This is going to be a very busy month for us. Our first gallery show will open to the public on April 6th at 11 am … The Big Gamble (I know most of you are probably tired of hearing about it --- sorry). We started out with 27 artists and 27 works; at last count we are up to 32 artists and 42 works – and there are some pretty impressive pieces. Now for the best part, nothing is priced over $20,000 and most are under $5,000 … so there should be something for everyone.
We are expecting a nice crowd for the opening and will be posting images of the show (and hopefully the crowds) during the day … keep tuned to our Blog, Facebook and Instagram pages for the updates.
In addition, it appears that our Online Exhibition feature will be up and running by show time. This will allow all of our friends/clients/visitors the opportunity to see the exhibit from the comfort of their mansions/yachts/limos/private jets, etc. at the same time it opens at the gallery. All you need to do is visit the exhibition part of the Rehs Contemporary Galleries site (www.rehscgi.com) at exactly 11 am and click on the link … and how about this – prices for each work will be posted – another first for us!!
Once we are over the excitement of this opening, we will begin getting our material ready for the Chicago show which takes place at The Merchandise Mart from April 25 – April 29. To see more about this event, please visit our Exhibitions page on the web sites. If you would like a complimentary ticket for General Admission, please use the link below or you can click the link on our web site’s exhibition page.
Your Ticket to The Merchandise Mart – International Antiques Fair
Right on the heels of the Chicago show is The Spring Show NYC. Technically this show opens in May, but setup is April 30 … so our works need to leave Chicago on the 29th and arrive back in NYC on the 30th so we can setup for the opening on May 1 … talk about a quick turnaround! We did it last year and promised we would not do it again … so much for the promises we make to ourselves!!!
Keep tuned, since there are even more shows this summer.
From the 4th Generation
I've seen more Ben Bauer skies then I can count, as well as views that seem to have be taken straight from Gregory Frank Harris's beach scenes and sweet children playing by the shore that could be models for Sally Swatland. Clearly I am far, far, away from cold and snowy New York City. But wanting to contribute to the newsletter, I am writing to you from sunny Florida. A well needed vacation before the upcoming month (you know, after 2 ½ months of works everyone needs a vacation – LOL).
Next weekend we open our doors to anyone and everyone who wants to enjoy our exhibition of fun, uplifting and sometimes humorous works of art. Rehs Contemporary Galleries and the great talents of the Ani Art Academies are presenting our first “in gallery” exhibition and the Academies’ first major NYC show – The Big Gamble. I know you have heard a lot about it over the past few months as we began our preparations. Not knowing how much time, energy, and work would go into something like this I'd say we have been handling ourselves pretty well (especially me, sitting on a beach in Florida). If all goes well and we decide to do another show, which I hope we do, we’ll start our work a bit earlier and keep a tighter rein on those artists; it's been a great learning experience for me. Now, the suns coming out, and it's time to head down to the beach ... till next month.
So there is another fresh voice and face in the gallery who will give you a bit more to read each month … lucky you. Actually, I think my father would like to start turning over some of the monthly updates to the 4th generation … lucky us. My name is Lance and I will be contributing to this newsletter in a variety of ways. I studied finance at Hofstra University and as some of you know from our newsletter, my dad has unfortunately taken some investment ideas from me … well, there were a few winners in the mix, yet not enough to make up for the losers – but it is close! However, I am confident I will have better luck picking winning artists … especially since there are a couple of pros guiding me.
With that being said, this month marks the first exhibition we have held in our 57th Street gallery – and we have been here for 15 years. The show, “The Big Gamble,” brings a slew of new artists' works which will be hanging on our blue suede walls; and the most interesting part is that some of them will be joining our permanent roster. I cannot describe how excited I am to be a part of this show. I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of the artists and must say, with all honesty, they are incredibly talented people with very interesting ideas (I do have to admit that a few are ‘way out there’). I know all of you will be fascinated by the theme and I hope you can all make it to the exhibit (please, not all at the same time though as I enjoy being able to breathe).
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the perspective I bring to this newsletter and the new subjects I will be discussing. In addition to the arts, there will be occasional updates from the financial markets as well as interesting stories from the sports world (one of my passions).
