Saturday, October 24, 2009
Obama Family Collection
In the Age of Re-creation
Art collecting is the art of parleying dollars into high-brow prestige, it is the art of patronage that is purported to have opened the gates of heaven to the wildly earthly wealthy such as the powerful Medici Family of the Italian Renaissance.
The Obamas patronage is not so much to buy their salvation but to harness imagery in the age of information. They understand the power of Art to transform the viewing public. This is why they partnered with "street artist" propagandist Shepard Fairey to create the now famous winning poster.
Lincoln's Long Looks
First Lady has been spotted at all the right fine art venues studiously taking in whatever contemporary art has to offer these days. But the bulk of their collection is actually quite safe consisting of blue-chip works and stuff they acquired through the years.
In the early years of collecting, the Obamas focus was on accessing works to build a foundation of historical art that represented their love of country. But without the guiding eye of credentialed curators, their collection laked cohesion, spark and that "i don't know what" that makes great collections like the Rubell Family Collection so important to art critics.
Being of sharp mind and discerning taste, the Obama's soon got on the proper and predictable path to prestige and began to buy blue-chip artists such as the wordy works of pal Ed Rusha.
Looks for Sale
Here is a classic photo of the artist... looks go a long way in the art of schmoozing prospective patrons, and Ed was a looker.
The Antique Chanel
This old piece has been in the Obama Family Collection for two generations. Michelle found it in the attic in Hawaii and is having it appraised.
Old as Mold
President Obama has been caring these two weird things around for years, they are his "good luck with the ladies charm"
Even the first girls are in on the action. Here is a painting by Malia that sold for 25,000 at her recent show in a D.C. Gallery.
Art's First Cousin Fashion
Sasha has been dabbling in Fashion Design and is inspired by the Huxtables of Cosby Show fame. I think their rather good.
Stuff they want to get rid off.
This was purchased at the suggestion of a curator no longer in favor. With the auction houses in a quagmire and saudi collectors focused elsewhere, this portrait of the butcher of baghdad has been shopped around and now hard to move.
Here are a few artwork the Obama's are trying to acquire.