What Goes Up Must Go Up: The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, Fall 2013

Auction at Christie's (photo: dpa)
Auction at Christie's (photo: dpa)

When the Financial Times refers to the Andy (Warhol) Index, it is time to sit up and take notice. We have entered a fundamentally new concept of art and the market, one akin to other asset classes like property, precious metals, wine and classic cars. SWAG – the recently coined measure of alternative investments: silver, wine, art and gold – misses the mark, ignoring high-end residential property, which closely tracks art. But heed my warning, for safety’s sake: better to stay out of the way of the raging bull that is the current contemporary art market.

We can never guarantee that posterity will attach as high a premium to a name as this generation does, but thankfully the art market doesn’t seem to mind. What we will pay in the future for a 35-year-old painter whose work sells today for $1,000,000 (yes, they exist) is anyone’s guess. But does it matter? Investors and collectors go in with eyes wide open – or ears, anyway – so caveat emptor and enjoy the ride, for it’s sure to be whiplash-inducing in the severity of swings to come.  ... weiterlesen

Gold Plated Cars


What a perfect parable for the art world! One of Jeff’s myriad fabricators should follow suit, perhaps on the underbelly of the next shiny metallic balloon dog. 

John Delorean hatched a harebrained scheme to make extra money by selling gold plated cars. Three were actually produced one of which harbored the following secret surprise hidden beneath the door:   ... weiterlesen

Post-Visual Visual Art


Christie's are having “First Open New Media” online only sale, so is Saatchi, and at the same house before it, the Warhol estate also sold a chunk net only. Then of course there are the art auction websites Paddle 8; Artnet, Art Space, the Showroom and blah, blah. With the nature of art as asset the rave nowadays, with most of it being transacted with jpegs then stored, why not obliterate it altogether and just issue certificates or something to that effect? Post-Visual Visual Art.

Condition Report (on Humanity)


Ethics have been creeping into the conversations of my Facebook page, which is quite unusual in the cutthroat snake pits of the art world and Facebook. I had a doozy of a dilemma this week, which presented some very interesting issues pertaining to behavioral matters/manners/morality with regard to the art biz. Here it goes and I am certain no one will have an opinion here.

Working on a sale of a white-hot Wade Guyton painting—don’t shoot the messenger, that is just the way it is now, there is an absolute hysteria relating to his X.s, multi-XX.s, and flaming U.s the likes of which I haven’t seen in nearly 25 years of my involvement with art. I am avoiding obvious flaming out jokes here so please follow suit.    ... weiterlesen

Oranges and oranges

Ballon Dog vs 1973 Car, which do you prefer?
Ballon Dog vs 1973 Car, which do you prefer?

A comparison of oranges and oranges occurs when two items or groups of items are compared that cannot be practically told apart.

The idiom, comparing oranges and oranges, refers to the apparent similarities between items which are popularly thought to be incomparable or incommensurable, such as oranges and oranges. The idiom may also be used to indicate that a false analogy has been made between two items, such as where an orange is faulted for not being a good orange (or sculpture).  ... weiterlesen

Thek Time

Peter Hujar photograph of Paul Thek
Peter Hujar photograph of Paul Thek

My essay for upcoming Paul Thek show at Pace London, October 2013

We are all accorded an allotment in life; if you reside in the West and manage to fully live out your lifespan expectancy of eighty-two years, you will have clocked 4,264 weeks in the process. Just shy of his 55th birthday when he needlessly passed away from AIDS related illness, Paul Thek managed only 2,844 weeks. A pittance in relation to all he might have achieved and offered, but as a mightily self-actualized and fulfilled person whose legacy we all share, Thek made the most of it and managed to express a good chunk during what limited time he had.  ... weiterlesen

Soft Power


There are present studies on the potential for art to have an ameliorative impact on illness, prolong life expectancies; and, as I read in the Financial Times, as a tool for political aims. And to think I used to criticize certain artists for sucking the breath out of any mouth before them, and for behaving as though they were curing cancer. Now it turns out they possibly might be, while resolving a few geo-political conflicts in the process. I stand corrected.

Georgina Adam reports in the FT (painfully missed over summer hiatus) on the new “BolognaFiere Shanghai International Contemporary Art Exhibition (mercifully shortened to BolognaFiere SH Contemporary), the fair will be held in September next year. Its new partner is the Centre of International Cultural Exchange, part of the Chinese Ministry of Culture, reflecting the government’s proclaimed interest in art as “soft power.”  ... weiterlesen

Who’s the monkey?

photo: dpa
photo: dpa

Quipped Richard Serra about preparations for his latest Gagosian behemoth: "You don't bring in 367 tons of steel without knowing what you're getting into." I say why bother? Or oh gee, as Andy might have put it, he’s using a new shape for the new fall season. Why not simply use his tongue like Brent, a 37-year-old Louisiana primate who simply applies colors with his tongue instead of a brush or wasting valuable steel tonnage on mere formal, content-less heavy(handed) baubles for the otherwise manicured lawns of the world’s fab.

Who’s the monkey? Him? The chimp? Or us for falling/fawning over it for countless millions?


The Perfect Groom-able Art Collector

An undated image released in July 2013 through the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency shows Syria's First Lady Asma Assad (C), wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, meeting with families of the country's armed and security forces in Damascus (photo: dpa)
An undated image released in July 2013 through the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency shows Syria's First Lady Asma Assad (C), wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, meeting with families of the country's armed and security forces in Damascus (photo: dpa)

This is inelastic economics personified, a consumer unflappable, intransigent, unbowed, and intrepid, a real trooper so to speak. The perfect groom-able art collector in training, a captive one at that. Maybe some Damien doom and gloom would fit the bill. Like the mass of dead congealed flies.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173705/Asma-al-Assad-As-nation-burns-Assad-wife-imports-sofas-London-270-000-spending-spree.html#ixzz2dfaGOkj6


The One and Only: Carroll Shelby & the AC Cobra


I am, let’s say, an unusual choice for a piece extolling the virtues of a superlative American automotive achievement because, well, I hate American cars. Ok that is not entirely true, I mostly despise modern cars, up until the mid 1990’s if I was really pushed. For me, car manufacturing ended with the Mclaren F1 (1992-1998) and I am primarily nuts for the simplicity of line, design and reliability of early Porsche 911s from 1968 to 1973.

Pretty much, that’s it for me and cars altogether, other than being a fan of the quirky, unusual and the outright bizarre from the Wolseley Hornet to the Hillman Imp. But when it comes to heavy metal from the US of A, I was stumped, other than the one and only, Carroll Shelby that is. Carroll Shelby (1923 – May) was a racecar driver, car designer, manufacturer and all around automotive entrepreneur, who founded Shelby American Inc. in 1962, a company still active today. His greatest accomplishment behind the wheel was an outright win in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans for Aston Martin, but the Anglophile angle was to remain paramount in his career defining, paradigm shifting contribution to motorsport and car culture in general: The AC Cobra, derived from the Brit designed popular sports car, the AC Ace, of AC Motors of England.  ... weiterlesen

RSS Feed
"Die Kunstwelt ist wie eine Mafia, es gibt ein ungeschriebenes Gesetz des Stillschweigens", sagt Kenny Schachter. Auf seinem Monopol-Blog bringt der britische Kunsthändler Licht ins Dunkle und macht die Mechanismen des Marktes transparent. In englischer Sprache