Art Consultant Holly Mazar-Fox shares her thoughts about RMG Exposed

With RMG Exposed just around the corner on November 14, we asked art consultant Holly Mazar-Fox to share her thoughts on buying photography and the auction at the RMG. Join us for a special preview evening with Holly on November 12 from 7-8pm.

The RMG: Hi Holly! Can you tell us a bit about you and how you became an art consultant?

Holly Mazar-Fox: I’ve had a very strong passion for the arts from an early age, which I have pursued at both an academic and professional level. I graduated from Yale University with a BA in the History of Art and then went on to complete a master’s degree at The Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London, England). I have gained extensive practical experience of the art world; I worked for an art non-profit organization, a boutique contemporary commercial gallery and the Corcoran Gallery of Art (in Washington, D.C.). Upon returning to Toronto, I saw an opportunity to guide clients (private individuals, companies and art professionals) by providing a variety of art related services including advising on purchases, collection management and appraisals. The most fulfilling aspect of my job is connecting people to art – whether introducing them to a new artist or art full stop or recommending a recently opened exhibition. Art is so personal, but yet it forms the very cultural fabric that enhances our daily lives.

RMG: Briefly, can you discuss the history of contemporary photography in Canada?

HMF: A tall order, but I will try to make this as concise as possible by focusing on two core histories! From my perspective, the birth of Canadian contemporary photography truly begins with the informal Vancouver School (of the late 70s and early 80s) with artists such as Jeff Wall, Roy Arden and Rodney Graham who provided snapshots of the everyday whilst capturing certain cachets of our societies. Bringing out conceptual ideas yet bridging a connection to greater art historical themes was a momentous shift – henceforth transition the medium from documentary to one of commentary. Also during these formative years saw the emergence of women artists such as Suzy Lake, Shari Hatt and Nicole Jolicoeur who brought to the forefront issues centered upon identity. Both movements have laid down the foundations of Canadian contemporary photography that are still influencing and relevant to today’s artists.

RMG: Is this art form becoming more noticed in the art market? How are artists working in this medium (analogue vs digital, etc)?

HMF: Within the last 25 years, photography has very much emerged from the shadows to become an art form in its own right celebrated by collectors and institutions alike. Facets of the art landscape devoted exclusively to photography have emerged covering events to awards, including Toronto’s own CONTACT Photography Festival as well as the annual Aimia/AGO Photography Prize that recognizes pioneering contemporary photographers.
The majority of today’s artists are working within the digital photography space, leaving the dark rooms behind! In addition to moving away from the traditional norms, there has been an increased interest in the exploration of material components and chemical processes produced through photography as well as the extrapolation of the still image translated into video installations.

4) Can you please explain the “photographic edition” and what to consider in a print?

bedford-spin

HMF: Photographs are generally sold in editions – meaning that a total number of that specific photograph has been printed at one time and then retired. In some cases the original file/negative is kept by the artist or destroyed. The number of prints in an edition can range immensely, for example from three to 950, in addition to an Artist’s Proof, which is usually kept by the artist (AP for short). It is important when considering a print to consider the edition size; the smaller the edition the more exclusive with fewer pieces in circulation in comparison with a large issue edition. This year RMG Exposed will be presenting a special installation, SPIN by Katrina Jennifer Bedford – a limited edition of 50 prints of the project will be for sale, created exclusively for this event.

RMG: Let’s say you are new to collecting, where should you start? What should you look for?

HMF: Should you be looking to acquire artwork as a budding collector, consider working with an art consultant. The art world can be an intimidating and challenging place to navigate without the help of a specialist. Mazar-Fox Art Consulting has an in-depth and thorough knowledge of the art market from all angles; covering a wide range of artistic styles and mediums to value for money. I’m constantly attending art fairs, exhibitions, and auction sales both locally and abroad to seek out new talent, while also keeping a pulse on current market trends. I can assist clients in matching artwork with their tastes, aesthetic, and budget (no amount is too small). Working with an art consultant not only provides you with an opportunity to enhance your own knowledge about art, but also enables collectors to have access to high calibre art at all price levels.
RMG: What are the three works in the RMG Exposed auction that stood out to you? Why?

