the globe however, it is dollar-driven food price inflation which poses the gravest danger to the sustainability of the dollar peg. To reduce inflation, Thailand and the Philippine central bank increased intereste rates this week. South Korea has been selling dollars in an effort to revalue the Won. To address inflation, the Indian central government recently decided took steps allowing the rupee to rise in value against the dollar, sparking a rally in the stock market. For example, Pakistan experienced riots at its stock exchanges as a result of continued movements downward, on top of rapidly rising commodity price inflation. A recent survey there highlighted the fact that 71% of respondents see inflation as a problem. This situation has been pointing many decision-makers toward the necessity of de-coupling from the dollar, revaluing their currencies higher, accelerating the movement away from U.S. investment vehicles, including the AAA variety, and hence, the vulnerable position that the dollar now finds itself in.

Bank Failures.
It doesn't end at IndyMac, the U.S.' third largest bank failure ever. Bank regulators, due to their increased expectations for greater numbers of bank failures, has for months been bringing bank examiners out of retirement in order to handle the anticipated workout workload. Many more banks are expected to fail.Interestingly, IndyMac wasn't even on the regulators' watch list when it failed, indicating that other banks are almost certainly as vulnerable. In its call upon depositor insurance to consumers, IndyMac alone will exhaust 10% of the FDIC's total warchest.
Not all things with high prices are in a bubble/Art Market will not implode.

The most well-known of the art indexes was developed by economists from NYU's Stern School of Business Jianping Mei, and Michael Moses. The Mei/Moses Fine Art index exist for seven different categories of art including Old Masters, 19th century, Impressionist, Modern, postwar and contemporary, and American before 1950. It is based on repeat sales of paintings, sculpture, ect. and captures almost 95% of all auction data. The index indicates that art had a compound annual growth rate of 12.05% between 1953 and 2003 versus 11.65% for the S&P500 index, with reinvested dividends.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


"Non-financial assets form the greater part of world wealth and have been more stable in value during periods of financial and social turbulence." Roger Ibbotson and Gary Brinson, "Global Investing"

The devolution of confidence in traditional investment alternatives, in concert with the elevation of the importance of design and aesthetic throughout the world, points to a renaissance in the value of art to a degree never before witnessed.After all, the art auction market is fair and transparent with a degree of stability that many financial institutions, and even some AAA-rated U.S. government debt, can only dream about.

Foreign Investors Reducing Their Exposure to the Dollar because sovereign wealth funds have begun to more aggressively reduce their exposure to the dollar. With over $3 trillion in investable assets, Foreign governments already own a whopping $1 trillion of Fannie and Freddie debt. Having watched as their investments in faltering U.S. banks such as Citibank (down 71% past 12-months) have cost them huge losses, Gulf state funds as well as China's primary investment fund (SAFE) are increasingly diversifying out of dollar assets. China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which holds most of China's $1.8 trillion in foreign currency reserves in dollar-denominated investments, is evaluating investments outside of the U.S. Their move follows moves by Kuwait which cut its ties to the dollar in 2007 and their statements this week that they will not buy any additional Fannie or Freddie debt, and Singapore which has also reduced its exposure after watching its $5 billion stake in Merrill Lynch fall by almost 40% so far. The $200 billion in funds managed by the China Investment Corporation have taken huge negative hits as a result of their $3 billion investment in Blackstone Group in 2007 followed by a $5 billion infusion into Morgan Stanley earlier this year.

The largest sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is growing increasingly sensitive as its population shoulders the pain of inflation imported as a result of the countries' tie to the dollar. And while the desire to diversify currency exposure is gaining strength, most sovereign funds, due to their own significant dollar holdings, are concerned with doing so in a measured way that is unlikely to cause an accelerated dollar plunge.

What is left then for those banks and investment banks in need of capital infusions, who don't have the benefit of being Government Sponsored Entities, and can no longer rely on sovereign wealth funds to lend a hand? They, like Merrill Lynch announced this week, are reduced to selling assets. Having raised $15 billion in capital year-to-date from hedge and sovereign funds from Singapore, Thailand, Kuwait, and South Korea, the investment bank announced that it will sell its stake in Bloomberg.Foreign investors currently hold around $2.6 trillion of U.S. Treasury Securities. Unfortunately, foreign investors' questions about the strength of our assets don't end with Fannie and Freddie. A clear indication of this latest statement comes in the form of credit insurance costs for AAA-rated U.S. Treasuries which in July rose to 16-20 basis points, higher than other nations for the first time ever.

If the country is called upon to write the check to Fannie and Freddie, our increased debt burden will only serve to call into further question the health and reliability of the dollar, which exacerbates oil and food price inflation, and further threatens the dollar in an endless, macabre loop.

Friday, August 22, 2008



"Non-financial assets form the greater part of world wealth and have been more stable in value during periods of financial and social turbulence." Roger Ibbotson and Gary Brinson, "Global Investing"The devolution of confidence in traditional investment alternatives, in concert with the elevation of the importance of design and aesthetic throughout the world, points to a renaissance in the value of art to a degree never before witnessed.After all, the art auction market is fair and transparent with a degree of stability that many financial institutions, and even some AAA-rated U.S. government debt, can only dream about.


