Friday, August 10, 2012

Photography is "ripe for exploration"




Via Wall Street Journal

 Jocelyn Phillips' "Collect Contemporary Photography," to be released by Thames & Hudson in February—provides a load of tips on how to build a collection, covering topics such as how to buy, where to look and how to care for one.

Ms. Phillips, who heads Bonhams's photography department in London, calls building a photography collection "a journey of discovering tastes and interests." When starting out, she advises new collectors to see as much work as possible at exhibitions, fairs, auctions and galleries before making a purchase.

Through research, she says: "You will start to gain a sense of the kind of work that appeals to you." Also, this is the way to familiarize yourself with essential knowledge, such as the number of prints in an edition, historical influences, printing techniques, photographic styles, pricing, hanging and framing, Ms. Phillips adds.

Photography is still an affordable collectors' area, particularly if you look for emerging photo artists, she says, adding that the young market is "ripe for exploration."

Ms. Phillips confided it was hard to select 40 photo artists to profile for her book from a wealth of global talent. In the case of the famous Düsseldorf Art Academy of German artists who studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher, including Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff and Candida Höfer, she mentions them all briefly but chose Mr. Struth (best known for his large images of people in museums) for the profile. Personally, I would have chosen Mr. Gursky, who I find to be the greatest of them all—a revolutionary in his monumental views that, for example, look at today's world through mass images to make people and consumer goods look like ants in life's big picture.