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Friday, 19 April 2019 08:20 pm

Young people getting into art buying – given they can’t afford houses

Showcasing Damien Hirst’s spin paint technique, this Spin Hours Skull will be auctioned November 30. Photo: Bowerbank Ninow

A paint splattered skull with watch dial eyes and a cd slotted into the back is expected to fetch between $12,000 -16,000 at auction in Auckland this month.

The Hours Spin Skull is part of a 2009 limited series by infamous British artist Damien Hirst.

Hirst gained notoriety in the 1990s after he exhibited a shark preserved in formaldehyde.

Charles Ninow, director of the Bowerbank Ninow Gallery and Auction House says Hirst prints are not uncommon in New Zealand, but sculpture pieces were rare.

This piece includes the original CD copy of See the Light by British duo THE HOURS making it something special.

“The skull is painted in (Hirst’s) familiar spin paint style.

“Regular glossy household paint flicked onto the skull, almost psychedelic, kaleidoscopic in colour.”

Most pieces in the auction will be by New Zealand artists, including multiple works by Michael Parekowhai, Seraphine Pick, John Reynolds, Arnold Manaaki Wilson and Michael Smither.

Mr Ninow forecasts expected prices from $200 to $75,000.

Mr Ninow says the gallery represents a lot of young artists, and has a lot of younger collectors.

“That number is growing all the time.”

Independent critic and contemporary art expert Dr Andrew Paul Wood says New Zealand has leap-frogged from traditional art to a modern international viewpoint via platforms like the internet.

Both artists and collectors are getting the advantages of a globalised art market.

Study for Desert Road. IV – John Reynolds
Photo: Bowerbank Ninow

“I think there’s been a big movement towards younger people collecting art.

“Houses are out of reach, so if you have the disposable income and no dependents, art’s an attractive option.

“It’s relatively portable if you have to move a lot, and like a taste in music or fashion, is a way of advertising your personal brand, your place in the hierarchy of cool,” Dr Wood says.

“You’re more likely to see a DJ at a big gallery opening than a string quartet.”

Dr Wood gives simple advice for new collectors, who could start with a couple of hundred dollars.

“You don’t have to know how a car works to buy a car. It’s the same with art.

“Go to a place with a good reputation, where they know what they’re talking about.  Look around. Find out what’s available.”

“And always go for what you like, what speaks to you.”

It should be something you can fall in love with, not just something you think you will make money with.”

The Hours Spin Skull will be auctioned at Bowerbank Ninow on November 30. Contact the gallery for a catalogue.




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is Christchurch born, has lived in Auckland and is loving Wellington. She believes fairness, honesty, David Bowie, and accountability are the foundations of society. Something to tell her? Hit that email button or call her (+64) 27 254 7930.
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