A Michigan State University marketing study published by Psychology & Marketing reported by Henri Neuendorf in artnet showed that “men are more likely to positively evaluate an artwork based on the artist’s brand. On the other hand, whilst women also took the artists’ brand into account, they based their evaluation more heavily on the artwork itself.”
While fashion isn’t usually considered art–unless at couture level or made by hand–I know plenty of women who come off more like the men in the study. They will only buy name brands favoring easily identifiable textiles that may even feature recognizable logos. If not, and you admire what they have on, they rarely say, “Thanks,” as they are bursting to share who designed what they’re wearing. They want you to know they’ve spent plenty.
One of the ornaments in the Bird series by Jacobson & Doniger, a collaboration between husband and wife artist/illustrator Nancy Doniger and sculptor Eric Jacobson
However if you know where to go, you can come upon treasures painted by unknown artists and remarkable crafts designed and executed by creative, talented artisans. The work you buy can achieve an electrifying impact on your interior design or wardrobe.
Here’s an example:
This weekend–December 6-7–at the Brooklyn Historical Society, NYCreates is producing its 11th annual Holiday Craft Fair. A hop and a skip from Manhattan, in Brooklyn Heights at the Brooklyn Historical Society, some 40 artisans, a photographer and artists will sell their best. NYCreates is a non-profit organization [501c3] founded in 2003 and committed to expand opportunities, visibility and marketability of NYC’s crafts artists and artisans. I’m helping to promote the fair.
Ceramist Alyssa Ettinger’s sweater-patterned porcelain salt cellar is rimmed in 24 carat gold lustre.
You’ll meet ceramist Alyssa Ettinger who knows her way around interior design having pursued a career in magazine publishing for 20 years writing, editing and styling photo shoots covering home design, new products, decor and lifestyle. She threw her first pot at summer camp when she was 14 and today works exclusively in porcelain, a medium she says is “difficult and unforgiving” yet clearly worth the challenge. She describes the material as “translucent when it’s thin enough, letting light shine through.”
You might recognize the work of illustrator Nancy Doniger as it has been published in the New York Times as well as to enhance books both for children and adults. At the craft fair she is collaborating with her husband Eric Jacobsen, a sculptor, selling ornaments from their Bird collection [see photo above right]. Jacobsen creates the birds from metal and Doniger paints them. On her website she writes that her style is “bold with a quirky edge.” Doniger also draws, paints and is a printmaker.
Ceramic Egyptian figure napkin rings by Judith Eloise Hooper.
NYCreates executive director Judith Eloise Hooper is also a ceramist. She describes herself as “an artist who just likes making things.” She’s been a successful fashion and children’s book illustrator and most recently has designed tabletop collections and ceramic landscapes in her Brooklyn studio. She also manages the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition gallery.
“View from Brooklyn Bridge Park,” watercolor on paper, 12” x 18,” by Alicia Degener
Another artist with a business brain is Brooklyn-based urban landscape artist Alicia Degener who finds the borough is a visual feast and the subject of most of her watercolors, pastels, acrylics and drawings. She co-manages this fair with Hooper. On her website, she writes that “Color and pattern work together combined with odd angles to create landscapes that juxtapose realistic and abstract elements. Strong linear elements and patterns creating movement give the landscapes a rich visual workout.”
Earrings by Bilyana Tosic Petino for Falcon Feather Jewelry.
“Bilyana Tosic Petino of Falcon Feather Jewelry, attributes the style of her work to her Mediterranean upbringing. She says that her simple organic jewelry is made with a few basic materials, primarily sterling silver, soft leather cords, and semiprecious stones and makes pieces that adapt to the natural contours of a woman’s body. Her philosophy: “Jewelry should not call attention to itself or overshadow the wearer.”
“Bird Abstractions,” a photograph by Peter Houts, taken of gulls flying over The Pond in Central Park.
Photographer Peter Houts chose the subject of his work because of what he said is “My love of birds which came from living on a farm in Pennsylvania for 40 years.” He continued: “Photographing these beautiful creatures became an absorbing, challenging, and rewarding hobby.” He moved to Brooklyn four years ago and joined the New York City Audubon Photography Club, meeting Johann Schumacher, an accomplished bird photographer, who used slow shutter speeds to create beautiful abstract patterns of flying birds. This is a technque Houts has perfected.
Do you care if the artisan or artist from whom you buy a gift or something for yourself represents a well known brand? Do brands matter for more than prestige? Is their value everlasting?
“A Painter in Their Mist,” by Janie Samuels, colored pencil, digital drawing on paper, 4 x 6 inches–11 x 14 inches, framed. The image’s line and color work both as a narrative and abstractly, giving the canvas intrinsic balance.