Filed under: Men's Style
Via Switched On Set
Filed under: Men's Style
Filed under: Art
Art Basel was fun again this year. After a recession-stained climate last year led to toned down partying, collectors and dealers (and everyone else) was back in style this time around. According to the Wall Street Journal, it seemed like everyone was throwing a party this year, with the likes of Larry Gagosian and Lance Armstrong getting in on the action. And, the parties didn't suck. Hosts went all out -- with live music and other attractions -- to separate themselves from the competition. Some even tried something new, with the words "Everybody has a Damien Hirst" uttered.
Of course, there were enough celebrities in supply to ensure that every host had one to boast about. Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed, and Russell Simmons, for example, were present at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel. Simmons is a committed collector of works by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Barbara Krueger and was in town to raise money for his charity, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
An after-party hosted by Julian Schnabel's art dealer son, Vito, attracted some big names, as well. Peter Brant, an art collector who recently tried to move "Brother Sausage" by Basquiat at auction, was there, along with Abby Rosen.
I'm still not sold that the art market is recovering (it could be, but it's too soon to tell). But, if it is, the upside is going to the galleries and collectors -- the artists aren't getting squat. November was generally kind to Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in art sales. So, to get their own piece of the art market pie that may or not be forming, artists are starting to go directly to the buyers.
Artist Ryan McGinness hosted a sale of pieces by several artists, with the person who did the work taking home all the spoils. The presale estimate of $47,000 to $57,000 made sense, as the final tally came to $51,300, pretty much in the middle. McGinness himself was present at the event ... via a video connection from Amsterdam.
The traditional auction model trends to benefit collectors rather than artists, as it creates a secondary market for artwork. It's really no different from the stock market. An IPO, if successful, will be the starting point, with the price going up later, to the advantage of all subsequent owners.
Filed under: Art
The critics weren't kind to Damien Hirst's latest collection, which was exhibited at the Wallace Collection. It doesn't seem to have mattered. All news is good news in Hirst-land, as evidenced by the sales of his most recent effort. Hirst opened a new show yesterday at White Cube. Even if the media isn't crazy about his, the artist's collectors haven't ended the love affair. Five of the seven largest pieces in his new "Nothing Matters" collection sold before the show opened, with the highest-priced piece hitting $15.7 million, despite an initial point of only 235,000 pounds.
The show runs at White Cube through January 20, 2010, but you'll have to accept that you'll be checking out what is now other people's property. Hirst collectors are nothing if not loyal.
Filed under: Art
It looked like to sculptures by Damien Hirst were headed for court. The two pieces, worth an estimated $47.6 million, were part of a broader lawsuit involving Udo Fritz-Hermann Brandhorst, an art collector and heir to the Henkel AG & Co. fortune. Brandhorst's former mistress, Venetia Kapernekas, sued Brandhorst in federal court for the artwork.
Kapernekas, a 49-year-old art dealer, agreed to drop the lawsuit over the weekend in exchange for custody of the daughter she had with Brandhorst, a one-time $100,000 payment, a $500,000 trust for their daughter's education, a loft in Soho (worth around $5 million) to be held in the daughter's name and $640,000 to cover her legal expenses. She'll also get $5,000 a month in child support.
As part of the deal, Kapernekas will be able to sell an Andy Warhol painting she received from Brandhorst. It's a heart-shaped blue and red piece called "Candy Box Open" from 1983. She has chosen Sotheby's in London to handle the sale, and it could go for $40,000. She won't be able to sell another Warhol, "Heart," because it belongs to her daughter.
Filed under: Art
Ukraine is about to get a new contemporary art center. Victor Pinchuk is shooting to make Kiev a major art destination, so the wealthy art collector is creating a new center that will be larger than the existing PinchukArtCentre, which was the first private contemporary art center in the former Soviet Union and has had more than 830,000 visitors since its doors swung open in 2006.
Pinchuk, a steel billionaire, is an avid collector, with pieces by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Andreas Gursky. His new endeavor, he tells Bloomberg News, "will make Kiev and Ukraine a fantastic place for contemporary art." Pinchuk made the proclamation at a show for 20 Ukrainian artists who were nominated for the first Pinchuk Art Center Prize, which comes with a cash component of $12,200 and a one-month internship with an artist from the international scene. Hirst himself will announce the winner on December 4, 2009.
