Aboriginal art insurance
Signing an Indigenous artwork
To sign or not to sign
Why do some Indigenous artists sign their work and others not?
Indigenous peoples don’t have a written language or alphabet.
Signing an artwork is a western concept- to prove identity.
Indigenous peoples recognize their identity in the artwork by the art itself – as a language belonging to their skin name but also the story - which may only belong to them.
Hence the oldest living culture has been sustained by ceremony, story, and song and dance without any form of documentation – to a point.
There are carvings and cave paintings but none containing a definitive alphabetical language, more so a type of hieroglyphic language if you will.
The artists will learn to write in English and sign their western name typically. Some artists like Helen McCarthy Tylamuty and Rosella Namok, will sign on the front of their artworks as a point of pride.
Helen is a trained teacher and Rosella has had lots of crossover with Western style artworks, living in Cairns, and going back and forth to the Lockhart river region.
The desert artists have been more isolated for longer and haven’t had an opportunity to learn how to write in English - I’m talking about the older generation.
It is not a necessity but does makes sense for the art buyer to know that the artist has identified themselves and a line of authenticity has been established.
Just a bit of trivia and thought it may be of interest to some of you,
I’d love some feedback on anything I write-please feel free to comment or share your feelings.
Aboriginal art insurance
I am passionate about good art. Simple. After many years travelling the world and seeing some incredible artworks, I cannot overcome my love of Australian Aboriginal art. It moves me and gives me the connection to our county that I think is intended by the artists. A small glimpse into the Indigenous ideology and mystery surrounding this great land of ours called Australia
Selling at auction vs private sale
I don’t think that there’s a whole lot of difference between artworks and property when it comes to selling platforms, in particularly live auctions versus gallery sales.
Auction has its benefits and so does private selling.
Let’s talk about the seller for a moment-
The main issue with auctions is that you really do need 2 people to be at the auction who both want the property/artwork and actually see the value in the lot being sold,
There is a sense of urgency and no matter how long the buyer has prior to do their due diligence, the auction environment can bring out the beast in us all!
The buyer’s premium is usually about %20 as an average and then there is your delivery in the case of art. These are 2 costs that need to be taken into consideration as %20 isn’t to be sneezed at.
The softer approach is usually where the buyer can relax into the sale and therefore have a better opportunity to potentially get the price they want to pay or at least have the conversation in more than 7 minutes! For the seller, it means they also have an opportunity to wait for the best price and not be pressured into a sale.
In the auction environment, the seller can also feel pressured into selling for less than the items worth as they are caught up in the rush of the sale, reserve or not.
Think about what your bottom line is when it comes to selling as either way has its positives and negatives. Think about your top dollar when it comes to buying as well, how much you are willing to spend.
If you would like a pre-auction/buying report, as you are thinking of buying, please contact me and we can discuss what the value of the artwork is, what you would be willing to spend and what I would recommend you focus on,
Remember, a little bit of knowledge is great but a well-rounded and informed opinion is critical to your buying or selling success.
The Steve Martin Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art proved to be a resounding success when showcased at Gagosian's gallery in New York then In Hollywood and now currently in Asia. The tingari artworks painted by one of the Pintupi nine Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri are astounding. The other big hitters are Bill Whiskey, Yukulti Napangati and Emily Kame Kngwarreye. These major artworks have been collected from different sources, though the western desert artworks provenance stems directly from Papunya Tula PTY LTD. I would like to mention to new collectors that art centres are only one way of acquiring artworks .From my many years of experience the private sector has
some of the best of the Papunya Tula artists works. By this I mean, the artworks were painted in private studios by the artists and not in gated communities where the artists were first shown paint and canvas. For Emily Kame, there was no art centre and her Earths Creation was painted for Dacou gallery. What I am trying to say is, don't let bias about how to source artworks play with your emotions. Artists are entrepreneurs and independent people who can paint when and where they like. The private studios have a major role in supporting the Aboriginal art world and as long as the studio abides by the strict ethical code of the pan body of Aboriginal visual arts, The Aboriginal Art Association of Australia, then your have nothing to worry about when it comes to artists being treated fairly and being paid accordingly. Happy collecting.