The U.S. has experienced many decades of economic growth facilitated by technological innovation and ongoing reductions in the cost of labor. As a result, it has enjoyed one of the highest rates of consumption in the world, bolstered by low interest rates and record rates of liquidity, all courtesy of the rest of the world's willingness to buy U.S. debt. The DJIA is down 13.1% year to date and the S&P has fallen 12.4% in that time. The U.S. dollar has lost 10% against a basket of six currencies over the past year, 40% over the past six years, a time when the price of oil is up seven-fold. The Chinese Yuan is up 7% year-to-date versus the dollar after having gained 7% in all of 2007.The U.S. money supply is growing at the rate of 16% per year, the highest rate of growth since 1971 and, correspondingly, Gold is up 283% against the dollar since June 2001. The real source of many consumers' wealth, their homes, have already lost 16% of their value since the peak in 2006.

Writeoffs related to the credit crisis have already passed the $450 billion mark. Keep in mind that this still only reflects sub-prime losses, as no commercial or Alt-A losses have been taken as of yet. After assuring in June that economic risks had diminished, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke testified in mid-July that "there's no doubt there's further deterioration in the cards for bank earnings and we'll continue to see financial sector woes play themselves out." Despite inflation in the form of rising consumer prices, currently at an annual 5.6% rate, the highest since 1991, the stresses in the financial system negate almost any efforts by the Fed to tackle inflation. That does not bode well for the dollar.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:The liquidity and capital crisis at these two mortgage behemoths is set against their guarantee of a whopping $5.3 trillion in mortgage credit, or half the total of all U.S. mortgages. The main issue however, revolves around their relative under-capitalization; the two have only a combined $81 billion in capital and that inadequacy means that raising capital has become a priority in this era of mortgage crisis. That roughly 2% of liabilities in the form of capital means that the danger exists that if the value of the mortgages that they guarantee declines by a small percentage......From where that capital will come is the big question, and it is increasingly likely that it will be the U.S. taxpayer who will have to shoulder the burden once again. Why? Absent their ability to raise additional capital in the public market they will almost certainly be rescued by the federal government because they are at least implicitly, if not so stated in their prospecti, guaranteed by the federal government, meaning that their failure would send a pronounced negative signal to the nations' creditors were they allowed to fail. Hence, their bailout could cost as much as 10% of GDP, the rating agency S&P has said and "could create a material fiscal burden to the government that would lead to downward pressure on its rating."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

International Art Day

Did you know that official international Art Day is celebrated every year on the 2nd Friday in August and that this year it is actually TOMORROW, 8/8/8? I learnt about this special day just today (do you believe in luck? :-) on Artists for A Better World website :

It started out as a simple idea for people the world over to set aside a day for appreciating artists and for enjoying the kind of art they like. And it has now turned into a debate, not dissimilar to the conflicted international views about whether the arts deserve funding and where the arts fit into a technologically advancing culture.

Artists for A Better World member Becky Mate is the founder of an international holiday for artists of all disciplines called Art Day. For the past 10 years, she has let people around the world know that such a holiday exists. The idea has been met with both favor and controversy.

Art Day is the perfect time to celebrate creativity and bring joy to others. Draw a picture. Compose a song. Write a poem or story. Paint. Have a party! Additionally, give a card, photo, music CD, poem, story or anything creative to someone else (you can find a lot of wonderful art gifts in our gallery and in our gift shop

In short, Art Day is about bringing a smile to others and forwarding the concept of creating a better world though aesthetics. Although Art Day was formulated around a particular date to celebrate creativity, ideally, one would forward creativity all year round. Art Day helps to call attention to its importance.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

We are on Twitter

We want to inform our readers and friends that you can now follow Capucines Boulevard art gallery activities on Twitter: Twitter allows us to post brief up-dates about new articles and videos we create, about our artists and events and many other exciting things.

Twitter is a microblogging site which "really shines when you’re away from your computer. By hooking up your mobile phone, you can receive updates from those you’re following … when you’re waiting in boring lines." You can get a quote of the day or an invite to an event - it takes communication to a totally new level, convenient for YOU.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How Urban Art is Changing the Art World

The traditional path to art world notoriety has usually included art school followed by showings in galleries, and being noticed and collected by well-known art patrons and eventually museums, with the accompanying media attention to keep it all going. Urban art has by all accounts turned this system on its head and instead of artists praying to start out in galleries they are finding their audience first, literally, out in the open, on the street. From there, with the masses telegraphing their preferences via the internet, the attention-getting artwork then moves into the galleries.

Artists' long-held frustration at often not being able to have their work seen in galleries has, in the case of Urban Art, found an outlet in having unlimited audiences able to view their art, thus propelling it into the galleries. In February, 2008 when Bono's Red auction was held in New York it was Banksy's work that set new price records even in the rarified company of work from some of the art world's most lauded producers. The Tate Modern in London, the world's most visited Modern Art Museum, in May hosted 'Street Art,' an exhibition during which an entire side of its building was utilized by Urban artists.

As accessibility has driven the meteoric rise of Urban Art sales worldwide, the availability of emerging artists' work on facilitating mechanism that is the internet will eventually yield the same trajectory.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Watch our videos!

