Collecting art is an investment in taste. Knowing what artist may produce works that become a valued investment is no easy task. When an artist is consistently shown in esteemed galleries, when s/he’s commissioned by brands to design for their products, and when an artist publishes well received coffee table books – these are the signs of an emerging talent in the art world. Fame certainly increases value for an artist’s work and longevity is key to becoming a well-known name, but collecting based on taste is a great start for a fine personal collection.
Though there are wonderful galleries tucked away throughout the world, the City of New York continues to be a center of fine art. Recently, a gallery in the heart of Chelsea has produced consistently well-received exhibits with a focus on both street art and pop art from the west coast, the tri-state, and Europe. In 2007 the gallery brought a group show of artists, well loved for their murals in the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio De Jeneiro, to the US for the first time. The Jonathan Levine Gallery of New York is currently exhibiting pieces by Blek Le Rat, Blu, D*Face, and Space Invader from Paris, Milan and London. Former shows include Camille Rose Garcia, Tara McPherson, David Choe, and Shepard Fairey of Obey fame. Shag is a highly anticipated exhibition by the artist slated to return to the Jonathan Levine Gallery in 2008. His previous show at the gallery sold out entirely.
The Streets of Europe exhibit includes pieces in a variety of media including paint and wheat paste, stencil – even mosaic tile and digital animation. The artists merge techniques and traditions from the old and new world as they elevate writing on the walls to fine art. The gallery’s site details the show, and art movement, as follows:
“Street Art culture has grown from its graffiti roots over the past few decades and has since evolved into a global movement. Often conveying political or social commentary, the intent of many Street Artists is to create an open message to society, introduce unconventional ideas to the general public and engage the masses. When European artists, influenced by American graffiti and hip hop culture, first began to experiment in the streets of their own cities, their approach naturally translated into distinctly different techniques – in contrast with those found in the US. Street Artists in European cities developed applications that would compliment the classical architecture of their native environment – within the context of their own urban landscapes.”
It is an exciting time to invest in global art.