Art as an investment

The discussion of collecting art as a means of investment has been had as far bacc as there has been a monetary value placed on art.  The idea that you can perchase a piece of art in the hopes of seeing a return on your investment in our opinion kind of defeats the purpose of art appreciation.  That being said, there is still the potential to make art collecting profitable.  Spending money on whats labeled as “passion investments” has been growing in popularity for the last few years.  Especially with the popularity and commercial viability of grafitti and/or street art.  The fact is the idea that spending money on art as an investment is not a new idea at all.  People have been investing in art for centuries.  The question is what art is better to spend money on?
If you love art I think you should invest not with the goal of making money though, but rather the goal of owning something your pationate about.  Can art yield a profit?  Yes…  Is the profit guaranteed?  No…  Unless your a wealthy collector and can offord to spend 10’s of thousands on art chances are you are not guaranteed to make a sizeable profit.  At the same time those people who do spend large sums on art usually do so because they love the purchased piece and not because they expect a return.  For example…  when you go to the museum the art viewed in alot of cases is not owned by the museum.  Some of it is but others are donated by wealthy art collectors who take pride in sharing what they feel are important works.  These collectors do in a way get a return on their investment but its not always the return you’d expect.
The art world is dynamic and flooded with talent.  That does not mean that every artists talents are valued the same.  So when collecting art this has to be factored into deciding the underlying reason for your purchase.  The average return on an art investment is around 6.4% based off of research done in 2013.  This does fluctuate Im sure but thats a big difference compared to the published average of 10% return.  The moral to the story?  All investments can be risky and volatile, but art is probably more so than one would expect.  We suggest aquiring art you enjoy and wouldn’t mind hanging on to.  If you decide to sell it for a profit good, but don’t expect every piece you collect to be as well recieved by others….

– $oCity

Sneakerhead to Sneakerhead

     The sneaker market is flooded…  There I said it.  As much as I love the variety, I can’t help but feel like these shoe companies are exploiting the situation.  Every shoe ever released is being marketed to appeal to the consumer.  From shoes that failed when initially released to extremely sought after designs.  From the Mutombo sneaker to Nike Air Huarache are being released in a plethora of color variations.
     In my opinion however some sneakers don’t need to be re-released in the first place.  Namely cause the silouette was garbage when it came out the first time.  Namely the flipping Huarache which feels rather cheap and low quality, which seems to not fit the $100 plus price tag.  I get it inflation, supply, and demand, etc….  all play a part in the pricing.  Still some of these shoes weren’t even $60 when they came out originally.
     The pricing is not based on quality as much as it used to be.  Although the Air Jordan Brand did improve the sneaker quality starting at the beginning of 2015.  This move is understandable though mainly because of the price of the sneaker, but also due to the fact that some limited releases are very sought after and considered very collectible.  They also in alot of ways border high fashion sneakers.  There should be tiers of pricing for these kicks.  Instead of pricing them all the same.  I mean lets face it all kicks are not created equal…
     Its really a blessing and a curse.  Sneakerheads with the funds usually try to get every pair they like.  If your on a budget however, you have to pick your priorities…  The limited runs really hurt your frugal collector though.  Basically if you don’t move at the right time you miss out on what could be your holly grail sneaker.  This has happened to me quite a few times.  Namely the Chairman Bao Nike SB.  Its still available at flight club but alas not in my size.  So from sneaker head to sneaker head…  Happy hunting, and be careful in your purchases.

– $oCity

Why Is Vinyl Still Relavent?…

One of my fondest childhood memories is that crackle when the needle is set down on that old dusty (record).  To me there’s no better sound, but maybe I’m a little biased.  Mine is one of the last generations that had the record as the primary listening option.  The last generation to have dj’s have no other options except to actually beat match (actual DJ’ing).   Until the cd came along the best way to enjoy music was vinyl.  The sound could deteriorate on a tape.  No quatized beat matching programs, no usb interfaces.  Yea dj’s had playlists and things but every mix was different because of the human element.  To me thats what makes vinyl so unique…  The human element.
So in this digital age the age where everything can deleted, copied, shared instantly.  Why have records been such a mainstay in our culture?  I think part of it is the tradition.  The fact that someone older than us put us up on the whole vinyl experience.  Let’s not forget that vinyl is nearly 150 years old.  So part of the reason could be nostalia.  Some say the music sounds different.  I personally think its a little of both.  That and the whole experience of grabbing the record putting it on that platter, and dropping that needle.
The way the music is experienced is different.  You had to “work” for it.  Not to say that you don’t now, but the result is instatanious.  A record is more personal you hold it look at it and absorb the album artwork like its a 12″ canvas.  With digital media that experience is missing.  In the words of a friend of mine “there’s a definite disconnect…”  In a world of constant movement a record makes you sit down and appreciate the sounds on the hifi.  Not just skip through the song you don’t favor.  Unless you wanna keep getting up to move the needle it almost forces you to appreciate the whole body of work.  If you ever really listen to older recordings the flow of the tracklist is even different.  Artists knew you were going to sit down and listen to the whole album so the music flowed.  A mood was created.  Not just this track then that track, but rather a composition.  A real body of work.
Its nice to slow it down and really listen to good music once in a while.  I was reading about how vinyl record sales have gone up but the record labels aren’t making that much money from vinyl record sales.  That leaves the question that if they aren’t making money off of the record sales, why keep pressing them?  I think its supplying a need.  Record labels cant keep up with these independent artist due to how accessible digital media is.  Anybody can put a mp3 on itunes, but who can press a record as easily?  People enjoy the nostalgia of it.  The change in pace.  That timeless cool that comes from the feeling of putting that needle onto the platter.  Going back to a simpler time to the tune of modern music.  Now that’s ¡Fresh!

Art & Music: A Stake in the culture….

Most people think of strickly hip hop when you mention city or street culture.  Truth is city or “urban” Culture is as authentic and diverse as any other culture, or atleast it is to me..  It’s not just rap or “black” Culture and never really was., but there’s defenitely a large part of the culture represented by that group.  It’s as diverse as the cities we live in.  It reflects the people and the vibe of the town you live in.  Now with the help of technology the vibe feels more global.
Still in this global/digital environment there’s this sense of community but individuality in the market.  Cities maintain their identity while the style and influence of the world community is ever present.  With this level of influence comes a level of responsibility, but most important is to be relevant.  The markets are flooded to say the least.  Not just one market EVERY market from music to art.  Some people view the saturation as a bad thing.  We view it as more of a blessing than a curse.  Yea you have alot of ideas rehashed and homogenized, but when that new take on a common theme comes out.  It’s groundbreaking. Take fashion for instance.  There’s like a million and one companies doing t-shirts, but I bet there’s a couple of companies that do it different enough to catch my eye…..
That brings me to the point of this entry.  With so many artists, musicians, businesses, and creative entities contributing to the culture it’s hard to figure out where you or your company fits in.  We have to look at the examples set by our pioneers in the culture.  People like Nicky Diamond, Jeff Staple, Shepard Fairey, or Nas who have invested time and money into representing the culture and staying relevant at the same time.  It’s a beautiful thing to be a fan or student of the culture and still make significant contributions at the same time.

– SoCity