from the International Convention of Exhibition and Fine Art Transporters

News and Commentary for the Art Logistics Industry
from the International Convention of Exhibition and Fine Art Transporters
Issue # 3, 2013
What is Art really worth?
• What is Art really worth?
• “M” Museum in Hong Kong
• Tech Notes: “Hot dog” Saw
New Member Profile
Antonio Fasani Retires
According to some news reports billionaire collector Ronald Perelman was
suing Larry Gagosian over a Jeff Koons sculpture of ”Popeye the Sailor Man”.
(Popeye is tooting his pipe and holding a can of spinach). Is Popeye worth the
4 million Dollars Perelman paid? Perelman has claimed Gagosian of
overcharging for the sculpture and is alleging in his lawsuit the sculpture is
worth much less. Other news reports have Gagosian purchasing the Koons
back from Perelman and selling it to another collector for much more than 4
million Dollars. In this version Perelman sued because he wanted a share of the
profits. No matter which version is true, this beef between two art powerhouses
shines some light on art valuations. Who determines what something is really
worth and how do they do it?
Art dealers charge a percentage to sell a work of art for an artist or a client. At
one time the artist got 60% and the dealers got 40%. That has changed over
recent years to 50/50, although as values go up and artists become more
important, the rates are subject to negotiation. What is important to understand
is dealers have incentive to make certain their artist’s prices are always increasing year by year. As long as a dealer controls the market for his artists, most
collectors won’t question the real value of their purchases.
Auctions are the biggest risk for devaluing an artist's work. Say for example;
Joe Smith sells large paintings at a gallery in the two million range. A collector
decides to consign his large Smith painting to Christie’s for an auction. If the
auctioned Smith is bid for only 1 million, the gallery will have difficulty selling its
Smith inventory at the higher prices. This gives the gallery incentive to bid up
the painting during the auction to ensure the artist doesn't suffer a price
reduction. This is because appraisers, collectors and others use auction sales
statistics to determine values. After all, if someone paid four million for a Jeff
Koons last year at Sotheby's - it must be worth at least 4 million or more this
year - right?
From the Chairman
September 2013: 2013 Convention
edition of ICEFAT News brings you
timely and interesting articles from our
members worldwide.
In this issue of the ICEFAT News we
delve into the monetary value in the
current art market and a new museum
project being considered in Hong Kong,
As our annual Convention approaches
we are pleased to announce that three
new companies have passed the grade
and will be attending their first ICEFAT
Convention in Langkawi, Malaysia.
The auction houses are also involved in pushing up art values. They receive sales
commissions and expenses based on completed sales and have incentive to
maximize returns. To ensure the values stay high, auction houses will set a reserve
price. If the art fails to reach that price, it is pulled from a sale. Auctioneers want to
work the crowd into a competitive bidding war. One way they accomplish this is
acknowledging “phantom” bids. This is known as “chandelier bidding”. The
auctioneer pretends to see someone in the audience raising a bid, but is really
pointing at a light fixture. This keeps the bidding fast paced and gives the impression of multiple individuals eagerly competing for an artwork, when in reality the
bidding had stopped at a lower number.
We welcome Transportes FINK, Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, Maurice Ward &
Company, Dublin, Ireland and
ArtWorks San Diego, San Diego,
All of these manipulations of art values mean that collectors, many of whom believe
they are sophisticated and smart, are often paying more than they should for the art
in their collections. This constant upward pressure on art values buoys the entire art
market, resulting in returns on art exceeding those of stocks and bonds during the
past 10 years. This “art bull market” has caused the art services industry to prosper
and expand. But is it real? Will more collectors like Ronald Perelman feel duped?
Will a Jeff Koons Sculpture still be worth 4 million Dollars in 30 years? Will the art
bubble burst?
As always I am sure you will find this
edition of the ICEFAT News
interesting and informative. We look
forward to the upcoming events – at
the end of September our Members
will get together in Langkawi for the
37th ICEFAT Convention. Then,
about a month later, ICEFAT will be
at the inaugural ARCS Conference
in Chicago. We will be sponsoring
the Welcome Reception and hope to
see you there!
Bryan Cooke, Cooke’s Crating, Los Angeles
M+ Museum: A home for Hong Kong Arts
M+ Museum, (Museum Plus) is a Hong Kong’s future museum for visual culture. The
museum is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will be at the scale of around 60,000
square meters 580,000 square feet). This is an ambitious project that strives to
pursue international presence and exposure – becoming a leading international arts
hub and a flagship visual arts venue for Hong Kong.
