Rumor has it that George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars who also attended the Vanity Fair summit in nearby San Francisco, snapped up two major Banksy works within the first hour of the Art SV/SF gala opening. By the way, Banksy, with his most recent auction sale, just broke the million dollar benchmark. This was a seemingly impossible feat for a street artist whose aging and often deteriorating work on a precious few public walls is now often excavated, reinforced, wrapped and shipped off to international art markets to supply an unquenchable thirst for his art. It was a rare opportunity to see an exclusive show of Banksy, but also many of the galleries in the fair presented a collection of recognizable works that would constitute a remarkable exhibit at a first-rate museum.
With 75 highly respected international galleries represented from as far away as France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland, China and Austria, among others, as well as the United States, there was a virtual smorgasbord of premium artworks from which to choose. To help secure a motivated and informed audience, the fair added an ambitious roster of educational events during a fascinating Art Symposium program organized by One Art Nation. With panel titles like "Collecting and Protecting," "Building an Art Collection like a Pro," and "Sales and Use Taxes: How They Apply to Collectors," these presentations provided attendees with a valuable perspective on the skills required to sharpen their vision and get a accurate viewpoint on why contemporary art produced during the last several decades still is bringing in some of the most lucrative returns of any other commodity. As an added bonus, you can enjoy seeing your investment every day in your own home, which has a distinct advantage over a nicely framed albeit bland stock certificate.
Apparently, based on exhibitors' enthusiasm, a decision already has been made for Art SV/SF to have a return engagement, which certainly will evolve into a much anticipated annual event. While it is hard to guess what is in store for the 2015 edition of the fair, the following works of art were among my favorites for this year's, and will give you, second only to being there, a pretty good indication to the overall quality on view at Art SV/SF 2014.