 

HMF: So many works to choose from! Here are my selections:

BrilynnFerguson-StAgnes-1

Brilynn Ferguson – St Agnes. This photograph is incredibly powerful – its elongated perspective and sharp details immediately draw you into the frame. The unmistakable vibrancy of the colourful graffiti work being bordered by a majestic gothic arch brings an interesting juxtaposition between old and new. From my perspective, there is a mixture of sadness and beauty being captured as decay is met with a warm glow of light pouring through the window – there is a real narrative to this one!

Glen-Lee-Jones-THE-MAZE

Glen Lee Jones – The Maze. I find the energy and playfulness of this piece extremely appealing – the geometric shapes and clean lines are reminiscent of an Art Deco style. A visual challenge to layer contrasting patterns, Jones has found the right formula with a muted palette in the background in combination with a slightly more colourful range of red and navy hues in the foreground. This composition really does pop.

lora-moore-kakaletris_skimming-the-surface

Lora Moore–Kakaletris – Skimming the Surface. I am very much drawn to the interplay of light and dark shadows of this figurative piece. For me, there is also a peacefulness and stillness to the work – the opaque section of the water evokes feelings of solitude, while the subject is captured in an elegantly outstretch pose that brings this photograph to life.

RMG: You go to many charity benefits and auctions, what makes RMG Exposed different? Why support the RMG in this way?

HMF: The RMG Exposed fundraising auction is a wonderful opportunity to not only support Canadian contemporary photographers, but also the exceptional programming at the RMG that in turn serves the entire Durham community. The RMG is continually developing new ways to interact with art through engaging exhibitions and educational endeavours by sharing the positive effects of artwork with audiences – I believe everyone should have access to art and the RMG remains dedicated to this cause.

I’m especially drawn to photographic concentration of this auction as I’ve seen some very interesting artistic developments within this particular art form that are pushing the boundaries of creativity. Leave the evening with a work of art in hand and satisfaction that you’ve given a little back to the RMG. I encourage everyone to bid high and often!

 

A version of this article was also published on whatsonwoshawa.com

Advertisements

Collecting Contemporary Photography an RMG Exposed Preview Event

Join us for a special preview event of RMG Exposed on Thursday, November 12 from 7-8pm with art consultant Holly Mazar-Fox. Holly will discuss collecting contemporary photography and what to look for in a photographic edition. She will also share her selections from the RMG Exposed Auction and offer advice for new and seasoned collectors.

Mazar-Fox Art Consulting offers a breadth of bespoke fine art services to a variety of clients including private individuals, corporations, interior designers, and art industry professionals. We guide clients across the complexities of the art world and assist them with all aspects of their art needs by providing expert advice in relation to buying and selling artwork, as well as collection management and appraisal services.

We advise and facilitate art purchases for clients looking to acquire artwork for their homes and businesses: from first time buyers to seasoned collectors, based locally and internationally. Our access to, and intimate knowledge of, a wide range of art mediums combined with our comprehensive network of dealers and artists, enable us to find the best quality artwork to fit any budget – be it for a growing collection or individual project.

Mazar-Fox Art Consulting offers a wealth of collection management services ensuring a lifelong enjoyment and protection of artwork. These specialized services include, but not limited to: cataloguing and inventory taking; insurance advice; research; and conservation work. Our practice also provides independent art appraisals – Holly is a qualified fine art appraiser and member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).

Holly Mazar-Fox holds a BA from Yale University in the History of Art, an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art (England) and received an LLB from City University (England). Prior to founding Mazar-Fox Art Consulting, Holly gained art industry experience working for both institutions and commercial galleries, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Artist’s Proof Gallery, based in Washington, DC. Holly’s international experiences in the art market through both academic and professional channels have allowed Holly to establish an extensive network of dealers, curators and specialists. For more information, please visit www.mazarfox.com

 
Photos in image above:
AJ Groen – Tree Line
Courtney Skovira – Self Portait
Jen Yeaman – Big Beach

RMG Exposed Picks – Carla Sinclair

Carla Sinclair is the RMG’s Manager of Community and Volunteer Development. Her favorite works are typically photojournalistic and landscape pieces. She is drawn to fleeting moments of emotion or haunting landscapes captured through the lens.

