🔍 Hyperrealism: Seeing is... Believing?

+ Moros' Artistic Zoom: Elbow or Art? + Lalanne's Golden Streak + Art Market's Chess Game


Welcome to the 1,325 new art lovers who joined last week.

This week’s Art in a Flash includes:

  • 🌟 Artist in Focus: Alejandra Moros is turning body parts into enigmatic masterpieces. Think 'Guess Who?' but with kneecaps and elbows.

  • 🔥 Hammer Time: François-Xavier Lalanne is the art world's Midas. And that Hippopotamus bar? It's worth its weight in gold.

  • 📚 Brushstrokes of Knowledge: Hyperrealism is here, and it's playing mind games. It's art's answer to a magic trick.

  • 🧐 Curator's Corner: The ARR debate is sizzling. Europe's on track, but the U.S. is still finding its rhythm.

  • 💫 Wonder of Art: With pieces like Picasso’s Femme à la montre, the art market is dancing on its toes.

  • 🔗 Industry Top Picks: From women-led art fairs to auction controversies, it's the art world's spicy gossip column.

Read Time 10 minutes

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🌟 Artist in Focus

Imagine trying to identify a friend from a close-up of their elbow. Sounds like a quirky game at a party, right? That's the kind of playful yet profound challenge Alejandra Moros throws at us with her art.

Using video stills and iPhone snaps, Moros zooms into the most unexpected parts of the human body, crafting portraits that are more mystery than memoir.

Like trying to read a book where all the pages are shuffled - you know there's a story, but it's not handed to you on a silver platter.

Now, while most of us are squinting and guessing, "Is that an earlobe or a kneecap?", Moros is chuckling in the background.

Not because she's mocking our confusion, but because she's celebrating the dynamic, ever-changing nature of the human form.

For her, these aren't just random body parts. They're intimate glimpses into the souls of her loved ones, each piece a love letter to their uniqueness.

And in this dance of detail and ambiguity, she invites us to question: Why are we so obsessed with the whole when the parts themselves are so fascinating?

By the way, if you hadn't heard of her before 2021, you might've been living under a rock (or perhaps, a very large canvas).

After dazzling the art scene at NADA Miami, she's been painting her way across the globe, from Italy to Shanghai.

And with a fresh residency at PM/AM under her belt, London's about to get a taste of her genius.

Calling all artists! 📣 Want to see your work featured in our newsletter? Submit your work here.

🔥 Hammer Time

The art market is a fickle beast, but when it comes to François-Xavier Lalanne, it seems to have found a consistent darling.

In the first half of 2023 alone, a whopping $22.7 million in auction sales were made for 34 lots. That's like selling 34 golden eggs, each more dazzling than the last!

And with an average price of $670,000 and a hammer ratio of 1.87, Lalanne's market performance is eerily mirroring that of Renoir.

HIPPOPOTAME II' BAR, 1978 by François-Xavier Lalanne

But let's be real, while Renoir painted dreamy scenes, Lalanne gave us a Hippopotamus bar that someone happily snagged for $7.5 million, even though it was priced at a mere $3 million. Talk about thirsty for art! 🍸

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📚 Brushstrokes of Knowledge

Hyperrealism: it's like that moment when you mistake a photograph for a painting, only to realize it's the other way around.

This art movement, which emerged in the 1970s, took realism and pumped it up with a dose of steroids.

Artists like Chuck Close and Roberto Bernardi became the maestros of this style, creating artworks so detailed that you could almost feel the texture of a fabric or the moisture of a dewdrop just by looking.

Big Self-Portrait by Chuck Close

But why the obsession with such extreme detail? Well, in a world saturated with digital images, hyperrealism is like a rebellious teenager.

It challenges the digital by being, paradoxically, more real than reality itself. It's like when you upgrade your TV to 8K and suddenly realize your favorite actor has freckles.

