Tag Archives: Julio Aguilera

Art Market Dropping, as I Predicted

Sophia Lynn, by Julio Aguilera

Sophia Lynn, by Julio Aguilera

The latest from top art market publication ArtPrice suggests that the global art market is tanking. Every corner of the market has been affected, from the really high-end stuff to the emerging artists fetching less than EUR10,000 a canvas.

In the words of ArtPrice:

Whereas the top-end of the market (4.1% of transactions) has shown relative price inertia, on the more dynamic segment of works offered for less than 100,000 euros, reactions have been more spontaneous: price adjustments are already underway. In this segment, the price index calculated using the repeated sales method has dropped 18% compared with October 2007!

The art market is in decline, as I predicted back in September 2007, in a short article for Trader Monthly. Prices, I felt, were topping out, and ArtPrice retrospectively calls the peak in late 2007/early 2008.

Read “Bubble Watch” in Trader Monthly >>

Check out some charts from ArtPrice after the jump.

Continue reading

What I’m Reading, What I’m Smoking

I haven’t hit on this in a while. Again, day job was bogging me down. Lately, I’ve been switching between De La Concha house cigars (Toro-sized) and my pipe (Key Largo tobacco from G.L. Pease). Both have been keeping me happy and inspired.

Right now, I’m reading Don Quixote (by Cervantes). I’ve never read it, and that’s bothered me for a while. I know that it is among the books that one must read, and I’ve wanted to get to it for a while. I’m now incredibly happy that I picked it up. It is hilarious and quite readable (thanks in large part to the translator). Picasso’s work with Quixote– and Julio Aguilera’s as well– now makes more sense.

So, I recommend all of this. Smoke Key Largo in your pipe or a De La Concha house cigar while reading Don Quixote. It’s a nice combination … and one I hope to enjoy for another 700 pages.

Julio Aguilera in Saatchi Gallery Art Magazine

Learn about New York artist Julio Aguilera’s latest project, a sculpture of Prometheus, in the Saatchi art gallery’s online magazine. The bronze sculpture, modeled on the God of Fire cigar label, will be featured at a charity auction to be held at the Grand Havana Room on October 15th. This could prove to be the cigar event of the year.

Learn more about Julio Aguilera’s “God of Fire” >>

Nelson Diaz in Saatchi Magazine

My first article for Saatchi magazine has finally been published!!! Check it out >>

I am pretty fucking psyched to be writing for such a prestigious publication. The Saatchi Gallery has cranked out some big name artists, including the reclusive nutjob Damien Hirst (who, like Nelson, operates in the tradition of Francis Bacon).

The story is quite interesting. It covers Diaz’s frustration with the current state of the art market and his show of protest. In order to make the aesthetic attainable to those who are not incredibly wealthy, Diaz has been selling paintings on eBay for starting prices of $1. The results have varied, with the first piece, Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #1 reaching $745, though several have only barely cleared the $100 mark.

The final piece, Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #10 is currently on the block, and the auction closes tomorrow. Place a last-minute bid >>

Keep an eye on Saatchi magazine for more coverage of the art market from me. Pretty soon, I hope to see my piece on Julio Aguilera’s “Prometheus” sculpture project.

Vote for Julio Starting Today! Saatchi Online Competition

The Saatchi Gallery Online, the internet presence for one of the most prestigious art galleries in the world, is holding a competition, with success determined by votes. I would love to influence this process. Julio Aguilera deserves to win because (1) he is a kick-ass artist, (2) he is a nice guy and (3) I have several of his pieces; his winning would make their value increase.

So, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for Saatchi and spread the word. Voting starts at 9 AM, so click here to vote eary and vote often!

This piece is “Geometric Mona,” a variation of Leonardo DaVinci’s “Mona Lisa,” painted in Aguilera’s signature geometric/cubist style. In fact, this is the review photo that Aguilera sent to The Saatchi Gallery to secure their interest in displaying his work on the website.

So, vote for Julio! He’s a great artist who deserves to move to the next level >>

Plan for the day

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but I gave rest (and religion) up for Lent. So, here I am with shit to do. I have a lot to write about my weekend (saw dad, brothers and cousin) for the 4th. Of course, hilarity ensued. I also have some pictures, because you always need evidence. Also, I’m going to meet with Ben Krell later, and Julio Aguilera, at De La Concha.

But, for now, I have to shower and go to the grocery store. I leave you with a picture of Bam Bam, who was up in Connecticut with me over the weekend. This shot of him, by Steve Zak, was taken at a De La Concha cigar dinner back in February.