At Capucines Boulevard international art gallery our objective is to promote both established and emerging artists and make art a desirable part of everyday life.

One of the tools we use to achieve this objective is creating exceptional educational videos in 3 categories:
1. Videos about our artists and their works: in our gallery we currently have about 130 artists and we are striving to create a video about each of those who completed their profile page and have multiple works of art exhibited.
2. Videos about art as an investment tool: we aim to educate the community about the value of art and how one can make smart decisions while buying art.
3. Videos about events we organized or participated in.

Some of the videos you can see on our blog on the left hand side, while all the videos (and we currently have 30 of them) can be viewed at:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Father's Day gifts

Next weekend we will be celebrating a great holday - Father's Day (June 15). Women tend to receive more presents and tokens of admiration but this is an excellent opportunity to give something special to those hardworking dads!

Whether your dad is a golf pro, a BBQ king or anything in between we have unique gifts for him in our gallery and in our gift shop

For a really cool dad our top picks are sculptures by Anton Maslik capturing the wild spirit, true force and strength - "The Knight of the Road" and "100 Bulls' Forces":

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Go GREEN with Capucines Boulevard art gallery - Part II

Capucines Boulevard art gallery not only sells green products (see our previous post on May 21, 2008), it is also proud to be able to apply as many green rules in its own work/operations as possible. Since we are a virtual company, we:

1. don't produce any carbon emissions (our employees don't commute to work)

2. don't produce any waste

3. don't consume any extra electricity

4. have virtually paperless operations (even our contracts exist and are "signed" on-line) - we guess we have already saved several trees :-)

5. we promote the beauty of Mother Nature through the works we exhibit in our gallery:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Go GREEN with Capucines Boulevard art gallery - Part I

Nowdays everybody is concerned about the well-being of our planet and we all understand that it is impossible to make huge improvementss over night but everyone can contribute his/her own little bit to protect the environment.

It is much easier to change your own habbits than to change the world and these little steps combined will make a big difference. Capucines Boulevard art gallery chalenges you to stop using plastic bags and go for reusable canvas totes!
Did you know that Americans throw away almost 100 billion plastic bags every year, and only 1 percent to 3 percent are ever recycled?

What’s So Bad About Plastic Bags? Plastic bags are not biodegradable. They clog waterways, spoil the landscape, and end up in landfills where they may take 1,000 years or more to break down into ever smaller particles that continue to pollute the soil and water.

Plastic bags also pose a serious danger to birds and marine mammals that often mistake them for food. Thousands die each year after swallowing or choking on discarded plastic bags.
Finally, producing plastic bags requires millions of gallons of petroleum that could be used for transportation or heating.

In our gift shop we offer convenient canvas totes which you can use for shopping, taking lunch to work, taking piles of workload from work (you know those files and folders that don't fit in any of your handbags), going to the beach or to picnic and so on.

Our canvas totes are inexpensive, spacious, light but durable and can be folded to fit in any bag, even your pocket. But the biggest fun is that we offer nearly 60 designs to choose from!! All images on the totes are original art works created by the members of our gallery around the world.

Here are just some examples to choose from:

Let's work together to save our planet!!!
P.S. All the original artwork you can find in our gallery

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"What Women Want" poll results

We closed our International Art poll earlier this week and we would like to thank everybody for participatio. The poll turned out to be truely international - we receive votes from:

and the WINNERS ARE:

1 PLACE - Impressionist painting (Krystyna Suchwallo) - 27% of votes

2 PLACE - Glass work (Lance Friedman) AND Swarovski Crystalized Skull (Gregory Quinn) - 18% of votes each

3 PLACE - Exotic Landscape (Yuri Kudryavtsev) - 15% of votes

Congratulations to the winners!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Capucines Boulevard international art gallery launched an international poll on April 9, 2008 called "WHAT WOMEN WANT?" We truly believe that all women are artistic and more often than not they want to receive something special as a token of attention and appreciation, something besides the trite and commonplace gifts like a purse, perfume or a box of chocolates. We believe they deserve something unique and beautiful - an original work of art.

From Leonardo da Vinci to Salvador Dali women inspired the creation of most outstanding works of art. And even if you think of a landscape we believe it is also influenced by a feminine energy, after all, Mother Earth is a LADY :-) It's time they received something back.

To celebrate the up-coming Mother's Day and women everywhere we would like to ask you, dear, ladies, what DO YOU WANT? PLEASE, CAST YOUR VOTES ON THE LEFT!

The possible choices are:

Mystical painting (Robert Romero)
Glass work (Lance Friedman)
Stone ware sculpture (Patrick Johnson)
Impressionist painting (Krystyna Suchwallo)
Unique photography (Maude Metcaf)
Wooden decorative art (Valeriy Latyshev)
One-of-a kind ink drawing (Anatoly Kudravtsev)
Rare limitted edition print (Charles Collins)
Exotic Landscape (Yuri Kudryavtsev)
Swarovski Crystalized Skull (Gregory Quinn)

The results will be announced on our websites as well as an artistic soiree we are planning to organize in Chicago, IL (stay tuned for details)

Friday, April 4, 2008

How art can help in economically turbulent times

With unstable economy, volatile stock market and inflation nowadays investment in art is probably the best thing you can do to guarantee your prosperity in the years to come.

