In my search for what to look for in emerging contemporary NZ art, I came across these art-buying tips from Jenny Gibbs; “new arrivals in the market could do worse than to take a gander at photography” However its all brought back to price again which I find irritating (but I guess that’s what you’d expect from a collector?) “at the moment the fledgling collector can start building a serious collection for the price of, say, one medium-sized work by Ralph Hotere.” So you go buy some photos from emerging artists because they are cheap, but one day might increase in value – is there mention of “OMG, I LOVE THIS, I HAVE TO HAVE IT”?
The article did say the public have to get over an aversion to “editioned art”. Personally my worry about photography is cliché or, as someoneiknow puts it “you could just go take that picture”. The photograph at issue when that idea was raised was Peter Peryer’s “Whitebait“. The suggestion was that I just trot off to my family’s whitebait stand and DIY. Well that’s not how it works for me because apart from the piracy involved (a) I am a crap photographer and (b) I think what makes some photographers really special is the ability to capture something that others don’t see – an essence – that certainly hasn’t shown up in many of the snaps I’ve taken, and which does in Peryer’s work for example. Which I suppose is why we buy photography. As for the avoidance of cliché, Peryer also had this to say: “such well trodden tracks does make it difficult to say anything original…However, that does not mean that its not worth trying“. I am very familiar with the area he is capturing, although I always preferred the high country loneliness of say Lake Onslow, to the “pretty autumn scenes”. But they DO remind me of biscuit tins and calendars of my childhood.
On the subject of photography (again!) I was talking to this US photographer, Jen Martin, about getting some of her images. I love the colour contrast ones (see below). Then I thought, I bet someone here in NZ is doing the same thing (as I suppose they are a tiny bit clichéd) so I am keeping my eye out to “buy New Zealand made”.