Art

Luxury – Big Screen Style

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that luxury brands are moving towards enhanced customer experiences to compete in the global luxury market...

With an increasingly competitive global luxury market, luxury brands are truly having to go the extra mile in order to impress and retain customers.

To this end, Louis Vuitton has announced that their new maison in Rome “will house a small cinema showcasing art films from contemporary artists“. This follows a trend that has seen cafes and restaurants in stores (Armani and Gucci), concert halls (Chanel), book stores (Marc Jacobs) and art galleries (Louis Vuitton). This announcement also follows Conde Nast’s announcement that they are starting a film and television devision to leverage their editorial products in a new medium.

As luxury blog Material World says on the matter:

“Luxury has moved beyond simply buying celebrities or dressing them, on or off screen, to thinking about how they can use their own celebrity to pull people in.”

As video content is set to make up 62 percent of internet traffic by 2015, this may well be another wise decision by LVMH.

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Brooklyn museum makes space for forgeries

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Most people go to an art museum to appreciate fine art and broaden their cultural horizons. Is this still the case when the art on display is known to be fake? Next year the Brooklyn Museum in New York will put on a show featuring pieces of Coptic sculpture known to be counterfeit. Acquired between the late 1950s and early 1970s, these pieces have never before been shown to the public, and their provenance is dubious at best. One example from a recent article in the New York Sun:

One New York dealer, Jerome Eisenberg, acknowledged in a phone interview that he had sold the museum one piece now considered to be fake, a roundel with a border of palm fronds and a central bust. The museum acquired the piece in 1960.

Asked where he bought the roundel, Mr. Eisenberg said that he purchased it from a “very reliable, very ethical” dealer in Cairo, a Copt named Kamel Hammouda. Asked if he knew where Mr. Hammouda got the sculpture, Mr. Eisenberg said that it was against the rules of the trade at the time to ask such questions.

“When you’re buying antiquities in Egypt or Beirut or Turkey or Algeria, you don’t ask the dealer who dug things up,” he said.

Hopefully the museum will provide enough information in the exhibition such that visitors can learn what characteristics make these pieces forgeries–that will certainly foster the connoisseurship of Egyptian art.

[Photo by Dan Diffendale]

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Luxury for the Art Lover’s Mind

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

The Courtauld Institute of Art, located in London’s famous Somerset House, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.  The Courtauld Gallery has just launched a new membership organisation called the Samuel Courtauld Society, which gives its members greater access to the UK’s most established art world network.  The Gallery has pieces which span 700 years of art history and has the most extensive collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art in the UK.

For various contributions – starting at £500 and going to levels of £5000 up – members of the Samuel Courtauld Society get invitations to private viewings of the special exhibitions held at the Gallery, free access to the Courtauld’s resource libraries, free publications and access to its staff and director.  This year’s exhibitions feature works by Walter Sickert, Auguste Renoir, and Paul Cezanne.  More information on the Samuel Courtauld Society can be found here.

For those who define luxury as something more for the mind than the mantelpiece, becoming a member of an art society is the ultimate luxury experience.  It helps us explore all disciplines of knowledge through a consistent medium, from politics, history, and philosophy to science and medicine.

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Skull for Sale Anyone?

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

hirstskull

An update to this post–Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God, the diamond-encrusted skull that juxtaposes mortality and eternity,  recently sold to an unnamed investment group for its asking price of $100 million.

Hirst reportedly kept a share of the piece himself to ensure that it gets displayed. The UK’s Independent is skeptical that it actually reached the asking price, with sources remarking that it’s notoriously difficult to know the specifics of private art sales and that sales talks had previously stalled at £38 million ($76 million).

According to Richard Polsky, a California art dealer:

This is all about investment, not about art collecting. This sale keeps Hirst in the news, reinforces the demand for his work and makes everyone who spent money at the White Cube feel good about their investment.

When the value of a piece is as astronomical as For the Love of God, does the focus necessarily have to shift from art to investment?

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A Fashion Editor’s Luxury

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Nice little article from Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune, about her idea of luxury, recently published in Kiwi Collection, an online luxury travel magazine.

For me, luxury is art, craft and sensory pleasure. Art is something that we understand. It may be difficult and challenging but it is at the heart of luxury.

I agree with her; part of the difficult and challenge in art (and connoisseurship and luxury) is putting in the time and effort to develop a worthy appreciation. At Janus Thinking we believe that a big part of luxury is understanding yourself and what you want–the luxury you choose should always ‘feel’ right. Menkes concurs; she says that people long for true luxury experiences; they go out of their way to find places and things with perfect design and ambiance. You can read all of Menkes’ article here.

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