Please, watch our new educational video that will help you to learn how art can be an excellent and secure investment with guaranteed profits:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why Art Is Not Intimidating

The reason that most people choose to live with bare walls, or dressed-up posters, is not the cost of art. It is because when they contemplate actually making a purchase of original artwork, they are filled not with the excitement often associated with buying furniture or jewelry, but the dread feeling of incompetence.

Art fills many needs not the least of which is its ability to yield insight into our most sincere desires, brighten our moods, and open our eyes. Yet the prospect of entering most gallery spaces armed with a complete lack of the finer points of art history or modern trends, and oh yes, having to ask the price, is often daunting enough to, once again, have us just let the whole thing go.

The fear of making a mistake is often insurmountable. It really doesn't matter whether it's the prospect of a financial mistake, or the idea of opening oneself up to friends and family members' criticism of your taste. Few other purchases can elicit such a degree of insecurity. And much of that insecurity stems from the fact that buying art is an extremely personal statement which is much more individual than almost anything else. Because it is so undeniably a part of our cultural subconscious, influencing just about everything we covet and buy, there is often great fear of striking a wrong note with an 'uninformed' purchase.

Most of our reluctance can be traced to the traditional model of the art world wherein the producer, the artist, gives up 50%-60% commission in order to secure distribution. Where approximately 1000 artists are blessed with the impremateur of a small pool of art dealers. This controlled world often leaves potential buyers in a bewildering state of limbo as the art deemed worthy by the experts causes them to doubt their own taste. That was the old model and it's time for a new era. Heralded by a new degree of art accessibility and the ability therefore to trust one's own innate judgement, the era of the emerging artist is being ushered in. And dare we say, a newly efficient art market.

In February, the auction house Bonhams held its first ever auction comprised solely of Urban, or Street Art. The auction included work from many emerging, unknown artists and resulted in an astounding sale of 99% of the lots. For a relatively unknown genre of art to post such a stellar result is almost unheard of in the art world. The rationale behind the sales' success is that street art's rise in popularity has as much to do with its lack of pretension and sense of cultural familiarity as anything else - no curator or critic required.

It's hard to go wrong buying what you love, what makes you smile or reflect on a regular basis. Buying art is an intensely personal process often best suited to home shopping, separated from the influence and pressures of gallery assistants or art critics. The process of buying art resonates more with prolonged browsing and research which can, most importantly, help in defining your taste. And, just as the elimination of many countries' fees into their art museums enables artwork to be appreciated by a greater number of people on a more regular basis, art exhibited over the internet enables the work of emerging artists worldwide to gain an audience.

The way to conquer the fear of buying art is to define your taste by doing the research to determine what sorts of images, colors and themes have the ability to move you on a consistent basis. The internet offers the perfect venue beyond the confines of juried shows and galleries where art lovers can meld their taste, choice of medium, budget, and a level of connection with the artists' intention to become collectors themselves. It's also the best way for artists to take their work to the level of ultimate accessibility.

Capucine Price

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Articles about Russian fine art

Russian art has a long fascinating history and I wish everybody could have an opportunity to explore my country's artistic tradition. However the majority resources on the Internet dedicated to Russian art are in Russian.

Luckily enough the other day I found a unique website devoted to Russian art and culture: It has nearly 20 wonderful articles with illustrations on the various topics and various genres of Russian art. Some of the stories were a discovery for me too. I personally strongly recommend to read the following articles:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Messengers of Easter

March is the month full of wonderful holidays - International Women's Day, St' Patrick's. Easter will also be celebrated in many countries in March this year, March 23 to be exact (April 27 in Orthodox countries, like Russia, Ukraine, etc.)

Traditionally Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs came to symbolise Easter in many of the Western countries, including the U.S. How many various bunnies - chocolate, fluffy, plastic, drawn on postacards - are created and given as presents each year? Thousands, I guess. How many of them have you already given out and received? Dozens? And yet, how much connection does a funny bunny have to the holy event that Easter symbolizes - the Resurrection of Christ?

In Orthodox countries, like Russia or Ukraine Easter is very much a religious rather than a commercial holiday. Why don't you explore the Eastern European tradition and surprise your loved ones with gifts that are more spiritual, the gifts that are divine and heavenly?

Capucines Boulevard art gallery (, for example, has a wonderful collection of paintings of angels by Robert Romero, that convey the ideas of DIVINE LIGHT, CELEBRATION, RESURRECTION. You can call them the Messengers of Easter (in order of appearance: Angel in Motion, Portrait of an Angel, Gabriel's Message, Michael's Arrival):

You can buy original paintings and prints on our main website or beautiful gifts with the image of your choice printed on them (apparel, mugs, bags, POSTCARDS, etc.) on our gifts shop website: (Use the left hand navigation to choose the image you like)

Finally, our gallery can also offer you a one-of-a kind work of art - Christ Trinity sculpture by Charles Collins:

The outside figures of Christ Trinity are disciples Peter and John and they have baskets on their backs carrying loaves and fishes. They have been cast separate. The center figure that makes up Christ nose and mouth is Mother Mary on the other side and she is in prayer for the liberation of humanity. This edition is limited to 44.
We hope that you will be able to find something that warms your heart and we wish you a Happy Easter!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


A Ukrainian photographer, Alexander Krivitski, claims to have created a new art genre – PHOTOTHEATRE. He claims that all artists before him called 1 work of art, one photo, with a staged background and a posing model a phototheatre. What Krivitski has created is a series of photos that tell a story as a whole while each of the photos in a series can live a life on its own too.

