Appropriation Art

Although you may have not realized it, you may have come across numerous instances of appropriation art. This is probably true because this particular art form has grown increasingly popular due to the startling rise in consumerism over the last decades. Of course, to truly appreciate this art form, you have to first delve into the very foundation of the style as well as where it originated. Here is everything that you might like to know about appropriation art:

What Is It?

artificalLet’s start at the very beginning. Appropriation art is a little different from most other artistic endeavors. This is because it tends to borrow from creative renderings that have already been produced. This ‘borrowing’ is referred to as re contextualization. These artworks are copied and then altered in some manner while still maintaining most of the aspects of the original piece of work.

While it may sound similar, art appropriation is not a form of plagiarism. This is because the artist intends on his or her viewer recognizing the original image. The artist wants the viewer to combine their original perceptions of the artwork with what has been created since.

There are different types of appropriation art, each dependent on the result that the artist wishes to create. Thus, appropriation art can take many forms, including visual, musical, literary, and even performing arts. One of the most popular forms, however, remains Pop Art, which was actually responsible for a creative movement.

The History of Art Appropriation

Artists have been borrowing from one another for years. This was either due to inspiration or an endeavour to become better from their craft. Regardless, it is certainly not a new or a modern concept. Of course, art appropriation is a little different from using others’ artwork to influence your own.

For this particular art form, the origins can be traced back to 1912. In fact, it can be tracked all the way to Picasso and George Braques. These were more initial attempts, however, not really meeting the standards for current art appropriation. A few years later, from 1915 onwards, Marcel DuChamp, a French artist, began to build on this theme. Surrealism utilized by famous artists also included appropriation aspects in the final pieces. This too helped to boost its popularity.

The Pop Art Movement was possibly one of the most influential in garnering attention towards art appropriation. This trend began in the 1950s in America and Britain. It was modern artists endeavoring to create something that they felt was more relevant to the lives that they were living at the time. Hence, the use of brands, labels, and items that were considered daily parts of their life.

In terms of art appropriation by itself, however, the focus seems to narrow a bit. In fact, many would argue that this expression is directly placed upon a particular group of American artists during the 1980s. Most notably, this includes Sherri Levine and the Neo Geo group. Their techniques typically consisted of using modern, more familiar objects in older versions of art.

Famous Appropriation Artists

Andy Warhol was one of the most famous Pop Artists of his time. He continues to be so, even today. He was famous for borrowing well-known and easily recognizable images, and adding his own spin on them. Despite his enormous recognition to the field, Warhol was not considered to be a true appropriation artist.

This honour is bestowed upon Sherri Levine, undoubtedly one of the more famous appropriation artists of her time. There are others who join the esteemed ranks. This includes Barbara Kruger, Nam June Paik, Sigmar Polke, Yasumasa Morimura, and many others. Many modern artists such as Wang Guangyi have also been applauded for the contributions to this art form.

Appropriation is by no means waning in popularity. The more that people become familiar with corporations, labels, images, and brands, the bigger the scope that artists have to work with. It is exciting to see what these appropriation artists will create next.

Art as an Investment

Throughout history, art was seen as a marker of civilization. Our ability to make art is really what separates humans from all other species on this planet. People have used art for everything from entertainment to fighting corruption. Now, art is also a business. The entertainment business, which includes music and movies, is one of the biggest industries in the world. So is fashion, another art-based industry. Though artists have traditionally been stereotyped as poor, struggling individuals, it’s possible to make big money with art. Think of names like Stephen Spielberg, Beyoncé, Jeff Koons, Stan Lee and Margaret Keane. They are artists who made millions with their art.

color-artYes, art can be profitable. And not all who make money from art are artists themselves. Most artists become rich and famous thanks to investors backing their works. Those summer blockbusters, the Frida Kahlo paintings in New York galleries, and even music tracks are possible because of non-artist investments. Traditionally, paintings were seen as a good way to invest money, and it still is. It’s not unusual to hear of billionaires spending millions on paintings by artists you may never have even heard of. But, is investing in art just for the rich? Can regular folk invest in art like paintings, sculptures or music?

What is Art that is Worth Investing In?

The term art covers a wide variety of works. It’s also up to interpretation. Some people consider graffiti art, while others consider graffiti vandalism. Investors normally will not invest in a portion of wall covered in graffiti in downtown Vancouver. However, what if the graffiti was signed by Banksy? The enigmatic Banksy’s graffiti-slash-art has actually been sold for millions of dollars.

Therein lies the inherent conundrum with regards to investing in art. Exactly what is considered art? There is high art and popular art. High art is work traditionally considered to be great works of art. Paintings by Picasso, music compositions by Bach, and sculptures by Donatello are considered high art around the globe. However, there’s also popular art. Banksy’s graffiti mentioned above is a prime example.

If you want to make money from art, you need to put your money where either the acclaim or popularity is. Acclaimed artworks have a longer lifespan in general. Popularity can fade. Art that is both popular and acclaimed is an excellent investment.

What Kind of Returns Can an Investor Expect?

The returns for investment can widely vary depending on the type of art being invested in. For example, if you invest in a summer blockbuster superhero movie, you can expect immediate returns following the release of the movie. You can expect to make money for several years afterwards from extended screenings, DVD and digital sales. On the other hand, if you buy a painting by Picasso, you will not be making cash returns immediately. You can display the painting in exhibitions and make a profit. However, art like paintings add to your overall wealth. You should consider whether you want immediate cash returns or wealth with your art investments.

Is it Wise to Borrow Money to Invest in Art?

People did not traditionally borrow money to invest in art. Usually, people with money invested in art. However, the art world offers many options even for amateur investors. Whether it’s wise to borrow money to invest in art will depend on the type of art.

Think about the summer blockbuster superhero movie mentioned above. It generates immediate cash returns. If you have borrowed money to invest in a movie, you will have immediate profits to repay the loan. Therefore, some types of art, like movies and music albums, which generate immediate cash revenue, are suitable for investing in with borrowed money. However, you should have a good understanding of the profitability of these types of art. Not all superhero movies are popular.

Other types of art, like Picasso paintings or a sheet of music Mozart wrote a symphony on, do not generate immediate cash revenue. You can borrow a million dollars to buy Mozart’s sheet of music. However, you cannot realistically expect to hold an exhibition and make a million dollars plus interest to replay your creditors. These types of art therefore are not suitable for investing in with borrowed money. Rather, they are good options to convert your cash into valuable assets to increase your overall wealth.

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