Gallery Vertigo in Vernon is an artist run centre that does an auction every year for their gallery.
The goal is to raise funds, support their programs and to get their artists involved in their community, and at the same time provide some education to Joe Public and other artists about various works in Art History. While Vernon is a bit of a distance as I live in West Kelowna, I enjoy contributing to this fundraiser because it gets me back in to the history books, to re-look at art, it gives a new way in, it involves my brain, my ability and skills and my awareness, which only enhances my work further. I look at how I can re-interpret a work that maybe I did not necessarily appreciate before, or how I can show how a work was impactful either on me or on the artworld itself. It is a win-win for all of us!
You know, I wish this was an assignment that would be incorporated in to the Art History programs at the university and the college. There is nothing that can help with the understanding of an artist quite like getting involved in their methodology, and their work.
Some of the things I consider when choosing a work to ‘re-create” for Almost Famous:
Try to do an artist, and or subject, I know nothing about. ie Wolf Kahn from 2008- I never paint with orange and yellow, and thought this would be a good opportunity to do so. I also never painted trees, but two years later, in my own work, the tree influence made itself felt:
Try to do a work that is not in the same medium ie I did a Tiffany Stained Glass in acrylic and oil from 2011:
Try to do the same dimensions and medium as done originally, for example the Emily Carr from 2007:
Or I will try to do the same dimensions but smaller, such as the Renoir from 2010:
I also try to add my own twist, so that the work is not an exact copy but has my own personality, ie if done originally in pencil, I will do in ink, or I will change the surface as I did in the Renoir above. The Matisse below was originally done in willow Charcoal:
One word of caution though – changing the colours is a tricky, because if the original work depends on colours for its substance, and is based in colour theory, it may be more difficult, but not impossible. Changes like these are where I, as an artist, become challenged and really enjoy. Here is an Ingres from 2009:
I have noticed some trends in bidding – the average price is between 50 and 70 dollars, with very few works going over $100 . and even fewer works going over $150.
If you are looking at maximizing the amount for your artwork consider the following:
- works of some periods tend to go for more ie art deco, art nouveau, impressionism, expressionism, der Blaue Reiter
- abstract work of certain periods tends to go for less ie abstract expressionism, deStijl
- if you are going to do realistic work in a realistic expression, then be meticulous in the reproduction
- some specific artists do very well ie (not limited to) Matisse, Klimt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet, Carr and Group of Seven
- some specific artists don’t do very well ie Bacon, Mondrian
- colour always does well
- size matters ie
- small works always do well
- large works (over 30×20) have challenges because of space
- include a short writeup for the work – why did you choose it, how does your rendition change it from the original (if applicable)
- include a picture and include a short bio (about 250 words max).
- FINISH the work! it does not mean it has to be framed, but include a varnish of some sort, to make the colours pop – spray, or gloss medium to unify the surface, that sort of thing.
Just because I include the above as cautions, does not mean that the artists, periods and expressions listed will never do very well, it just means that the public (perhaps) is not all that educated in the value of those expressions. If YOU are drawn to those artists, there is a reason, and perhaps you can use this opportunity to show others what you see as important and impactful. Use this opportunity to educate. With understanding comes appreciation and that is what this exhibition is all about.
Look upon the Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous exhibition as a way to help your fellow artists and the general public understand about various times in Art History. If you could visually express something about a specific work, what would it be? How can you incorporate what you learned about these works in to your own work, or your outlook…? For me, it is interesting to see how these works, whether I painted them, or viewed them, affect my own work later on down the road, whether in subject, or colour or expression or all of the above. Any education is never wasted.
If you are interested in getting involved in the Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous Auction, mark your calendar for June, as the call usually comes out then, with a deadline of delivery of mid to end July. The actual auction happens about the second/third week in August. Why not do an artwork or two or three during the year, and then you will have something ready for when the call comes out.
Any questions on the blog post, please do let me know – and on Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous, please contact Gallery Vertigo firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best! Julia