Category Archives: izzie egan

Art Rabbit, A website worth checking out!

Margareta Kern (Liza - Donja Vrba, Croatia. 2006). Courtesy of www.artrabbit.comMargareta Kern (Liza – Donja Vrba, Croatia. 2006). Courtesy of www.artrabbit.com

Artrabbit.com is a really interesting website allowing online readers a clear insight into the London art market, whats going on and listings. You can post your openings there too!

There’s some great online interviews including recent one with Margareta Kern. There is also a number of Art Walks posted which look really interesting and well thought out. Basically I’m pretty impressed with this site! Great for visitors and Londoners alike!

Check out http://www.artrabbit.com/ for recent openings, discussion boards, news feeds and up and coming popular events.

Izzie Egan. C-C-C-Vancouver.com

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Thanks Beyond Robson!

The C.C.C. London would like to thank Beyond Robson for thier great insightful interview with Izzie Egan the C.C.C’s Founder.

We look forward to being able to keep you informed with snippets from the Art Market, whether it’s London, New York, DC, Toronto or Vancouver. We will hopefully be adding new cities to our list in the future.

For the meantime you can read about whats going on on our blog sites!

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The London Market Boom

Sotheby’s London

OK. I have spoken about the different layers of the London art scene. Before attempting to talk about individual shows, I will continue to establish groundwork of the London art scene by talking about how powerful the current market is in the international context.

There were two telling articles in the March edition of the Art Newspaper which help to properly wrap one’s head around the current explosion of the London art market. The first is written by Georgina Adam, who claims that art follows money, and due to London currently riding on the success of a financial boom, the UK capital is leaving New York and other large-scale cities in the dust. She describes the financial boom by mentioning the current and inconceivable property prices in London, citing the recent sale of four Hyde Park penthouses for £84 million each. Furthermore, New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has commissioned a report from consultants McKinsey to find out why New York is failing to keep up. Apparently, because of America’s more stringent immigration policies and implementation of the Sabanes-Oxley Act 2002 which tightens accounting practices, it has become a far less desirable place to start a business. The result of this is that hedge fund assets in the
UK are growing at an annual gain of 63% while they grow at a mere 13% in the US. Adams goes on to say how this mirrors the art market as financiers and hedge fund managers are the biggest spenders in today’s art market.
Other forces include the geographic ease for which London offers the wealthy from new economies such as Russia, the Middle East, and India. As residents of the UK only need to pay tax on what they earn domestically, London has become quite the tax haven for ‘ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ coming from foreign economies. Adams mentions that the accountancy firm, Grant Thornton, estimates that two-thirds of the 1000 wealthiest Brits are foreign nationals. In addition, because artworks can physically be transferred from one economy to another (a huge bonus for art investors), it is no wonder why Americans have taken advantage of the strong pound/weak dollar and have consigned pieces to London auction houses to maximize fiscal return.

 

The result of these facts is noticed when observing London’s staggering $750 million (USD) turnover between ‘impressionist’, ‘modern’, and ‘post-war and contemporary art’ auctions between the dates of February 5th and 9th, 2007. In a mere five days, London saw the highest grossing auctions in European history. It is no fluke that the London art market is swelling at such an astonishing rate. For instance, according to Roger Bevan of the Art Newspaper, the Contemporary Art auction on February 7th at Sotheby’s earned £45.8 million, while last year it realized £30.4 million, and the year previous, £28.6 million. Parallel to this was the Christie’s auction which made £70.4 million in its ‘Post War and Contemporary Art’ evening sale. In 2006, the equivalent sale made £37 million, and in 2005, £24.5 million.

 

This evidence suggests that London art market professionals are currently basking on cloud nine. The success of this city’s market seems to have turned into an annual surprise as each year London tops what was thought to be an unbeatable turnover from the previous year. We are all internally bracing ourselves for a potential crash, but at this point the economic prognosis doesn’t suggest any sign of a weakening market.