Finally from the Tech Talk corner,
The “HOT DOG” Saw. Need I say
more to pique your curiosity?
Wishing all our readers the very best
as the season changes and as a
new year quickly approaches.
Mark Starling
The M+ will be developed in 2 phases with construction scheduled to commence in
2013. The scale of the museum building alone, at around 37,500 square meters, will
be comparable with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The flagship museum is directly financed by the government with a one-off upfront
endowment of $21.6 billion for design and construction. Located at West Kowloon
Cultural District, a wedge-shaped waterfront reclaimed land on the edge of the
Victoria Harbour, the museum forms a centerpiece at the location.
“The Museum is Not the Same as the Building – It is a Relationship Between the
Content and its Audiences” - Dr. Lars Nittve, Executive Director M+. “It is not just a
building project; it is regarded as a vital tool in bringing together the artwork, artists
and the audience” .
he ICEFAT News staff strives to continually bring valuable content to this
publication. If there is any topic you
would like us to report on please do not
hesitate to let us know. Ideas and suggestions can be sent to
[email protected]
Focusing on 20th and 21st century visual culture, covering art, design, architecture and
moving image, M+ purchased Chinese contemporary art works form Swiss collector
Uli Sigg and also received donation of 1,463 works in value of HK$1.33 billion from
the collector. The museum’s latest acquisition includes ‘King of Kowloon’ Tsang
Tsou-choi’s calligraphy-painted doors.
ICEFAT Newsletter Sub-Committee:
As the whole project was been suspended between 2010 and 2012, such two-year
gap has raised public concerns over the high cost of construction and lack of
transparency for failing to keep abreast the public of the progress of development.
The project is the first-ever largest cultural project in Hong Kong. There will be a large
cultural district to be developed in West Kowloon District and it is believed that a great
number of arts administrators will be needed. Demand for training in combination with
intellectual and practical skills will be on the rise. It poses a challenge to the city over
the needs of arts and cultural manpower as this is a new - yet specific field where
professional training for quality cultural management is called for.
The project will mark a milestone in Hong Kong’s art and cultural history and we all
look forward to its success.
May Kwok, BALtrans Hong Kong
Bryan Cooke - Editor
Stefan Fors
Sylvie Fournier-Hausherr
May Kwok / Elaine Wong
Mike Hascall
Jonathan Schwartz
Chris Kneale (SC Liaison)
Andi Alameda - Design
Judith Uijtewaal - ICEFAT Secretary
Tech Notes: The “Hot Dog” SawStop
New Member Profile:
ICEFAT is pleased to announce three new member companies: Transportes FINK, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Maurice
Ward & Company, Dublin, Ireland and ArtWorks San Diego, San Diego CA. Transportes FINK and Maurice Ward
& Company will be featured in future issues.
ArtWorks San Diego
How many of you guys (yes, mostly men) have used a table
saw in a rushed, unfocused way and had the machine kick
the wood back at you… Scary… maybe you lucked out that
time. The SawStop website has a timer clock showing when
the next table saw accident will occur – less than 9 minutes
from right now.
SawStop is a table saw designed to stop the spinning blade
when it encounters human skin. No way? The pictures of
injured SawStop users show fingers with slight pink lines, like
a paper cut. This thing works. The website also has
interviews with craftsmen who did not have the safety saw. I
could not watch all of those.
How does it work? The SawStop blade carries a small
electrical signal. When skin contacts the blade, the signal
changes because the human body is conductive. The
change to the signal activates the safety system inside the
saw. An aluminum brake unit springs into the spinning blade,
stopping it. The blade’s momentum drives it beneath the
table, out of harm’s way. The motor is shut off. How long
does this take? 5 thousandths of a second. The blade and
brake are ruined, but hey, your finger is worth more than the
$150 it will take to replace both components.
The video that sums it up shows an ordinary hot dog on top
of an oak board being pushed through the table saw. The
spinning blade cuts the oak until it meets the hot dog. The
blade stops hard and disappears beneath the table. The hot
dog has a mark the width of the saw blade and maybe 1/64”
deep. Maybe less.
Those wood workers I interviewed said there can be misfires.
Wet wood, pressure treated wood, foil backed insulation.
