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Fine Art/Igor Medvedev's


Dear Alan,

I recently went on a Celebration cruise where Park West was auctioning art.  For someone on medical leave for the last 8 months, it probably wasn't the best idea, but I bought "Beloved", reported to be from the artist's collection (?the total no. 100?).  It's a work on canvas.  The rather cocky auctioneer recommended a Thomas Rut painting (about the same price range), said it would improve in value moreso than "beloved", but I just couldn't stop looking at "beloved"...and it made me happy.  So on impulse, I bought it.  Paid $960 (included frame, shipping and handling).  Then a buyer's premium of $144.
This was "yellow-tagged"..I guess Park West's last of the "beloved"...and though discounted from $1200, they said they couldn't go any lower.  I figured since I've got cancer, due for surgery in 4 days, what the heck. (Prior to that day, the most I've ever spent on artwork was $100, I know nothing about art.  
The painting has three stains/marks on it which the auctioneer said Medvedev himself would touch up...but it also had a small defect in the canvas (not quite a hole, but visible nevertheless), which the auctioneer said would be fixed when the canvas was "restretched" and placed on a permanent frame.
My question is two-fold (sorry)..was this too much to spend? And with the defect, would it de-value the painting (The painting is supposed to be shipped to me in 8-10 wks).  What are your thoughts?
Thanks for taking the time to read and answer the questions, I appreciate it.
Warm regards,
p.s. if you're 50 already..make sure you get a colonoscopy.  I'm 32 and just had bad luck.

Dear Jennifer--first and foremost, you are in my prayers for a complete recovery.
To the art:  I was one of the first auctioneers at sea, in the early 1990's, and trained a lot of others who followed me. I had been a dealer for nearly twenty years at that point.  Unfortunately, most of the auctioneers know little about art, more about generating excitement to sell it.

If it is an edition of 100, it is not a painting, which would be a one of a kind.  I don't know about the value, but I don't think that Park West would rip you off.  They've been around for nearly forty years.  That said, I certainly would not consider Medvedev or Rut as investment grade artists.  Who's to say what lessor knowns achieve the recognition to have markets in the years to come?  Defects generally reduce the value of art, so you might not have gotten a bargain.  I don't know if I have given you worthwhile info., but one last point:  if you love the art, if it resonates with your soul, perhaps even comforting you, it is worth every penny.  Good luck on the surgery.  Warm regards right back at you.  Alan Klevit.

NOTE:  check out Alan's latest book, ART COLLECTING 101, at

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Alan Klevit


I can provide sound advice on buying, collecting & understanding fine art, especially original works by 20th century masters and leading contemporary artists. I can also explain techniques used to create original works and offer tips on how to tell whether or not a piece is an original work of art.


I have been active in the art world for twenty-seven years. I owned and operated four galleries and a wholesale showroom on both coasts. We specialized in original works by 20th century masters and emerging artists. I have been an art consultant, artist's representative, lecturer, auctioneer, and curator. I had a radio show for two years, "Today's Art World with Alan Klevit" [Washington, D.C.]; hosted two television shows on the arts for six years [Los Angeles Area]; have written for numerous local papers and international art magazines; and currently write a syndicated column, "The Art Beat." I conduct art auctions for charities throughout the United States, and am a frequent speaker/auctioneer on upscale cruise ships, and at civic organizations and local television shows.


Undergraduate and graduate degrees from Georgetown University and The American University

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