How does he make his “photo plays”? Krivitski says it’s like a “flight of a soul”. His photos are not staged, he is there in the moment with the camera and he captures whatever is there in that moment.

Why phototheatre? The artist says that one photo is not enough to convey all the complexity of the story and emotions. Phototheatre allows the viewer to see more of the world and how the story develops within the phototheatrical play.

He also stresses that what he creates is not a photoset, it is a theatre because each of the photos can be taken out and viewed separately. His phototheatre according to Krivitski is a collection of photos – 2, 3, a hundred that are connected by the same plot from the first one to the last.

It is also important that all participants of the phototheatre are photo artists, i.e. both the model(s) and the photographer. Krivitski is sure that in order to make an interesting story models have to understand how photography works only then they will be able to perform at their best. If out of 25 participants even 5 are not photographers the quality of the result of the photo session will be totally different from what can be created by a team consisting of just photographers.

Krivitski creates phototheatre not only in the studio but also “en plain air” too. He says that there is no and should not be the leader in this process because everyone wants to create the same thing and works hard together to make it as best as they can. Phototheatre erases the difference between those behind the camera and in front of it.

This genre is gaining popularity in the Ukraine and Russia. A. Krivitski himself created more than a dozen “photo plays” which can be viewed at Most of the site is in Russian but there are bits and pieces about phototheatre on the left hand side of the homepage in English where you can see all of his plays. Below is an abstract from 1 of his plays - JaponaMOIKA - a short study on daily chores of a poor Japanese girl who likes day dreaming.

Monday, February 25, 2008


"Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money" Ernst Levy

Art fills many needs. Art and artists confer a 'coolness' factor onto neighborhoods, driving communities' economic growth. Corporations employ it as a way to motivate employees and lend bite to their brands, and hospitals utilize its transformative power to encourage healing. All of which helps to explain why, in concert with the current stratospheric rise in global wealth, art continues to attract a broader audience and deliver record-breaking auction results despite a worldwide economy just beginning to realize the effects of speculative excess and inevitable recession. However, even without a dawning realization of the myriad ways in which it impacts our lives, art would still be climbing because, particularly during times of economic distress, art is the asset that both pleases and prospers.

During 2007, America's financial institutions wrote off a whopping $120 billion in assets stemming from the still unfolding subprime mortgage crisis. S&P is forecasting mortgage-related losses above $265 billion when all is said and done, and well-known U.S. banks have already borrowed $50 billion from the Federal Reserve to shore up their reserves.

Meanwhile, the stock market is clearly unnerved by the prospect of a contracting consumer, with the S&P 500 having already lost 8% of its value year-to-date, with 6.1% of that coming in January, the biggest drop since September, 2002. Not to be outdone, the European Dow Jones equivalent lost 12% in January. And as a result of reduced U.S. interest rates aimed at dealing with the effects of the mortgage situation, the dollar continues to lose value, having fallen 9.5% versus the Euro in 2007, 37% in the last five years. What's increasing in value you may ask? The answer: the Euro, Gold, Silver, and ART.

"Nonfinancial assets form the greater part of world wealth and have been more stable in value during periods of financial and social turbulence." (Global Investing: The Professional's Guide to the World Capital Markets, Roger G. Ibbotson and Gary Brinson). On February 14th, 2008, Sotheby's hosted the Red Auction in New York City to benefit HIV/AIDS. The 75 donated works raised $42.6 million, almost $9 million above estimates, and pieces by 17 artists sold for the highest prices they'd ever received at an auction. Ironically, on the very same day former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan announced that the U.S. is on the precipice of a recession.

On February 5th, the Dow fell 370 points, the indexes' worst loss this year, and the eighth worst day for the stock market since 2000. It was also the day that Sotheby's held its auction of Impressionist and Modern works in London for a record total 116.7 million pounds, 40 million pounds over the prior record set just last June. The sale saw five records broken, with 88% of lots sold, a healthy outcome in any economy. It was also Sotheby's highest total ever for an auction of Impressionist and Modern art in London.

Just what explains these levels of spending on art at a time when, it could be argued, inextricably-linked worldwide economies are poised for a painful contraction? In short, because in some quarters, art is seen not as a discretionary luxury, but instead as the store of value that it has always been, especially during economically trying times.

A survey compiled by the U.K. research firm ArtTactic found that in the second half of 2007, 40% of respondents expected a correction in the art market. Given the market's unprecedented climb over the past eleven years coupled with the steep decline in consumer confidence relative to the woes of the credit market, that result was not particularly surprising. However, what only a few have known for quite some time is that art has often been one of the most stable, not to mention profitable, investments during uncertain economic times. In fact, when the stock market took a swoon in 1987 and again in 2001, outperformance by the art market was notable.

