My First Fine Art Prints [F]

I am a strong believer in following one’s own intuition, and this was love at first sight. One of my favourite shops along K-road is Retro City. It’s like a high quality second-hand store but the owners have sick taste in artwork, vintage and collectible items. I want so much stuff from there, but so far I have only purchased Bic Rung’s Drive album (1997), a book written by Russel Hoban (Amaryllis Night and Day), and as of today, my first art prints. They just stood out as unique, like they belonged in a gallery or should have already been in someone’s possession and not hidden away from view in an Auckland boutique of all places.

I lost track of time while examining their pleasing aesthetic. Watercolour on parchment paper. Edges singed by a naked flame. Traditional (maybe original) Chinese character design. Eye-catching composition. The artist’s use of negative space and lighter shades of colour to depict depth of field. What I held in my hands was illustrated with devotion, and I wanted to keep them.

Retro City told me they had imported 13 others like it, and although they could not tell me who their supplier was or the name of the artist, I did manage to find some concept looking drafts online (8 though, not 13). Some stock image website and still no artist information or link to any supplemental page.

The stock website only said; “Tradition Chinese painting on Chinese temple wall”. If they were on a wall somewhere, they are missing several tiny details that are not present in the pictures I have, such as the tiger and the background colour work, which are exquisite. So, whether original or not, what I have was made by a fastidious artist.

Happy with my purchase and on my way back along K-road, I met a man painting Betty Boop in her birthday suit on a barber shop window. It is that kinda neighbourhood. Funky, thrifty, expensive, sleazy. All of that.

I just remembered something… The first piece of art that I ever claimed as my own actually, I got when I was 12 years old. Aotea Center in the city held an art exhibit just for children, so adults had to wait in the foyer as their kids roamed the gallery. If the children saw something they liked, they would remember its number and tell their parents who would then take it on good faith that their kid had taste, and then make a bid for the piece. All the artwork was made exclusively for the exhibit too. This is the picture/print that stood out to me as a kid — Kaikoura by John Reynolds — and that I still have wrapped in it’s original plastic:

I’ll open it when I own my own home or decent apartment, don’t you worry, and the same goes for my watercolour goddesses, of course.

~ by Fionnlagh on December 28, 2017.

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