Introducing Ben Krell

After having sat on my ass for too long, I’m happy to announce that I have finally written my first article on Benjamin Krell. The piece, “Fusing Light and Motion on Canvas: Interview with New York Artist Ben Krell,” introduces the work of this artist to OhmyNews.com’s readers and explains his approach to the canvas.

Ben is an interesting guy, and I love his work. So, I’m happy to add him to the group of artists I cover. We have had some decent opportunities at major magazines, but unfortunately they didn’t materialize. We did, though, get live rejections from some serious magazines.

Get used to seeing Ben Krell’s work on my blog. It’s going to continue. After all, the Migrant Blogger loves art, and this is art that I’m excited to cover. Now, my portfolio of artists is up to three, with Krell joining Julio Aguilera and Nelson Diaz. Someday, I’ll have to get the three of them together at once for an ad hoc show. Maybe I’ll have these painters do performance art, just to fuck them up a bit.

Okay, I’m in Finland

With Reykjavik out of my system, I can finally focus on the new leg of my trek. So far, Helsinki rocks. I have already explored the city, had a kick-ass Indian dinner, checked out a few (shitty) art installations and had a private tour of one of the most prestigious galleries in the country (being a part-time journo has its perks!).

While Reykjavik reminded me of Quebec for some strange reason, Helsinki has more of a Paris vibe. The people are young, and the parks are cozy. I’m in one now. While Iceland advertises hot chicks, Finland delivers (apologies ot my wife for this, but I have to report the facts). There’s a bit more cobblestone here; Helsinki just feels more like a European city. I also see a touch of Paris in soem of the buildings, reminding me of those around Place de l’Opera. It’s not pervasive, but I’ve seen it in a few plces. Helsinki is its own city– vastly different from Paris– but it has a similar underlying spirit.

In some ways, Helsinki is like New York. As I wandered around this afternoon, I was accosted by some twentysomething do-gooder who was soliciting donations for UNICEF, not unlike the Environmental Action guys lingering around Columbus Circle. He had me in his sights, but I’d already planned my exit strategy. “Francais, English,” I said, before he could get a word out. I wanted to let him know that I’m not a local. “So, you don’t have a Finnish account?” I replied with a simple “nope” and was on my way.

I stopped by seven or eight art galleries. Most sucked. I mean, how many fucking ways can you paint reindeer, moutains and snow? I could bring Julio, Nelson or Ben here and rock the Finnish art world. I just might have to do that.

The last gallery was different from the others. It had both modern and classical pieces, much of it quite interesting. This is where I got a private, after-hours tour of an exhibition that opened only yesterday. I can’t say more, because I’m using it for an upcoming article, but it was fucking amazing.

I did step on art.

At one of the sucky galleries, I checked out the pieces hanging on the walls. They blew. But, I saw a back room and decided to have a look. Movies were playing on opposite walls. One was a greenhouse, the kind you’d see at Home Depot. Nothing moved. Stupid. The other wall had a video ofa parking lot. One car was parked. The other was on a lift (like you’d see at an outdoor Manhattan parking garage). The car was lifted about four feet off the ground … then nothing happened! Really stupid.

At this point, I should have known better, but there was one more goddamned room. In for a penny, right? It was a hallway with a lumpy floor, and textured walls, as htough someone put big boulders beneath the sheetrock. At the end, there was an angular, similarly “rocky” door. So, I walked the hall to the door to open it. It didn’t work. I quickly realized the hallway itself was an installation piece and walked off it gingerly. As if I could have damaged that idiocy …

So, Helsinki is off to a fun start. Reykjavik was great, but this should be even better. The best part? Dinner was only $30!

Icelandic Graffiti

Without the benefit of Harrison Ford, this country has its own “public art.” I always figured that this wolrd leader in puffin-kissing and tree-hugging would be clear all around. I hadn’t realized that they have scumbags defacing public and private property. It’s so bad that the cover story on the English-language Reykjavik Grapevine shows a building covered in graffiti and talks about vacancies. I haven’t read the article yet, but I think I have the gist, especially given the imminent real estate price drop in this city.

While I sound ready to condemn Icelandic graffiti, I am restrained by a sad fact: though not visually appealing, it is the best artwork in Reykjavik. I asked my walking tour guide about the Icelandic art scene. He replied, “Eh.” A trip to the local galleries made his statement seem optimistic. Reykjavik’s galleries had more snowy landscapes and ocean paintings than those in Quebec. It was awful.

The Einar Jonsson Museum Sculpture Garden wasn’t bad. Jonsson, I guess, is Iceland’s most famous sculptor. He’s dead now. The stuff I saw … not bad. I’d take the work of New Yorker Julio Aguilera over Jonsson any day, though.

Bonus if you can see me in the picture