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Maybe not so good

Post #734 • February 20, 2006, 7:10 PM • 17 Comments

1. Your greedy-as-hell insult to cultural patrimony becomes the subject of reproval by the editors of the New York Times.

2. Your total lack of journalistic propriety appears as such even to Brian Sholis.

3. Your displays of generosity to the art world go from conspicuous to ridiculous. Caught, you squirt faux-youth-culture nonchalance like so much squid ink. (Update via KH.)

Comment

1.

oldpro

February 20, 2006, 8:07 PM

Explain, please.

What does the first one have to do with the NY Times and what does the second one have to do with anything?

2.

oldpro

February 20, 2006, 8:09 PM

Or the third, which wasn;t there when I posted

3.

Franklin

February 20, 2006, 8:11 PM

Only that it's been a particularly rich week for bad behavior in the art world.

4.

George

February 20, 2006, 8:54 PM

I commented on the impending breakup of the Blake drawings seeing Sotheby's as Corporate Raider

5.

mek

February 20, 2006, 9:12 PM

george, i am looking forward to the day when you launch your own blog. is it a possibility?

6.

mek

February 20, 2006, 9:13 PM

ah and there it is.

7.

Marc Country

February 20, 2006, 9:56 PM

... the invisible hand pats 'cultural patrimony' on the head... "Ah, how naieve..."

8.

oldpro

February 20, 2006, 11:31 PM

That's the old spelling, right Marc?

9.

Kathleen

February 21, 2006, 9:19 AM

Regarding number 3, I'm not so keen on the squid-ink accusation.

When I was a younger me, I donated a work of art to a charity art auction in a town where I was known by precious few. It was one of my favorite prints (though a unique image), and I had to suffer through the miserable silence of no-one bidding on my work until the auctioneer reduced the starting (and ultimately only) bid on my work by more than half. Thankfully, one reluctant bidder raised a tired hand and purchased my work for the benefit of the cause. [Note to unknown guy in Silver City, New Mexico, not only did you get a great print, you got a great price--hang on to it]

The lesson I learned from the experience was: never donate something to charity that I'm overly fond of.

Since then, I've donated works that I think are good, even unique works, but never again anything I've felt was important. I could be quite nonchalant about any of the works I've donated since that first mishap ages ago, and there would be nothing faux about it.

10.

Jack

February 21, 2006, 9:34 AM

There's no way to shame people out of doing something highly profitable that's not actually illegal. The woman behind the Blake business has probably done the same thing before, even if on a smaller scale, and will certainly do it again if she gets the chance. She and her cohorts don't care what the NY Times may say as long as they can laugh all the way to the bank.

11.

Franklin

February 21, 2006, 9:43 AM

I think it speaks poorly about Cordova's work that he considers images of them to be interchangable. And this stuff: " thanks 4 the comments :) LOVE D BLOG!!!!" This guy has a master's degree from Yale. That's what I'm calling faux-youth-culture nonchalance. I don't know him personally, but his work has Pose written all over it.

12.

oldpro

February 21, 2006, 10:42 AM

Getting all lathered up about making lots of money on the Blake pix is just a little
disinngenuous. Put yourself in the same position.

13.

George

February 21, 2006, 10:45 AM

re:#11 but his work has Pose written all over it.
So? I don't see much point in the observation/opinion unless you're writing a review. Market conditions are different today than they were 20 years ago, artists make a choice and then fit themselves into the market for better or worse.

re#10 ...laugh all the way to the bank
You bet. With the market as hot as it is and an obvious cliff lurking somewhere out there in the future, "get it while it's hot" greed is running rampant. I don't have a doubt that Sothbey's has a hand in this. I calculated the commission differences between selling the drawings as as a group vs selling them individually. If the net proceeds were identical (probably not the real case) Sotheby's makes an extra $150K. Feels like the go-go days in the stockmarket.

14.

Franklin

February 21, 2006, 10:47 AM

In this case, worse.

15.

George

February 21, 2006, 11:02 AM

OP snuk one in Put yourself in the same position.
True, but the story in the Times about how Hines got the drawings is a tad dark.

Whatever, the auction market is frothy (sign of at least an intrim peak) with a considerable amount of "group rotation" (different styles/periods rotating) at hew record prices. All this activity is bound to be reducing liquidity, the amount of capital available for purchasing new works at auction and I suspect the sellers are redeploying the money differently. Sooner or later it's going to end, I'd say sooner like towards the end of the 2007 season. Once the "speculators" and "art investors" decide "up" won't be followed by "more up" they will have to decide whether or not to sell or hold. Probably a bit of both and more importantly they will not be as agressive in their bidding. You can compare the market psychology with the current real estate market. RE has cooled down substantially, buyer waiting lists are shrinking as new buyers decide to wait and see if they can buy at a cheaper price. The same thing will happen in the auction market, the warning signs will be an increasing number of sales at or below the low estimate and sales "withdrawn" because they don't make the reserve

16.

oldpro

February 21, 2006, 11:25 AM

Most of these collectors have not been around to see the bubbles burst, as they do periodically, George. I wrote articles about it the 80s but then when it happened what good did it do to know about it? And in that case most of the hyped "New Expressioism" was at least actual painting.

In this case much of the high-priced stuff is so plain silly that the bubble may pop with a much bigger bang than usual.

17.

George

February 21, 2006, 11:35 AM

I wrote up a piece on Art Market at Start of 21st Century looking at it from an economic point of view. I think there are some similarities to the past and some differences as well. The major difference is the increased size of the art market, I don't think this is going to revert to what it was 20 years ago. I do think the auction market, in particular auction prices for historical art (Futurism was No 3 last year) are indicating the buyers are looking for "something that hasn't gone up yet" which by inference means they think other areas are fairly or overpriced. Not a good sign. How it affects the lower tier of artists, I'm not sure but I suspect that market will contract.

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