Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sotheby's Auction Preview - 13 May

So the art just doesn't stop this week. With Frieze over the Big Collectors will hit the contemporary art auctions. The Big Lamington will join them. Sotheby's is up first.

Wow. Just wow. I've always maintained that NY auction previews are great. Sotheby's is where it was when I used to live here, which is miles from anywhere in the East 70s, although next to the hospital where one of the junior critics was born. So handy if you have a strong reaction to the art! First up all I noticed were the assistants. Lots of them. That is to show that this art is Expensive. This floor was mostly for the night sale, the day sale (& slightly cheaper works) were on another level. Pride of place in the main room was Jeff Koons' Popeye (pic top). This sold for $28 million. So I guess it did justify having its own separate catalogue with an essay comparing it to the marble statues of antiquity like Michaelangelo's David (seriously). I should've taken a selfie like Ja Rule. I actually happened to be there with Ja but didn't actually recognise him. Well I realised he was someone famous given the attention he was getting but not that it was Ja. I'd have clocked Birdman for sure but now we are getting off topic again.  Overall this was as great a contemporary collection as you would see in any gallery, on par and probably better than what's on show in the AGNSW contemporary section (& MCA as well).  There was a whole room of Warhol's and Basquiat's hung together, including a Warhol portrait of Basquiat. There were quite a few Richard Prince's, including Cowboys, girl pictures, nurse paintings and jokes. A nice couple of John Baldessari's. An iconic Pettibon surfer (well maybe just iconic to me!) and a few younger artists like Mickalene Thomas with her signature glitter infused portraits. What great fun poking around. Might've been a bit more fun with a couple of million to spend but I'm not sure I have the wall space! Interestingly I had taken note of Richard Prince's Goat painting (pic above, left). Which is the subject of a great essay he just wrote (link here). 

Points: what can I say? I am a sucker for Richard Prince. A great artist and one I am learning more about through twitter! Seriously, he is the artist king of all social media.  Follow him.  3 for 'Spiritual America 3'. It is a little pervy but that's the point. I'll give 2 to the Untitled Cowboy which was hard to take a photo of due to the reflection of the Kosuth neon opposite. 1 point will go to Baldessari's Prima Facie. I've got a lot more exposure to his work on this trip and it is really growing on me (or just becoming more familiar!).

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