Tchotchkes | Reagan Upshaw Fine Art


Tchotchke: (Yiddish, of Slavic origin) a compact object that is attractive relatively than strictly purposeful a trinket

The form of artworld story that the public loves popped up in the general push a few weeks ago: a 22-yr-old college college student, searching by means of his area Goodwill Retailer, spotted a tchotchke that took his extravagant, an ashtray showcasing an irritated-hunting girl using tobacco a cigarette. He bought it for $10.

The ashtray turned out to be one particular of an edition completed in 2002 identified as Way too Young to Die by the mentioned contemporary Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara.  The ashtray experienced its authentic packaging, which included to its worth.  Realizing some thing about what he had, the college student checked eBay and located other ashtrays from the version for sale there.  He subsequently bought the piece for $2,860.

After reading the news story, I obtained to contemplating about a tchotchke that our 8-year-previous granddaughter, exploring the shelves of our basement, experienced just lately retrieved: a multiple by Tom Otterness.  Otterness (born 1952) has been called “the world’s finest general public sculptor” by critic Ken Johnson in the New York Times, and his whimsical sculptures have delighted New Yorkers for a long time.  My tchotchke, having said that, is derived from a fee for an additional town: Lubbock, Texas, house of my alma mater, Texas Tech. Tech’s mascot is a mysterious figure on horseback who wears a flat-brimmed hat, a cape, and a mask, all derived from the folks hero Zorro.  When Otterness was commissioned to make a statue of the mascot in 2003, he gave the horse a mask and hat as well, along with a pair of pants.

Alongside with the bronze, the artist authorized a tiny edition of the piece in black resin.  These miniatures were sold for $30 each and every in the Student Union Setting up at Tech, exactly where my pal Excitement Spector, performing a checking out artist gig on campus, spotted them and acquired two, 1 for him and one for me.  I acquired a good chuckle out of Buzz’s present and exhibited it on a table for a couple of weeks.  The figurine, having said that, only 5 inches tall, was inadequately lit on the table and was dwarfed by its placing. I do not have a mantelpiece or a vitrine in which small objects could be displayed to advantage.  Blowing the currently-accumulating dust off the piece, I put it again in its box and place the box in a drawer, from which it inevitably made its way to a basement shelf.

When our granddaughter discovered the object, I had just examine the tale of the Nara ashtray, and it inspired Roberta, my wife, to do a speedy look for for Otterness’s figurine.  She observed a further duplicate of the maquette currently being presented for $5,000 on Artsy.

We known as Buzz to allow him know the news, and he was both content and unfortunate.  Happy, simply because of the work’s increase in benefit, and sad, since his possess copy of the operate had been broken by incident some several years previously through home cleansing. (I am reminded of 1 of the maxims by which I reside: dust only under intense duress, and not normally even then.)

Any improve in our web value is educational, of study course, mainly because we would not market a reward from a expensive mate.  Our daughters can make your mind up its top destiny right after we’re long gone.  Will it alter the way we see the Otterness?  I really don’t believe so. It was amusing previous calendar year, and it’s amusing today.  The sentimental benefit of the artwork remains regular.  The good market place price of a piece of artwork, nonetheless, will inevitably alter, upward or downward.  You probably have some artworks that have excellent sentimental value for you.  If you want to know about their benefit in cold, tough funds, let us converse.


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