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The investment in art is never disappointing

15 May 2010 / 13:05:18  GRReporter
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Marina Nikolova

 

It sounds pretty bold plan to open up a gallery in the center of Athens during the throes of an economic crisis. But a young Greek woman, who has a gallery and a bookstore in Berlin is pretty optimistic. Elena Papadopoulou believes that the crisis will lead to a reassessment of the values, but in turn to help themselves the gallery owners may have to knock down a bit the already inflated prices. Elena is the owner of the gallery Nice and fit in Berlin and is involved with three of her artists in the exhibition Art Athens.

Pledge in favor of the young artists

At the exhibition Art Athens I present three of my artists - two Americans and one German. Sarah Crowner (Sarah Crowner, born in 1974) in her paintings she revives many movements of the past such as the abstract art for example. In this work she shows paintings that were made of wool, canvases and various other materials which she sews to one another. At the moment she is also presented at the Biennial Whitney, which is a very big exhibition in New York and is organized every two years. There are presented the most important trends in the American art and it is really something amazing! In my gallery Sarah Crowner started to work about two years ago. And when an artist grows along with you it is great to see that she progresses so quickly ...

Furthermore, I represent Angela Mewes, who is sculptor, she makes installations and also writes poetry. I also presented her this year at the re-map exhibition in Athens. She also has I think a very strong expression by combining the minimalism with the freedom of poetry. She is also very young and is also with me since two years ago. The third artist whom I represent is James Hoff, who places in a series of paintings scenes from a coloring book of the Black Panthers, from 1968. The book was drawn by an anonymous author, who has given it to the Black Panthers, but they have not accepted it because it is too severe for them – it shows the white people as pigs. But the book falls into the hands of the FBI who decide to spread it among the two communities – both among the white and among the black, in order to initiate strange emotions. Overall, my gallery in Berlin provides a platform for many young artists, I also have a bookstore for small publishing houses which can not be found in major bookstores and because I am Greek, I decided to open an art gallery in Athens as well, which will open doors from the month of October.

 

Berlin / Athens

 

It is a bit strange the situation in both cities - Berlin and Athens. In fact, in Berlin there is no art market - there are many artists, many galleries, many things related to art and can be made, but there are no buyers. I was never a rich city, and that is why artists have always headed that way - those who want to live differently, not to pay high rents, to be able to eat for less money, etc. But through the city so many people pass who do not live there and they are actually the buyers of works of art - foreigners from Europe and America or Germans from other cities who are richer.

On the other hand, in Athens the circle of artists is much more compact, there are less galleries, but there are more collectors. There is this paradox that is true. Furthermore, I consider that the Greek collectors are very brave. This have also shared colleagues of mine from Germany, who in spite of the fact they are Germans and have their German customers say that they like a lot the Greeks who would not think for a year and a half whether to buy something from a young author who does not have a long CV. While the Germans will think longer and will want proofs and certificates that the artist is well developed.

 

Economic Crisis and the Art Market

The market for art is something really weird. Prices are often amazing and sometimes people enter this field in unknown reasons - because of a friend or because it is fashionable or because the life-style magazines create a trend which is not bad. However on the other side art is a platform for various types of exchange - not just business, so it is very difficult to lose the true desire to be engaged and not so much to acquire a kind of trophy, but more as a means of communication. Art really connects you with history, with your own culture or with the culture as a whole. Time will show, however! If one looks in the right way at the art market and the prices are not inflated ... Many gallery owners place high prices initially and then make discounts so that the customer feels good. But I hope that this trend will disappear because it is very ugly and puts in a worse position both the client, creates a bad reputation for the galleries and poor conditions for the artists. Now during the economic crisis they should drop the prices because they have inflated them in a foolish manner. But I do not think that people will stop being interested in art and especially at this moment when everything is collapsing around this is the only area where you can make a reassessment of your values system. And if we look very pragmatic the investment in art is something that will never be disappointing. If anyone has the opportunity to buy a painting at a logical price, after ten years it might turn out that he has done much better than if he had played  the stock market with this same money.

Tags: interview art galleries Art Athens collectors market values
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