Carla’s top picks for RMG Exposed are:

Jeffrey-Gardner_Snow-Horse-52420

Jeffrey Gardner – Snow Horse: When I look at this magical piece I feel like I have been transported. I can almost feel the cool, sharp air filling my nose and lungs while the silent flakes cascade softly to the ground. The run-down home appears to spread its wings, beautifully framed by the warm sun, solitary horse and snow covered forest.

NatalieAustin_TheFishermen

Natalie Austin – The Fisherman: This piece is pure nostalgia for me as my grandfather used to wear a similar, wide brimmed hat as he taught me how to fish. Front and centre in the foreground, I imagine the unspoken moments shared between the two fishermen. Shot from above, the negative space reveals only water leaving the context of the image to the imagination of the viewer.

Jeremy-Waud-Killarney-Night

Jeremy Waud – Killarney Night: The elusive night sky can be a challenge to photograph, however Jeremy captures the brilliance of this scene to perfection. The velvety gradient of the setting sun reflected across the glassy water balances the piece while doubling up on the majesty of the landscape.

View all of the photographs at rmgexposed.ca

RMG Exposed Photo Picks – Sonya Jones

In the lead up to RMG Exposed 2015,  the RMG’s fundraising auction of juried photography, our staff will be sharing their favourite photos on our blog. View all the photographs at rmgexposed.ca

Sonya Jones is the RMG’s Associate Curator and Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection.

“One of my responsibilities for RMG Exposed is to manage the submissions, which gave me first glimpse at all 407 images that came in. What a treat! I’m also the jury facilitator, so I was in the room with the jury while they chose the finalists. It was so rewarding to observe the process, and to review the images again.

Obviously, I have insight into the thoughts of the jury, however, this did not impact my top 3 choice selections. I decided to choose ones that jumped out at me when they were first submitted, prior to the jury’s meeting. I was thrilled when they chose these ones.” – Sonya Jones

Sonya’s picks for RMG Exposed are:

Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock - Wind on the Ferry

Lindsay Lauckner Gundlock – Wind on the Ferry

I find this work ripe with narrative, with lovely colours and lines. The image makes me curious about the destination of this ship, the passengers who are on it, what the exterior view from that window would be, and where those stairs go.

Oliver Steins - Manhattan

Oliver Steins – Manhattan

This photograph jumped out at me for its conceptual approach. The contrast between the typical city street view of overflowing dumpsters with the natural picturesque landscape billboard is interesting, especially with the shadows of the tree. I also love the geometric shapes throughout.

Chad C. Kirvan – When the Machine Dies

Chad C. Kirvan – When the Machine Dies

The colour was what first drew me to this image. Looking closer, it actually had an emotional effect on me. There’s a sadness to it (that the title also instills) and a commentary about our disposable society. I have to admit that it reminded me of the movie Wall-E, which also comments on waste management and the effect on the future.

RMG Exposed Photo Picks – Linda Jansma

In the lead up to RMG Exposed 2015,  the RMG’s fundraising auction of juried photography, our staff will be sharing their favourite photos on our blog. View all the photographs at rmgexposed.ca

Linda Jansma is the RMG’s Senior Curator. She has written essays for catalogues dealing with both historical and contemporary art and has been the supervising curator of over 165 exhibitions for the RMG. She is the chair of the City of Oshawa’s Art and History Committee and Art Policy Committee and is an Advisory committee member of Durham College’s Fine Art programme.

Linda’s top picks for RMG Exposed are:

Jordyn Stewart - Displaced 2

Jordyn Stewart – Displaced 2

There’s something about this image… We’ve all seen dishes piled in a sink, ready to be washed. But a bobber? And the bobber isn’t just floating, the string is being held in place by something, or someone. Which adds an element of mystery—the photographer could as easily have just popped the bobber in, but he wanted to control where it was—and hence control the composition. I also love how the bobber is surrounded by a delicate halo of bubbles.