But they all said those are minor learning experiences. They
loved the saw! Prices are somewhat higher than similar
non-safety table saws. Woodcraft in Seattle had the
Contractor Saw starting at $1,600, the Cabinet Saw at
$2,300, the Professional Cabinet Saw at $2,730, and the
Industrial Cabinet Saw starting at $3,900. But for many of the
shops in the Fine Art Handling arena - Museum shops,
Professional Crate shops - the “SawStop” table saw is worth
a look the next time you have an opportunity. Maybe your
insurance agent will thank you -- but there is absolutely no
doubt your employees will thank you!
The website,, is dramatic!
Mike Hascall, ARTECH Seattle
ArtWorks San Diego opened for business on January 15,
2007 and currently has 12 employees, most of whom have
museum backgrounds and training. The company is located
in San Diego, California, which is the 8th largest city in the
US, and is strategically located near the Mexico border. The
nearby community of Rancho Santa Fe has the 2nd highest
per capita income in the USA.
Company President, Wendell Eckholm, has 22 years art
moving experience, including fifteen years as the General
Manager at Cooke’s Crating
in Los Angeles. Cynthia
Eckholm, Storage Manager
and company co-founder,
trained as a Registrar at
LACMA and the Getty
Conservation Institute.
General Manager Dustin
Gilmore has twelve years of
previous art handling
experience at the Museum of
Contemporary Art, San Diego
and San Diego Museum of
Wendell Eckholm
The AWSD fleet includes three trucks with art delivery
services in San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs,
and a weekly shuttle service between San Diego and Los
Angeles. Packing, crating and shipping services, both
nationally and internationally, originate from an ISPM-15
certified in-house crate shop. ArtWorks can handle
installation projects and sculpture rigging– major public clients include City of San Diego, San Diego Central Library,
San Diego International Airport, and Salk Institute.
The company offers 20,000 sq. ft. of storage in two adjoining
warehouses, with wet-pipe sprinklers and Central Station
Fire and UL-Certified Burglar alarms. Storage services
include climate controlled, air conditioned and general
warehouse storage, with over 200 current storage accounts.
AWSD is a TSA-approved CCSF facility and recently
received recognition as an AXA Art Approved Warehouse,
one of only three in California.
Museum clients include museums in San Diego County,
Orange County and Palm Springs. Other clients include
Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonham’s auction houses, as well
as numerous corporate and private collections.
Shipments to Mexico can be coordinated for institutions and
private collectors, with door to door ground service to
destinations in Tijuana and Baja. Customs clearance,
unpacking,installation, and removal of debris can be
arranged by AWSD staff.
Antonio Fasani Retires
Projects in Tijuana include installing the inaugural
exhibitions for El Cubo at the Centro Cultural Tijuana
(CECUT), a federal government owned institution, and
installations at the US Consulate, in Otay Mesa,
Tijuana. Exhibitions coming from San Diego museums
to CECUT are arranged directly and exclusively
through ArtWorks San Diego.
Completion of the long-awaited expansion of the
international terminals at the San Diego Airport means
that wide-body cargo service is now available to and
from San Diego directly, rather than having to route
shipments via LAX. Current direct international flights
include London, Mexico City, Toronto and Tokyo, and
direct US service includes New York, Chicago, Miami,
Dallas and Boston.
2013 ICEFAT Convention
Langkawi, Malaysia
Sept 26 - 29, 2013
ARCS Convention
October 31 - November 3, 2013
Chicago, IL
Australasian Registrars Conference
March 26 - 29, 2014
Brisbane, Australia
Antonio and Maria Luisa Fasani
ICEFAT is an organization of art moving professionals.
Our associations in working together have blossomed into
many friendships between our members. A great friend to
all of us is Antonio Fasani of Züst & Bachmeier in Zurich.
Antonio has announced his retirement and we will miss
Antonio Fasani began working in the art shipping
department of Züst & Bachmeier in 1992. He became an
ICEFAT member that year and attended his first ICEFAT
Convention in Santa Monica, California. He was very
happy to be able to work in our industry because he loved
art and frequently visited museums and exhibitions.
Antonio has always been a consummate professional,
respected by everyone who had the opportunity to work
with him.
Antonio and his wife will travel and spend more time in
their cottage in Tuscany. He will develop his hobbies:
gardening and reading. He also intends to do
volunteer work with Caritas, an organization devoted to
helping people in difficulty.
“Saluti a tutti e arrivederci ….arrivederci” .
Ciao Antonio!
9th European Registrars Conference
ERC 2014 in Helsinki
June 8 - 10, 2014