Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is photography finally drawing collectors?

Photography is a medium, a language nearly everyone can easily understand. That’s why it is growing in popularity. But can really the schism between the broader fine art auction market and fine art photography be closed?

A top collector of contemporary photography in the US for the last four decades or so, Arthur Goldberg, while speaking at the Artelligence conference a few months ago in New York, mentioned that it was up to the time to come to determine if there should or would be any sort of equality between the two streams. However, he felt buying photos was a great opportunity and avenue to own quality art at a very low price. He had emphasized, “Great art is always great art whatever the medium be.”

Historically, price tags for fine art photographic works have been far lower than those achieved by painters and practitioners working in other mainstream medium. However, that scenario seems to be slowly changing for certain parts of this market, though the transition is still at a nascent stage. The ATLAS gallery owner, Ben Burdett, mentioned: “Prices are creeping up definitely, but it is not indeed a steep curve; it’s more of an apparently gradual slope.

The art gallery from London dealing in fine art photography has helped to compile the comprehensive photography collections for celebrities like Elton John and renowned institutions like Qatar’s National Museum. It’s currently showcasing part of the collection at Art Basel Miami Beach.

According to Burdett, exposure is definitely boasting the demand from aware collectors; a trend now very much global, not solely confined to Europe or the US. He adds the art loving public is being gradually introduced to new talented photographers, revealing that several mid-20th century photo artists like Lisette Model are being explored only just in renowned museum collections. They are consequently receiving far more attention. The expert feels that there has been a major rise in people who want to get serious photography collectors and also get into this seemingly lucrative market quite deep.

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