Tom Ridout - Machine Age

Tom Ridout – Machine Age

This post-apocalyptic industrial scene is simultaneously frightening and fascinating. I want to know where this is, but I suppose it could exist in any industrial country. The photographer has set up his shot in a way that we can’t see the end of this building: this scene, is, in effect, never-ending which adds to the tension.

Jen Yearman Big Beach

Jen Yearman Big Beach

This incredibly saturated beach scene is fascinating to pour over. Every time I look at it, I see another detail—from the flower-shaped beach umbrella to the lone red chair in the centre of the image–everything seems to have been purposely placed by the artist. The pink sky in the background ties it all together for me.

 

SPIN – artist project for RMG Exposed by Katrina Jennifer Bedford

Guests to RMG Exposed will be greeted by a special artist project by Katrina Jennifer Bedford in the RMG’s lobby space.

SPIN is a site-specific, projection-based installation of an animated disco ball that utilizes traditional stop-motion animation techniques. Through this large scale installation Katrina Jennifer Bedford explores the concepts of motion and light. Each of these elements denotes distinctive qualities yet, when combined together produce a stunning sensory experience. This work was originally exhibited in Toronto’s Nuit Blanche in 2012.

Katrina Jennifer Bedford is a photographer, art educator and cultural advocate. She currently holds the position of Professor at Durham College teaching in the Digital Photography and Video Production programs. Jennifer has worked with notable not-for-profit organizations such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Cambridge Libraries and Galleries, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener Area (CAFKA), Art Gallery of Burlington, and Oakville Galleries. Her photographs have been exhibited in Canada and the United States and her photos have been published in Azure magazine, Border Crossings, Canadian Art online, C Magazine and in numerous Canadian exhibition catalogues. For more information visit kjbedford.ca.

A limited edition artist print of the project will be available for $50 in support of the RMG’s community outreach programs. The 8×12″ fine art prints are printed with archival ink on 100% cotton Hahnemïhle photo rag. Please visit rmgexposed.ca to purchase in advance.

The artist and the RMG thank Durham College, Ed Video and Posterjack for their support of this project.

Find out more about SPIN at rmgexposed.ca

Image: Katrina Jennifer Bedford, SPIN, (detail), 2012. Courtesy of the artist.

RMG Exposed Photo Picks – Sam Mogelonsky

In the lead up to RMG Exposed 2015,  the RMG’s fundraising auction of juried photography, our staff will be sharing their favourite photos on our blog. View all the photographs at rmgexposed.ca

Sam Mogelonsky is the RMG’s Manager of Marketing and Communications. She holds a BFAH in Fine Art and an MA in Sculpture. Her current work looks at the intersections between installation, photography and process. She is drawn to abstract compositions and most of her collection consists of a limited color palette. Sam is always looking at growing her collection, which has started to take over her tiny apartment!

Sam’s top picks for RMG Exposed are:

Jassica-Thalmann_ScientistJessica Thalman – Scientist: I am drawn to this work due to the sculptural nature of the composition. The texture of the image is really what drew me initially to this image as well as the intricate process involved. The colors are vibrant, as well as black and white, so this would fit really well into my collection.

sands-phillips_untitled-no.-6_photographs-of-canada_25x20.5cm_original_rmg
Sarah Sand Phillips – Untitled Photographs of Canada No 6:
I have been following Sarah’s work for a while and am, really interested in her process. This project in particular caught my eye to the relationship between the faded print and our lost memories. The photograph has an ethereal and hand drawn quality to it that keeps me looking at it again and again.

Gary-Greenwood_Ca-Pesaro-MuseumGary Greenwood – Pesaro Museum: There’s something really bizarre about this photo that I just love! The leg of the figure is cut off by the doorway and creates a sense of mystery. As someone who spent the first 5 years of their museum career as a gallery attendant, I totally might have had my leg in a few images like this one.