Mon. May 23rd, 2022

This is a twist on Arthur Miller, where the seller actually comes to terms with his new identity and the accompanying change that it brings about. In other words, dear reader, my piece could have the title Death of an art market journalist. Constantly running from fair to fair, auction to auction (and back again), scraping the barrel for numbers, information and gossip was never much more than a poorly fitting suit – an excuse to find food for my art videos – which has now found home in NFTism exhibitions and platforms from Athens to Tokyo. Not bad for a late-middle-aged guy pushing 60.

Death of a (lousy art) salesman (and decent journalist). Image courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

This transition has not come too soon: T-Mobile has just shut me down and terminated my phone service for “excessive roaming”, which they define as “using more than 50 percent of your voice or data outside the network for an extended period of time” . ” Having achieved a personal record of 16 hours and 7 minutes of screen time in one day under quarantine, it is not the easiest thing to swallow. Before I bend, though, I have a few scoops to drop – old habits are dying hard.

Sotheby’s Linda and Harry Macklowe sales were a mega-blow to the market, a personal record for the auction house. The biggest picture of the Macklowes was not the billboard-sized Twombly, which brought in $ 58,863,000, but rather the actual 42-foot billboard erected by Harry, plastered across the facade of 432 Park Avenue, to celebrate his marriage to Patricia Landeau , the relationship that triggered the sale in the first place. Not the most subtle way to celebrate his wedding, given. The three Ds of the art world still hold dominion – let’s hear it for divorce, debt and death.

Image courtesy of Getty Images, Twitter and especially Harry Macklowe.

The self-made Taiwanese computer chip billionaire Pierre Chen rose from deep poverty to become one of the world’s leading art guarantors, if not the greatest, and his fingerprints were everywhere in Macklowe’s trove. He can afford that a lot. According to Forbes, Chen’s business has, after some stony performance in recent times, risen: “Yageo’s sales last year rose 63% to $ 2.4 billion; Net profit in the midst of the global pandemic rose 87% to $ 848 million. This year, growth has been even better. In the first quarter, sales increased by 136% from a year earlier to $ 465 million; Net income was $ 179 million, an increase of 113.8% over the previous year. Yageo’s Taipei traded shares have risen 48% in the past year. Sino-Pac Investment Service predicted today that they have room to raise more than a further 20%. “

Unconfirmed information had Chen supporting Rothko, Richter and others, as well as the Kooning offered this spring. What I can say is that Chen, as active in the art as computer chips, was also the seller of Peter Doigs Flooded at Christie’s – a great way to describe how flooded he is in dollars after the Doig was sold for a record $ 39.9 million. Doig was reportedly guaranteed by François Pinault (according to my sources, also unconfirmed at the time of writing), are you following me? The guarantee game is an intricate way for rich people to weapon art collection for a speculative financial derivative that is largely outside the competence of the Securities and Exchange Commission. And people say that crypto is a crime (cue eyeroll).

It represents an increase in Warhol’s recently declining market performance was Sixteen Jackies, bought by Macklowe from Christie’s (art version of musical chairs) for $ 15,696,000 in 2006, and sold for $ 33,872,250 this month – I love these tracks that give Fibonacci a run for its money. Warhol was reportedly guaranteed by Bill Bell, an LA-based television producer whose father created eternally lasting soaps “Another World,” “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” And whose father also led a soap opera life, but let’s leave that story for now. By concluding the Macklowe sale, London’s Lisa Reuben was the buyer of Cy Twombly’s Without title (1961) for $ 20,946,000

In this time, we give it all away (our privacy at least). Laurent Asscher’s coveted collection posted on Instagram.

Entrepreneur and collector Laurent Asscher bought Christopher Wool’s Without title silkscreen and spray paint, also at Sotheby’s for $ 13,190,250 (he posted it on his Instagram account), which displaced Artnet News’ own Katya Kazakina to the effect that the wool market was dying, even though I managed to lose a small fortune by to sell the mine at Phillips. One would think I would have learned from my previous coverage of the auction house, which was still in third place. Asscher is now better known as the brother of Simon de Pury’s girlfriend Carol. Here’s a shout out to Simon, who recently celebrated his 70th birthdayth birthday.

Back to Christie’s. I heard that Dominique Lévy and Brett Gorvy were behind the three Wools from the Steinberger sale, that Steve Wynn bought the unusual Van Gogh painting of a boy for as much as $ 46,732,500 against an estimate of $ 5-7 million. USD, and the Fertitta brothers did not surprisingly buy Warhols Muhammad Ali at Christie’s for $ 18,107,500, after earning their fortune in ultimate battles that could be a euphemism for the art world.

Besides licking my wounds from my wool, I also lost on a great Mike Kelley memory ware — I have resigned more than usual in the process of buying my first house. It’s amazing that artists from Nicholas Party, Emily Mae Smith and Avery Singer make historical awards with little or no history on the market, while contemporary masters like Kelley languish. This is inconceivable, but ultimately not surprising in light of rapid, narrowed attention spans for the next-big-thing, scrolling generation on social media. Maybe I should stick to NFTs. With the third iteration of my no-reserve online Hoarder auction coming to Sotheby’s on December 8-21, my motto – “my loss is your gain” – sounds as true as ever.

Detail of my installation “The Last Soldier” sold at Galerie Nagel Draxler during Art Cologne last week. Photo: Ina Fassbender.

In the process of removing my former skin as a journalist – after shows in Greece and Cologne and by presenting my most ambitious NFT installation to date at Art Basel Miami Beach with Galerie Nagel Draxler, I feel I am unfaithful to the art world. Miami, by the way, will be nothing less than a Bacchanal orgy, the first excursion for Europeans (those who are at least allowed to participate, after Austria’s just announced re-lockdown) after being in a cage for almost two years. In the end, life is just a mistake (a digital art sensibility like Ax-Ex) – fast and full of static – so we might as well get the best out of it.

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