Oh, and I’ll also be adding some nice visuals (graphs and charts) to accompany the analyses of the art market. Gotta use some of those skills I acquired while studying finance (or at least make my dad feel like he didn't waste his money on my education).
Wow…we are almost there; the BIG opening for THE BIG GAMBLE…so in keeping with the flavor of the month, I found this little item….it’s got gambling, auctions, and collectables all rolled into a interesting story, Really!
Let’s begin by delving into what, in my opinion, seems most important when buying a collectable – rarity! In other words, if you are buying a painting, sketch, sculpture, coin, stamp, car, etc. it should be as unique as possible. If you decide to buy/invest in something that is easily duplicated (or there are thousands available), well then you are taking your chances ---and maybe some of you really like the thrill of that gamble?
Now for the story … in 1999 Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (now the recently retired Pope Benedict XVI) bought a Volkswagen Golf. Not really something one would think of as a collectable, but these days anything can happen, Right? After the Pope was elected he no longer needed his car and sold it; in turn it was bought from a used car dealer by an unsuspecting 21 year old named Benjamin Halbe in 2005 for €9900 (about $13,000). After realizing what he had, Benjamin put it up for sale on eBay. Well, the bidding went wild and shattered eBay records by receiving over 7.4 million views of the auction page. GoldenPalace.org (an online gambling site) won the auction – paying €188,938 (about $244,600) and considered this to be one of their top holy artifacts (can we all say … holy artifact … LOL). Guess Benjamin, more or less, won a little jackpot!!! As for Golden Palace, in my opinion they really overpaid, betting that provenance would trump all else --- let’s face it, this is just a used Volkswagen; so what happened?
Well, had they just held on to the car all would have been ok … at least as far as they knew. However, once Pope Benedict decided to resign, Golden Palace, in their infinite wisdom, thought it would be great to put the car back on eBay and donate all the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity … a nice philanthropic gesture. The first auction ended on February 24, 2013 and the highest bid was just £14,300 ... well short of the £100,000 they were hoping for. So they put the car up on eBay again; this time the bidding reached just £7,300 … guess that wasn’t such a good investment – but probably the right price for a used Volkswagen. Guess Golden Palace lost on most accounts - eBay was not the right place for them to sell, they mistakenly relied too heavily on provenance when they bought it and, most importantly, they paid too much in the first place. On the bright side, they still own the car and they did get some publicity.
What this really teaches us is that while you may think your piece is special due to its unique provenance … others in the world may not and in the end the item you have may not hold the value you were counting on. Amy
Our Blog & Exhibition Features
We are pleased to report that our Blogs have been up and running for a few weeks now … and they work really well (ok, there are a couple of minor bugs, but they are in the back end and do not affect the public view). Now you can visit the site on a daily basis to see our Art World Stories for the day – we usually post 2 or 3. In addition you can view our Paintings of the Day (one for the 19th century and another for the Contemporary sites); these are works that the gallery has either sold, or are currently available for sale … and with our long history, there are usually some interesting works featured.
The final piece of our puzzle is the Exhibitions page for our Contemporary site. This was a little more complicated since I wanted the ability to load an exhibition that will be taking place in our gallery and have the images/exhibit ‘go live’ on the web site at the same time we opened the doors at the gallery --- we will see if this really works on April 6th at 11 am! Please check in and let us know what you think.
Our web guru has worked hard to make sure the site is functioning properly; but if you see something is amiss, please let us know.
Looks like we had another nice month in the market --- and my broker made sure to call me just this week to tell me how well we are doing! Up about 9% for the year so far; but he was quick to state that odds are we will not see that type of appreciation for the rest of 2013 (36% for the year --- wouldn’t that be nice) and that there could be a correction at some point --- of course there can!
On Thursday, of this week, the S&P 500 hit an all time closing high of 1,569 and the Dow Jones hit 14,578 (not an all time high, but pretty close – it beat the 2007 record about 3 weeks ago … so were are in lofty territory). The real question in everyone’s mind is: how high can it go? Or … when will the correction come? As we all know, that is anyone’s guess! For me, I am just very happy to be in positive territory for the time being.