And here's the juicy bit: this intense focus on detail, this commitment to replicating reality, often translates to higher market values. Collectors are, in essence, paying for an artist's painstaking patience and eagle-eyed precision.

L'essenziale by Roberto Bernardi

Now, while Alejandra Moros might not be painting every pore and wrinkle, her zoomed-in body parts echo the same sentiment.

By magnifying and distorting, she's making us question what's real and what's art. And in today's art market, that blurred line between reality and representation, my friends, is where the big bucks lie.

It's not just about seeing; it's about believing. And sometimes, believing requires a closer look.

🧐 Curator's Corner

In the grand theater of the art world, there's a backstage drama that's been simmering for years, and it's called the Artist Resale Right (ARR).

Now, I've always believed that art isn't just about aesthetics; it's about equity. And frankly, it's high time we address the elephant in the gallery: Why aren't visual artists getting their fair share when their masterpieces change hands?

Europe seems to have caught on, at least to some extent. They've set up a system where artists get a cut from resales, albeit with a cap.

But let's talk about the U.S., the so-called land of opportunity. Here, the ARR scene is more barren than a blank canvas. No legal mechanism exists, and it feels like a glaring oversight in a country that champions innovation and fairness.

But here's my two cents: This isn't just about money. It's about respect. It's about recognizing the enduring value artists bring to the table. The resistance to ARR? It's short-sighted.

Those who see art solely as an investment are missing the bigger picture. Without artists, the art market is just a market. And what a dull place that would be!

Minutiae by Robert Rauschenberg with Jasper Johns

Remember the face-off between Robert Rauschenberg and collector Robert Scull? It's a testament to the age-old tussle between creators and collectors.

But as we stand at the crossroads of tradition and progress, the U.S. has a golden opportunity. We can craft a narrative where everyone—artists, dealers, and collectors—reaps the rewards of a thriving art ecosystem.

So here's my rallying cry: Let's champion a world where every brushstroke, every sculpture, every masterpiece is not just admired but also valued in every sense of the word. Because art, dear readers, is worth it.

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💫 Wonder of Art

Every time the art world starts buzzing with rumors, it's like the first chill of autumn—unpredictable and intriguing. The latest whisper on the gallery floors? "It's a buyer's market!" But before you start imagining snagging a Warhol for the price of a wall poster, let's break it down.

The art market, much like your eccentric artist uncle, is unpredictable. Clare McAndrew's report for Art Basel & UBS paints a picture of a market that rises and falls in roughly three-year cycles.

But, even when the market dips, the crème de la crème of art pieces don't gather dust. They're being snapped up, sometimes for prices that would make even a billionaire's eyes water.

But here's the thing: just because a few pieces didn't hit their starry-eyed estimates doesn't mean the market's gone soft. It's more nuanced than that. Some pieces, like the Fisher Landau Picasso, show that for the right art, it's still very much a seller's market.

So, what's an art enthusiast to do? First, don't be swayed by every headline.

The art market isn't a simple beast. It's a complex tapestry of trends, tastes, and occasional tantrums. And while there might be whispers of bargains, it's not a free-for-all.

Think of it less like a yard sale and more like a game of chess. Every move counts, and if you're not careful, you might just get checkmated.

🔗 Industry Top Picks

🎨 Ladies First in London: This October, the art scene gets a feminine touch. The inaugural Women in Art Fair (WIAF) is set to dazzle during Frieze week. Curated by the fabulous Jaqueline Harvey, Mall Galleries in Westminster will be the backdrop for this all-woman-artist extravaganza.

🖼️ Art-o-rama's Youthful Vibe: Marseille's Art-o-rama fair is giving the floor to the newbies! Nearly half of its 60 exhibitors are fresh-faced galleries under five. Talk about a youthful glow!

💰 Shanghai's Big Sale: The billionaire brains behind Shanghai’s Long Museum are about to drop a cool $150 million of art at Sotheby’s. Seems like China's economic tremors are shaking up the art vaults.

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