Jaymi Naciri 2017-07-12 05:02:13
THE FINE ART OF ART STAGING FOR LUXURY REAL ESTATE NEW TREND MAKES A MARK ON HIGH-END MARKETS ON BOTH COASTS. It’s well beyond traditional gallery hours, and Jason Vass is in the storage room of his eponymous Los Angeles art gallery, sifting through Mark Dutcher contemporaries. Another high-end real estate agent has come calling, and soon the chosen pieces will be hanging in an L.A. manse for sale in an effort to attract attention from high-end buyers. Vass is among a select group of artists, galleries, art consultants and stagers contributing to this latest marketing trend in high-end real estate — one that Joyce Rey, executive director of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury™, says is just getting started. “The art staging trend applies primarily to the ultra-high end of the market — in the $20 million-plus category. The more expensive the house, the more important the art becomes.” The natural parallel between the art world and high-end real estate has brought the trend across the country, where Nicole Bray, founder of Mercer Contemporary, a top New York art consultancy, curates art for luxury properties. “There is a definite trend toward placing art in these high-end properties for sale,” she says. “Architects, builders and developers are looking for distinguishing elements and are realizing what a great marketing tool art can be.” Further down the East Coast, Miami’s answer to art staging comes with a less temporary twist. “The new trend is to make a permanent art installation part of the sales initiative,” says Forbes 30 Under 30 Realtor Danny Hertzberg of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Miami Beach’s The Jills®. A win-win For the artist or gallery owner, the end goal is, obviously, making a sale. But, in the absence of such, the added exposure helps. Noted artist Knowledge Bennett of The Know Contemporary gallery in L.A. sold three pieces to collectors who’d seen his work in a Venice open house, and continues to work with Realtors and developers. Among the 16 works provided by his gallery to a $23 million Bel-Air listing are a few of his own celebrated pieces, like an Andy Warhol-inspired painting depicting former President Barack Obama as a gun-brandishing cowboy. With “fine art versus the generic commercial art installations, the homes become all the more memorable and capable of standing out within a saturated high-end home market,” says Bennett. “I’ve seen firsthand the positive effects the artworks have had on the homes and their ability to sell. L.A. is such a sprawling city that it could take years to get your work in front of some of these potential collectors. I’ve elected to take the art to the people.” What kind of art helps sell a house? Does a $40 million mansion demand walls full of Picasso? Not always. Yes, a $120 million spec house listed in Bel-Air is furnished entirely with art by Damien Hirst; however, most of Vass’ requests are for “fine art and Contemporary, mid-career artists.” In New York, the art chosen may also be colored by cultural or historical reference, like at a recent show Bray curated in a Greenwich Village penthouse for sale. “University Place in Greenwich Village in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s was a meeting place for artists coming together to share ideas,” she says. “I drew on the abstract expressionists who brought Greenwich Village to life in those days and created a show with young, emerging artists with the same kind of gritty abstraction we saw back then.” Miami rising Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum features a rooftop helipad. Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles has a sky garage. Standout amenities are key in the ultra-competitive Miami luxury condo market. Oceana Bal Harbour’s answer: “A pretty significant, permanent installation, including Pluto and Proserpina, a 10-foot stainless-steel sculpture” in the breezeway that is not just elemental to the property, but also the marketing and advertising, says Hertzberg. “It’s a real focal point that gives people a sense of the luxury offered.” Faena Residences in Miami, a collection of 10 penthouses atop the Faena Hotel, went a similar route with their art, procuring works from Hirst and Koons, among others, and then took it a step further. “Faena is not just a high-end residential project; it’s a billion-dollar arts district that’s being developed as a new luxury living quarter,” says Hillary Hertzberg, sales associate with The Jills. “The hotel is filled with these gilded pieces, including Hirst’s Gone but not Forgotten, a nine-foot, golden skeleton of a wooly mammoth. You get the feeling of the project — that’s its very rich, very luxurious and very driven by art — right there at the entrance. It will be interesting to see how that is embraced throughout the life of the project.” And what impact it may have on the industry as a whole, at a time when the intersection of art and real estate is creating fascinating partnerships in their mutual quest for new eyes.
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