Pinchuk has a strong relationship with the
artist celebrity and owns "probably half" of the skull paintings (by the collector's own estimation) in the current Hirst show at the Wallace Collection in London. He also participated in Hirst's solo auction in September 2008 but wouldn't tell what he bought.
The three major auction houses were upbeat at the Frieze Art Fair and seem to think an art market recovery is in the works. ArtInfo reports that Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips de Pury came out of the event feeling positive about the market's direction – even if it is tempered with a dose of reality. The number of pieces sold and the prices at which they moved were still pretty far from what they were in the pre-Lehman days. For now, though, collectors need to think about the early stages of recovery, not hope for a return to the glory days of 2007.
The auction houses did fairly well, though estimates tend to be far lower than a year ago. Damien Hirst's Wallace Collection moved well, with "Two Skulls" selling for $705,244, far more than its presale estimate. Emerging artists had moments in the sun, as well, particularly Hurvin Anderson's "Untitled (Beach Scene)," which sold for $158,304 – more than three times its presale estimate. Farhad Moshiri's "Cowboy and Indian" more than doubled its presale estimate, with a price of $548,976. In general, the auctions posted sufficient results, the first step in a market turn. Sotheby's and Christie's pierced the $20 million mark in recent contemporary auctions, and Phillips de Pury moved 31 of 43 lots to reach $6.7 million in a recent contemporary auction.
Now that the art market is moving from Frieze to FIAC and into the busy fall auction season, we'll get a sense of what 2010 will look like ... and if the market is finally picking up the momentum we all want it to show. The last art market slump, from 1990 to 1992, didn't bring an immediate resolution, with prices not returning to normal until 1995. So, brace yourselves for a slow recovery (or treat it as bargain season!).
Christie's International moved $18.3 million in art at its contemporary London auction on Friday. Three pieces sold for more than $1.6 million (including fees), with the top price going for a piece by Martin Kippenberger ($3.76 million); a phone bidder acquired it. Of the 25 lots offered at the art auction, which coincided with the Frieze Art Fair, 24 sold. Half the lots went to bidders from North America.
The equivalent auction held by Christie's last year consisted of 47 lots and brought in revenue of $52 million. But, it missed the low-end estimate of $95 million by a mile. At that auction, 45 percent of the lots didn't sell.
The seemingly better performance this year may provide a warm feeling to a market that's been battered for a while, but it should be balanced against the fact that expectations were much lower than last year, a trend that has developed throughout the art market slump.
Damien Hirst is again playing the role of philanthropist (so I have to be nice), along with Raqib Shaw and Marc Quinn. The artists have donated paintings to an auction that London jeweler Laurence Graff is holding for FACET (For Africa's Children Every Time). Graff wants to raise $1.26 million for the organization, which seeks to support the education, health and quality of life of children in Africa ... where Graff Diamonds picks up most of its raw material.
Graff's event follows several other charity auctions this year, all of which were pretty impressive in their results. Sotheby's raised ₤453,950 for two organizations that help orphans in Africa, and Christie's raised an astounding €342.5 million at its Yves Saint Laurent collection auction back in February – the money will be used to fund HIV research and fight the spread of AIDS.
The first lot donated was by Graff himself: diamond earrings estimated to be worth around ₤80,000. The other paintings (e.g., by Hirst) are pegged at around ₤100,000 each.
A college project by artist Damien Hirst sold at auction last week for roughly $50,000. The collage, "Red Rubber Ball," sold at the low end of the estimate, which ranged up to $80,000. The piece includes a variety of found objects, such as a toy rabbit, a severed head from a doll and a dried out rose. Originally, Damien Hirst gave the piece to Julie Balmforth, who studied with him at Goldsmiths College.
The collage measures 39.5 inches by 31.5 inches and sold at Duke's of Dorchester, in Dorset. While the buyer's identity was not revealed, auctioneer Guy Schwinge would say that it went to an Irish collector "who is very excited at his purchase."
Whoever picked up the piece did buy something rare: a piece actually created with Hirst's own hands.