Lovers of Australian Aboriginal Art may have already found them, but these items are so impressive that you don’t need a passion for downunder to appreciate them. Currently, there are some outstanding Australian Aboriginal dot paintings up for auction on Ebay. They range in opening bid from $500 to $146,000.
That’s right. 146 thousand US dollars. That painting is by an unchallenged master of this genre, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (deceased), (Ebay 6542745910). You ought to look at it, if only to see what top quality Aboriginal dot painting looks like. (If you like it, you can bid So far, no one has. B>) The same seller has another Clifford Possum at a meager $15,700 opening bid. (Ebay 6542258002).
While you are there, a search for Aboriginal art should turn up the other paintings by Pansy Napangati, Ada Bird Petyarre, Gloria Petyarre and Dini Campbell, among others. (Shameless plug: You will also find a nice selection of dot paintings and other Australian Aboriginal art at http://www.aboriginalsgallery.com . In fact, we have few paintings by Clifford Possum’s daughter, Gabriella. She is fine artist in her own right. We acquired these several years ago and they are priced according to her pre-appreciation period.
Most of the Ebay auctions mentioned above close starting July 5, 2005.
Old is good. Clean is not.
In the world of African tribal art, debate continues about whether or not an African carving has to be old, in deed, “antique,” to be considered authentic and/or valuable. There are three discussion groups that we know of that discuss this and other issues of African tribal art, such as source identification and past use.
Try these groups for more insights: African Antiques, African Art and Tribal Art Forum. All are Yahoo groups.
Another subject recently discussed was the proper way to clean African art and artifacts. A consensus was to resist the temptation. Very often what appears to be “dirt” was a ritually applied substance such as feathers and chicken blood. It enhances the validity and value of the piece. In addition, the patina associated with age can be removed in the cleaning process. It may make the object more pleasing visually but it almost inevitably makes it less valuable.
To market we will go.
In Native American art, the place to be and the time to be there is Santa Fe NM in mid-August. It’s Indian Market, when the world is drawn to the artists’ booths to see the best of their production for the year. The most highly prized work by the most renowned artists often is sold out before mid-morning. It is a tue festival of art, with a festival’s congestion and crowds. If you like that kind of thing, figure out a way to get to Santa Fe in August. You may be too late to book a room in Santa Fe, since the most popular hostelries fill up as last year’s guest are packing to leave. But Albuquerque, just an hour and change away should have plenty of hotel space.
If you can’t get to Indian Market, there are many Indian Powwows scheduled for the coming months. Here are just three:
July 16 & 17 – Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Arts & Crafts Fair is at San Juan Pueblo, NM
July 20 through 23 – World Eskimo Indian Olympics takes place in Fairbanks, AK. Events? The ear pull, toe kick, knuckle hop, ear weight, greased pole walk, blanket toss and dances. If you’re up for it, a white men vs. Indian women tug-of-war is on the docket.
August 13 & 14 – Zuni Arts & Cultural Expo is staged at the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. Lots of great Zuni art right from the sources.
A Navajo Passage.
If you are interested in Native American culture and ceremonies, especially Navajo, the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper has a special feature today (Sunday, July 2) on Kinaalda’, a ritual that celebrates the passing of a young girl into womanhood. It is described as a grueling four-day, three-night Blessing Way ceremony that takes place after a Navajo girl begins menstruation. There is more to read and learned at the New Mexican’s Web site.
All this seems like an eclectic pot-pourri of Tribal Art observations. It covers some of the breadth of our interests at Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, the publisher of this blog enewsletter. We will keep looking for interesting content to share with you. In the meantime, have great 4th of July weekend and visit us at one of the following Web sites.
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