Lowbrow Art Movement & the work of Xue Wang!

Coco de Mer

‘Coco de Mer’ by Xue Wang – Original Oil on Board Xue Wang, born in 1980, the year of the mischievous monkey Wang grew up in Northern China before coming to the UK to do an MA and finally setting up her studio in London.  Xue Wang gets much of her inspiration from childhood paraphernalia: Dolls, toys, stage sets and compliments them with the cultural heritage of Victorian, Vintage Fashion and pin-up imagery. Her overall artistic style and finished pieces visually represent the Lowbrow Movement to a tee. So what is “Lowbrow”? What does it aim to achieve and how did it come about? Hopefully we can answer some of these questions for you.

So how did low brow come about? The term “lowbrow” art came about in 1979 when after many attempts the artist Robert Williams finally received news that a publisher was willing to produce a book containing his works. Williams gave the book the self-deprecating name of ‘The Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams’ since no authorized art institution would recognize his type of art. Lowbrow was therefore used by Williams in opposition to the highbrow, established movements. He said the name then stuck, even though he feels it is inappropriate. It is now used across the globe by hundreds of artists and has become a movement in its own right.

What is Low Brow? Williams Describes the movement as “cartoon-tainted abstract surrealism.” Lately, Williams has begun referring to his own work as “Conceptual Realism.  In the UK this work along with Lowbrow has probably best described by many as Pop Surrealism, this harks back to the underground scene that helped create the movement involving Williams and Mark Ryden  both based on the US West Coast. Lowbrow takes inspiration from comic material, film iconography, pop culture and cult magazines to create ‘tongue in cheek’ paintings that poke fun at mainstream art culture. Lowbrow work tends to have a dark underbelly that can sometimes be shocking and provocative, but each piece always has a comical and narrative side. Much like Xue Wang’s ‘Just Desserts’ and ‘A Better’ pictured below.

Just Deserts

‘Just Desserts’ by Xue Wang – Original oil on board, framed £4,950 Payment options are available. Please call the gallery to discuss further – 01159243555

 A Better

‘Abettor’ by Xue Wang – Original oil on board, framed £4,950 Payment options are available. Please call the gallery to discuss further – 01159243555 The Nottingham gallery ‘George Thornton Art’ has a number of original works by Xue Wang. Do contact us for details. {george@georgethorntonart.com}

Onegin by Andy Reid. Inspired by the 1999 film, based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel “Eugene Onegin”

Onegin is a 1999 British-American romantic drama film based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse Eugene Onegin, co-produced by British and American companies and shot mostly in the UK.
Starring Ralph Fiennes as Yevgeni “Eugene” Onegin and Liv Tyler as Tatyana.

Andy Reid painted his piece based upon love, compassion and distant memories that build on are personal emotions.

Watch trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYyQ7bvyRCE

‘Onegin’, Oil on Canvas, (70cm sq) – £995

Is Art an Asset Class?

I don’t want you to think that I am changing my mind about the investment value of art.  According to artnetmarketing.com the demand for the top-selling artists has remained consistently high and done better than most investment classes consistently over the last ten years.

During the last week I was asked by a trustee to explain the asset value of some works of art in an estate.  The key criteria for establishing an asset is that the price is set efficiently.  This requires an effective method of aggregating opinions into a price as is done on the stock market.  In the art market a very small group of people set the price.  Also a painting is only sold once in about 20 years.  Also it is not clear that value sets the price.  If art is sold at auction there are buyer and seller premiums that inflate the price paid.

So my answer to the trustee was: art is a wealth store.  It does not pay dividends or interest and can cost money to keep, such as insurance or cleaning.   But for those artists whose work is desired the tax free capital gain has historically been large.

Economists and financiers do have a soul and many of them are collectors not just because of the monetary gain but also because as humans we are natural collectors of things of beauty that up lift our spirits.  Art is probably top of the list of items that full fill this need as we live in our urban landscape.

So collect your art as a wealth store and enjoy it.