As for my favorite stocks, most are still doing well based on last month’s closing numbers … Altria ($34.39 Up), JP Morgan ($47.46 Down), Emerson ($55.87 Down), Chevron ($118.82 Up), Exxon ($90.11 Up), GE ($23.12 Down), Berkshire B ($104.20 Up), AT&T ($36.69 Up), VOD ($28.40 Up), Verizon ($49.15 Up), Wal-Mart ($74.83 Up) and Coke ($40.44 Up) and MCD ($99.69 Up). Even DuPont has made it back into the black ($49.16 Up). My least favorite, and the only one in the red, is Apple ($442.6 ... up a point from last month, but still a far cry from the $530 I spent)!!
The Art Market
During the month of March there was very little activity in the public forum and most of the action seems to have taken place in the gallery/show world … and even then, it was rather slim pickings.
Now there was at least one major show that took place – TEFAF – which is considered among of the top art and antiques exhibits in the world. Each year this show takes place in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and 70,000 plus people descend on this small town to visit the 10 day event in which more than $5.2 billion worth of art and antiques are offered. Among the notable ‘reported’ sales were a Joseph Wright painting titled Virgil’s Tomb in Moonlight that was snapped up by the Metropolitan Museum of Art; a marine painting by Eugene Isabey bought by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Jacob Jordaens’ The Meeting of Odysseus and Nausicaa sold for $6.5M; a Carlo Marrata work which had an asking price of $4.9M made its way off the show floor; Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s Daphne et Chloe marble went to an unidentified US museum (asking price was $3M); Christopher Wool’s Untitled (P66) went for about $1.4M; the Mauritshuis in The Hague bought a small Paul Brill of St. Jerome for £750K; Picasso’s 1964 Homme au cahpeua found a new home at about $8M; and a Pierre Bonnard, in the $1.3M range, found a new owner. These were just a small sampling of the items that were sold.
In general, the reported mood seemed very upbeat; but as we all know, it is very difficult to know exactly what went on since all of these sales took place in the ‘private’ market and actual sale prices are rarely disclosed.
In the public forum there were some minor sales; so to get you ready for the upcoming onslaught here are a few from NYC. Early in the month Sotheby’s had a set of Contemporary Art sales which featured over 420 works (they sold 314 – 74.6%) and brought in just over $27.3M (like I said, not very impressive considering that in their better sales one of the major works will bring 2 or 3 times that amount; but we should not poo-poo the numbers since $27M is a great deal of money). Among the highlights were: Christopher Wool who took the top two positions when his Untitled (P254) made $3.66M (est. $1.2-$1.8M) and Untitled (P251) brought $3.22M (est. $1-$1.5M). Other nice results included Basquiat’s Untitled which made $1.43M (est. $700-$1M - a silkscreen done in an edition of 10), Longo’s Men in the Cities: Final Life that brought $674K (est. $40-$60K) and Mitchell’s Rufus’ Rock: Mistral which commanded $512K (est. $300-$400K).
The next day Christie’s presented their offerings and the results were strong for what was offered. Top lot here was Gerhard Richter’s Ohne Titel which brought $783K (est. $250-$350K); second was taken by Peter Doig’s Cobourg 3+1 More at $627K (est. $200-$300K) and in third was Bertoia’s Dandelion from the Hilton Hotel, Denver, which made $567K (est. $150-$200K). At the end of the day there were 297 works offered and 239 sold (87% - pretty good) and the total take was $12.35M.
By the end of April we should begin seeing more results and then in May we will get hammered with more sales then we know what to do with.
Gallery Updates: Don’t miss The Big Gamble which opens at the gallery on April 6.
Web Site Updates: The Blog and Exhibition features on our site are finished and seem to be working well. In addition, a number of paintings have made their way through the gallery this month; these included works by Vibert, Knight, Herring, Cortes, Allingham and Jahn. In addition, a number of works have been added to the site; these include paintings by Vlaminck, Knight, Cortes, Blanchard, Jahn, Hollingsworth and O’Neill.