Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Sotheby's Contemporary Art Auction: 11 Nov.

It's all probably too rich for our blood, but here is a video presenting an upcoming auction of contemporary art at Sotheby's.

It is interesting to see what art rich people are buying. We start with an Yves Klein piece that I find a bit freaky- like a nightmare moonscape. There's also a John Currin nude that I like- in general, I really like his weird-bodied nudes: I call them 'sexy E.T. women', and detest his "kitsch" phase. There's a great Lucian Freud piece that will surely sell, along with a Lichtenstein that's also a safe bet. Then we have a Philip Gustan painting that doesn't do much for me, another Lichtenstein, and a Rauschenberg that comes from 1955, but looks like it would have been outdated and boring in 1900.

People still paint, right? Apparently so; next we have a Richard Prince nurse painting. I find this series intriguing and wouldn't mind doing it myself to save the $5 million.; the nurses are ghostly and cool. There was actually a fashion show this year based on the nurse series, which I prefered to the paintings. Next, we have yet another idiotic painting by Jeff Koons. You have to wonder at what point "taking the piss out" will get old in the art world. The curator's commentary is worth watching, however, if only for the entertainment value.

Saving us from the con-art of Koons is an Alexander Calder construction that demonstrates how rare and simple beauty can be. Then a John Chamberlain that... ah, skip it. Next, we have a Gerhard Richter abstract that is breathtakingly beautiful, in my opinion. It's probably best to stop here and take it in. I do like the paintings that come after, but not as much.

So, in summary, if I had the money, I'd buy the Currin and the Richter, and maybe have someone make me a copy of the Price. And, if you do have the money, this is my advice.

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