Two NYU economists, Jianping Mei and Michael Moses, developed the Mei Moses All Art Index. The index analyzes the repeat sales of over 12,000 works of art at auction since 1950 to generate precise return data. The pair reported in an article in Forbes that "during the armed conflicts of lengthy duration of last century, art indexes outperformed major stock indexes." When stock markets fell during World Wars I and II, art outperformed the S&P during most of those years, and by 1920 had risen to 125% of its 1913 value (versus 94% for the market). Further, while the S&P 500 increased 67% during the Korean War (1949-1954), art was up 108%, and during the Vietnam War (1966 to 1975) when the S&P 500 fell 27%, art rose 256%.

However, art's outperformance of the equity markets is not confined to times of war, but surpasses the more traditional investment vehicles as well when the markets are roiled by a troubled economy, exactly the situation we find ourselves in today. In an article in InvestmentU, Mei/Moses analysis of data from the 27 recessions since 1875 reveals that art does quite well in tough economic times. Investors want and need to invest their money but when confronted with volatility-producing uncertainty, the foundation of the bellwethers becomes rocky, and investors turn to art.

For example, in 2000, the U.S. economy was facing many of the same conditions as it does today: declining retail sales, reduced capital spending and tightening bank credit standards. The peak in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that occurred on March 10, 2000 was followed by a loss of almost $3 trillion in market value and an overall loss for the year above 10%. Results for art were much different however with the Mei/Moses Index gaining 16%. In addition to its outperformance, art has a low correlation with the stock and bond markets which makes it an excellent way to diversify a portfolio, and reduce overall risk. Far from being a luxury, it can be argued that art is an essential component of any portfolio.

Capucine Price
February 25, 2008Copyright 2008 Capucine Price. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Indian artists are under attack from moral police

Indian media is currnetly widely discussing the events that shook the art world last May. Chandra Mohan, a student from the Department of Graphics at the Fine Arts College in Baroda has been arrested on 9th of May 2007 for making an allegedly controversial painting depicting nude figures with some religious motifs. The arrest followed the storming of the university premises by a group of outsiders. The work in question was part of a display in the college premises for assessment by a team of examiners for a Master's degree in Fine Arts.

Moral censorship related to creative expression is not something new in India. It dates back to the early 1950s, when Akbar Padamsee’s painting of a naked couple was confiscated by the police from an exhibition in Bombay on charges of obscenity. A court ruling however later declared that since the work was within the premises of an art gallery, it could not be deemed obscene.

It is really ironic that in the Hindu religious tradition, explicit pictures and sculptures (just have a look at all major hindu temples) occupy a central space, reference to nudity can so easily hurt sentiments.
Now the question arise how an artist can freely express himself and exhibit his works of art. Here again Internet plays a vital role - it can be a safe spae to exhibit one's creations bearing in mind the fact that the self-appointed moral police in India usually consists of representatives of lower (=less educated) classes.

Currently Capucines Boulevard on-line art gallery showcases the works of a half a dozen Indian artists who art not in any way discriminated and can use this safe haven to share there works of art with the rest of the world.

Swapna Malvade, "Live Together Forever"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Russian art trends

Recently I found another interesting article in a Russian newspaper "Vedomosti" about trends in Russian art. Here is a summary of the 3 main trends described in the article:
1. It is difficult to find Russian art exhibited in galleries and museums abroad because on the one hand the galleries are interested but on the other not sure how to present the Russian art and if it will attract big audiences. Therefore the galleries tend to go with an easier option of Italian or Spanish artists (if they have to choose European art for exhibits) because they know that the latter are always popular.

2. The most popular genres of Russian art today are contemprory art and photography, especially photography. The prices for contemprory works of art based on photography are growing incredibly faster than the prices for any other types of art.

3. In general the prices of Russian works of art are astronomical, especially at the major foreign auction houses. In most cases the prices are artificially inflated.

An Internet art gallery has the freedom to avoid the aforesaid pitfalls: Capucines Boulevard gallery currently exhibits 8 Russian artists (out of more than a dozen Eastern European artists in total) and the prices are realistic and affordable including those popular works of art based on photography. Here are some examples of fine art you can find at

To view more works of art, please, visit the gallery website.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Best Places to Work

The arts are a workplace and living hub. The presence of art and cultural events is naturally attractive, particularly to a younger demographic, and often deterministic when it comes to choices about where to live and work. The true value of art derives from this innate understanding of art's key, but often unspoken, role in many of the most important choices that we make, i.e. where to live, work and congregate. Those choices in turn propel economic activity.

In his groundbreaking book, "The Rise of The Creative Class," Richard Florida employs exhaustive research to determine that "places with a flourishing artistic and cultural environment are the ones that generate creative economic outcomes and overall economic growth." That in fact it is easy to extrapolate an area's degree of innovation and the penetration of high technology industries, as well as its employment and population growth, based upon the resident number of artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, actors, writers, ect.).

Of the 350 public art programs across the U.S., the average size is just under 800K. In total, the programs fund $150M annually in public art with a decidedly upward trend. The genesis of these municipal programs is traceable to the National Endowment for the Arts' decision to establish its program, Art in Public Places with the belief that art in highly-trafficked locations can serve as a balm to the spirit, while encouraging camaraderie and group gatherings.

