Can An Artist Ever Really Own A Colour?

Invisible energy … Vantablack, which absorbs almost all light that hits it. Photograph: Surrey Nano Systems

Long before Klein created IKB, painters and their patrons paid through the nose for the rarest of pigments, lapis lazuli. This mineral that creates the colour ultramarine has only ever been found in Afghanistan. In the middle ages, it was mined there and traded at enormous prices to create European images of the blue heavens. Gold leaf was then daubed on it to make stars.

Colour is magical, colour is divine – you can’t blame Anish Kapoor or his critics for going mad for Vantablack.

→ The Guardian

David Zwirner’s Art Empire

Follow-up on Bouvier’s portrait, here’s David Zwirner’s :

By one-thirty, there was no sign of the American collector. Braka and Ortuzar huddled, and Ortuzar said, “I’m on it.” At one-fifty-two, the American appeared and resumed scrutinizing the painting. “Look at him sweating,” Zwirner whispered. After a while, he gave the collector a now-or-never gesture. The man borrowed a chair, sat down, and stared at the Richter for a while, chin in hand. Braka stood ten feet behind him. Soon the American got into what appeared to be a heated discussion with Schouwink. Ortuzar approached Braka, and Braka, with a pained smile, nodded and walked away. Zwirner joined the collector and Schouwink. He spoke emphatically to each of them, slapping the knuckles of one hand against the palm of the other. Everything is negotiable. At two-fourteen, the collector shook Zwirner’s hand and bent to kiss Schouwink’s. The Richter was his, and Zwirner had earned three hundred thousand dollars, enough to cover more than half the cost of the gallery’s booth in Basel.

→ The New Yorker

The Art-World Insider Who Went Too Far

The relationship between art dealer and collector is particular and charged. The dealer is mentor and salesman. He informs his client’s desires while subjecting himself to them at the same time. The collector has money, but he is also vulnerable. Relationships start, prosper, and fail for any number of reasons. It is not always obvious where power lies. Over time, each one can convince himself that he has created the other.

→ The New Yorker

Bowie: The Man Who Sold Royalties and Brought Music to Bonds

Credit : Terry O’Neil

Sure, this might be the last thing to come up when remembering Bowie, but hey—that’s genius :

The man behind “The Man Who Sold the World” was the first recording artist to go to Wall Street to tap the future earnings of his music, paving the way for a thriving market for esoteric securities backed by everything from racehorse stud rights to commercial washing machines.

David Bowie, who died from cancer at age 69 on Sunday, sold $55 million of bonds in 1997 that were tied to future royalties from hits including “Ziggy Stardust,” “Space Oddity” and “Changes.” Following his example were singers James Brown and Rod Stewart and the heavy-metal band Iron Maiden. Securities backed by royalties allow artists to raise money without selling the rights to their work or waiting years for payments to trickle in.

“Bowie’s bonds were as groundbreaking as his music,” said Rob Ford, a London-based money manager at TwentyFour Asset Management, which oversees 5.3 billion pounds ($7.7 billion). “Not only were they followed by a number of other artists, but they set the template for deals backed by a whole range of assets.”

And to conclude :

Bowie “changed the way people think about art and commerce,” Pullman said.

See you on Mars.

→ Bloomberg

Art: An Alternative Asset Wealth Managers Can Do Without

“Making money is art,” Andy Warhol once wrote :

Another reason for advisers’ hesitance is the unique due diligence skillset that art fund investments require. Investors must evaluate the fund’s financial structure and its investment potential. Wealth managers can readily grasp the finance projections, but few are equipped to gauge the fund manager’s art market expertise, proposed acquisition market or strategy for buying and selling profitably, Beard notes.

→ Institutional Investors