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Hello, and Welcome to the London Art Scene

Thanks Izzie for such a kind welcome and I’m thrilled to be offering a voice to those interested in learning about what the London art scene has to offer. Firstly, I should introduce myself so readers know whether any of this information is, in fact, worth listening to!

 

My name is Richard Sehmer and I am a Canadian currently living in the bustling city of London. I grew up in Vancouver, and then went to do an undergraduate degree in studio art and art history at York University in Toronto. Upon completion, I moved to London where I earned a master’s degree in art business from Sotheby’s and met classmates, friends, and now, fellow-bloggers: Izzie (CCC Vancouver), Joe (CCC Toronto), and Victoria (CCC New York). Currently, I am working towards a law degree at City University in Central London with the ambition of becoming an art lawyer. This blog will hopefully help you to explore the substance of this thriving art scene, while it helps me stay in touch with the art world as I continue my legal studies.

When being asked to write about the London art scene, one can’t help but feel as though they would if one were asked to clean the outside of a building with a toothbrush. Not only is the scene impressively overwhelming, but it is constantly changing as new styles, galleries, artists, collectors, and economic trends (to name a few factors) endlessly mold the art world into what it is today. Nevertheless, this is what makes the London art scene such a vibrant and exciting discourse as one is never at a loss for words.

To begin, one must ask what we are talking about when we say ‘art scene.’ Perhaps this sounds like an asinine question, but, from my experience, it is best to find structure in such a massive subject, by first defining what it is in fact we are talking about. The London ‘art scene’ can be described through various vantages. For instance, a tourist would experience the London ‘art scene’ by potentially prioritizing major museums and galleries: The Tates (Britain, Modern, St Ives), The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum (or “the V&A” as locals say), the Design Museum and the list continues. Perhaps the London ‘art scene’ even includes places like Madame Tussauds, The Sherlock Holmes Museum, and the Natural History Museum. To a local, the ‘art scene’ may consist of the less ‘touristy’ of destinations, going to galleries which aim more at commercial sales rather then going to government-funded institutions. Most of the time people go to a gallery with no intention of purchasing work. London hosts a myriad of galleries including places like White Cube, Flowers, The Redfern and hundreds of other institutions located from the affluent areas such as Bond Street and St James, to places like Hampstead, East London (Hoxton, Aldgate, etc), Maida Vale, Islington, and Chelsea. Maybe one would be so daring enough as to venture into the guarded doors of Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Bonham’s to check out their previews. The art market professional, may describe the ‘art scene’ as, besides the aforementioned, a world including issues such as conservation/restoration, art crime (ie recovering Nazi loot), art publications and critics, consultancy services, insurance, and even efforts invoked in maintaining relationships with actual artists. Without stating the obvious, people often forget that current practicing artists are an essential ingredient in the development of a successful ‘scene.’

joe.jpg

As is clear, everyone has a different perspective on the definition of the ‘London art scene,’ and I will do my best to entertain most facets in my subsequent blogs. As a viewer of art, however, it is imperative to remember that the art world, especially in London, can exude snobbery and pretentiousness. When surrounded by such an exciting art scene, one can not afford to be too scared or belittled to spend as much time as you want walking into the most top-notch of institutions. The art-world requires a tough-skin and an ability to not be intimidated by insecurities such as a lack of art knowledge or a feeling of unworthiness. In large part, this is what often differentiates between the mindset of ‘tourist’, ‘local’, and ‘art market professional.’

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Just a Little Introduction.

The C.C.C. is proud to announce the launch of the C.C.C. London Blog.

We are delighted to introduce Richard Sehmer as our blogger extrodinaire in the UK.

I hope that you enjoy reading everything Richard has to say.

Izzie Egan. Founder of C.C.C.

Richard Sehmer at The Basel Art Fair. Richard Sehmer at The Basel Art Fair.

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