There's an understanding that attracting a younger, educated workforce requires that an area possess a certain creative 'buzz'. Supporting the arts therefore is crucial, hence the types of programs that exist in Lucas County, OH, or Manchester, England, or Columbia, MO. These types of programs foster the flourishing of the arts and cultural opportunities, and ultimately result in an enhanced quality of life.

In Lucas County, OH, the new Art Assist program provides 1% loans to residents to purchase art from area galleries with price tags between $500 to $2,500. The program's ultimate aim is improvement of the county's quality-of-life by enhancing its art scene and thus attracting highly sought after younger, educated workers. The program was modeled on that put in place in Manchester, England, a once vibrant factory city in need of redirection in the technology age. There, civic leaders also came to view a thriving arts scene as vital to its rebirth.

In Atlanta, GA, a new condo tower called Gallery is being developed complete with a 1,200 square foot art gallery featuring rotating exhibits anchoring the ground floor. The tower is expected to attract residents interested in creative clustering, not to mention the fact that each unit includes original contemporary art loaned to residents.

In Columbia, MO, a unique arts program encourages businesses to purchase new artwork from area artists every year. Organizers believe that original art has a strong impact on businesses' ability to attract and retain employees. The feedback is that these businesses are perceived as offering a more cutting-edge, innovative atmosphere.

When an area requires revitalization, the first tool in the governing body's arsenal should be art. In recognition of this reality, the state of Maryland in 2002 established the nation's first Arts and Entertainment Districts designed to bring together artists and arts-related venues in order to spur development.

The data are clear that in terms of job creation, household income and governmental revenue, the arts are an invaluable industry. Therefore, the primary decision for cities and states must center around anchoring the arts.

Capucine Price

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our newest art blog

We have a pleasure to introduce our newest blog Original Fine Arts Gallery And though it has recently been launched it is already filled with exciting stories and photos!

With the help of this blog we would like to introduce you to our artists and their works of art: you will be able to find more information about them and their creative achievements.

We also plan to show you the wonders of the world of art beyond the "walls" of our gallery: for instance, you can already browse posts with photos of architectural masterpieces.

We promise in our gallery and on our blogs everyone will find something to his/her taste and liking!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


"Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money" Ernst Levy

What's the best capital gains tax rate for the sale of artwork? There are currently several arguments being made against reducing the capital gains tax rate on the sale of artwork from the current level of 28% to the 15% rate enjoyed by sellers of real estate, securities and other assets. Arguments against the reduction center around the view that art is not an asset which plays any real role in economic activity, particularly job creation, and revenue generation. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When the forces against tax reduction argue that to do so might shift money into art at the expense of more productive activities they fail to appreciate the significant and documented economic impact that art has made and continues to make on everything from job creation, to neighborhood redevelopment to tourism.

Uneven tax policy has also played a role in reducing museum offerings, and hence the public's access to art as a result of the tax treatment of artists. Since they are only allowed to write off the cost of materials for donated works instead of the fair market value of the artwork, artists are less inclined to make donations. The negative impact on museums is compounded by the strength of the art market of late, particularly for Contemporary art, all of which reduces museums' ability to acquire work.

Nevertheless, the value of innovation to our society is becoming more and more clear. Businesses that own and display art are perceived as being more innovative, interesting and desirable places to work. Real estate developers are incorporating art galleries into new condominium towers to entice buyers seeking a differentiable living experiences. In connection with its recent renovation, the Aventura Mall in South Florida now includes a twelve-piece, museum-quality art collection designed to be a destination in a clear indication that creativity is valued and valuable.

In the third study conducted by the group Americans for the Arts titled Arts and Economic Prosperity III, data was collected from 116 cities and counties, 35 multi-county regions, and five states. The areas stretched from Walnut Creek, California to Anchorage, Alaska. They found that nationally, the arts generate $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, up 24% over the past five years. That's greater than the 2006 GDP of either Malaysia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Columbia, Singapore, and the list goes on! Furthermore, the arts provide 5.7 million jobs and contribute $104.2 billion to household income,and, they produce $30 billion in annual local, state, and federal revenue.

Two specific examples: In Baltimore City, Maryland, the arts are responsible for $270 million annually, provide 6,500 jobs, and generate $12.6 million in local government revenue. In a study released in June, 2007, Rochester, New York (Monroe County) calculated that the attendance and sales revenues generated by its arts and cultural organizations were responsible for a total $199 million annual infusion into its economy.

Far from playing a neutral role in this country's economy, art continues to demonstrate its uniquely productive role as a strong generator of jobs and tax revenue, just as any other important industry. Therefore there really isn't any defensible rationale for penalizing art investors with an incremental 40% tax bill.

Capucine Price
January 15, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to Invest Like a Contrarian With Art

In case you hadn't noticed, there is currently quite a frenzy in the U.S. credit markets. Coincidentally, a frenzy of a different sort has overtaken worldwide art markets. The hubbub In the credit market resulted from staggeringly bad decisions to underwrite loans of questionable quality. Demand from investors for these loans was equally detrimental as it was based upon shoddy analysis and a devil-may-care attitude toward risk. Therefore no one should be genuinely surprised by the continuing unfolding of this market's demise. And, unfortunately, the damage isn't confined to that single market; the economics underlying the credit market flows inevitably into the equity market as the narrowing of the loan spigot trickles inexorably down to infect the broader economy.

