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.
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