There is very little reason to expect the stock market to prosper when consumers, who have for many years provided the fuel to our economy, can no longer rely upon refinancings to fund their spending, and are in fact declaring bankruptcy at almost unprecedented rates. In addition to the pinched consumer, U.S. corporations are also feeling the effects of reduced credit availability, hence the Fed's recent decision to provide liquidity via the discount window. The fallout is becoming clear in the already apparent slowdown in job growth, and the cycle feeds upon itself.

Only rarely in history has art received the degree of attention that it is currently enjoying. In the contemporary art market, demand has been on a tear with values quadrupling over the past eleven years. Sotheby's sales of Contemporary art increased from 98 million pounds in 2002 to 343 million just in the first six months of 2007. Annualizing the 2007 figure yields a compound annual growth rate of 47.5% over the five year period. Christie's has enjoyed similar results with sales in the first half of 2007 up 45% over 2006. Driven by demand from newly created wealth from around the world, buyers continue to turn their eyes toward art as not only an aesthetic pleasure, but a defensible investment as well. Interest in reliable alternative investments is always heightened when the foundations of the bellwethers become rocky. And if history is a reliable guide, art values will continue to be favorably impacted as credit and equity markets lose some of their luster.

In contrast to those advising adherence to more conventional, widely accepted assets in the face of art's seemingly inexorable run and the aforementioned economic tsunami, I would argue that now is the time to go for the non-traditional investments and to look to instruments that over time will, and have, served as true stores of value, i.e. art.

Capucine Price
January 7, 2008
Copyright 2007 Capucine Price. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Art, politics and the Internet

Just today I once again got the proof of advantages of Internet - now related to art.

I read the news today that Russia and UK are discussing terms and conditions of exhibiting masterpieces from Russian museums during the "Russian month" in London in 4 major London museums.

Russians were not willing to let the works of art leave the country because they had feared that the paintings could be seized by people claiming they were looted from their families during the 1917 revolution or by companies holding major Russian government debts. And these fears are not groundless since there had been unpleasant events of this sort before.

Though the exhibition is scheduled to open in London on January 26, 2008 there are still some uncertainties.

After reading this I am still amazed how politics influences all aspects of life, art included and I am happy that at least now we have the power of Internet and thus, the possibility to enjoy the works of art from any country in the world that would have not been available for viewing (and purchase!) otherwise.

Friday, January 4, 2008

How art can help you to express your love

When Christmas holidays are over most of us feel down and we need something to look forward to. I believe that the “holiday of LOVE”, which we celebrate on February 14th is the next best thing. This year I decided to make a little research and find out how you can be original this year and say “I love you” with the help of art (I am not referring to the cases when you are an artist and you can dedicate a work of art to your loved one or when you are really rich and can present that special one a painting worth 1 million USD – in this case it’s really not the art but the price tag that is indicative of the depth of your feelings)

Here are some great (and affordable) ways to express your love:

1. Just say it! (it’s all in the name and plot of the painting). For example: Embrace by Robert Romero or Live Together Forever by Swapna Malvade:

2. Give her/him your heart: Heart Rose by Maude Metcalf

3. Present the good old-fashioned flowers, but not the ones that fade in 2 days, but the ones that will last forever (as long as your love): Sunflower Moulin Rouge by David Bookbinder or Crystal Buttermilk Succulent by Darby Graham

4. Finally you can go with a sweet and traditional cute white teddy bear with a red ribbon with ANY work of art on his cute little t-shirt:

This year give a gift of true love to someone special!

The featured works of art are available at
The Teddy Bears are available at the Art Gift Store:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


As society grows more comfortable with the idea of art as a legitimate investment vehicle, the necessity of appropriately guaging the potential posed by emerging artists versus the few known, hot commodities increases. Emerging artists lack the price premium, and therefore the risk, of the more established, "growth" artists. Notwithstanding his works' aesthetic appeal, the time to have bought Damien Hirst was when he was relatively unrecognized, or in investment parlance, when there was actually alpha relative to the art market.

Like any other inefficient market, the opportunity exists in the art market to realize outsized gains via active management of a portfolio. When it comes to value investments, the greatest gain is always realized by buying the stock whose price is the furthest below its intrinsic value. As a group, emerging artists fit squarely in the value camp, with equally strong prospects. Why assume that a tiny minority of artists, blessed with the impremateur of a small pool of art dealers, would produce the only art worthy of collectors attention and investment?

A healthy byproduct of the clamor for art has been a movement toward a more direct-to-consumer experience among artists. In the past, an artist would often spend many years selling their work through galleries before gaining entry into the auction world. However, the current market allows many to bypass the high-cost (50% commission) gallery experience altogether as demand for their work pulls them directly to auction. There's less of a need for a dealer or gallery owner to telegraph an artists' worth, as intrinsic value virtually sells itself. As a result, lower commission rates paid by artists, and the ability to view work in an objective context both earlier and less expensively via the auction setting, creates a win-win for the artist and the art lover.
Add to Technorati Favorites