The autumn Impressionist and Modern Art Auctions are about to take place at Christie's. I previewed the lots on my lunch hour. Here are few highlights with the estimates—because half the fun of these auctions are the price tags. I am still blown away by what people are willing to spend on a wall hanging. It's important to view these works while you have the chance because it's the only time many of them will ever been seen in public. They're passing from one private collection to another. Once the auction is over, they'll disappear above someone's mantel on 5th Avenue. Additionally, I use the auction preview as an effective way to confirm my position on the economic totem pole.
I'm going to make a blanket statement and say these photos do no justice to the work. The lighting is poor for camera phones. I'm still waiting on my iPhone 5 upgrade with its superior camera sensor. After the auction, I'll come back and post the prices realized. More rubber-necking.
This sculpture greets you at the entrance. Tulips by Jeff Koons. I like it. It was a sunny, blue-sky day when I saw it and the light gleamed bright off of its surface. They're in a shallow reflecting pool, which is a fantastic way to display this.
My favorite part of this piece is the estimate. The estimate is: "Estimate on Request." Do you know how much that is? It's a lot. It's if-you-have-to-ask-you-can't-afford-it.
I really love this piece, too. Nude with Red Shirt by Roy Lichtenstein. What's that swoosh of hair on the left? Is someone watching her? It's very, very, very sexy, don't you think? Est. $12,000,000-18,000,000
Two by poor, prematurely dead, Andy Warhol. Statue of Liberty. Estimate on Request!? Really?! Yikes! I can't wait for the results.
Brillo Soap Pads. Est. $500,000-700,000. This, perhaps, the biggest goof played on the modern art world. Andy is laughing in his grave, I'm sure.
With every auction there has to be some junk thrown in. It proves, time and time again, that wealth is not a barometer of good taste. It's up to me, from high atop my pedestal, to point out where people are being careless with their discretionary income.
Oh, my, my. Moutons de Laine, Un Troupeau de 24 Moutons by François-Xavier Lalanne. It's stuffed sheep. 24 of 'em. He didn't bother to put heads on some of them. So lazy. They're mingling in the corridors that lead to the galleries. See the black one in the middle? So clever. Est. $4,000,000-6,000,000. Help yourself. Baaaaaa.
I have never seen a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat that I thought was worth a damn and this certainly doesn't change things. Untitled. Estimate on Request?! Is that a typo?!
Prag 1883 by Gerhard Richter. Est. $9,000,000-12,000,000. I cannot fathom why anyone would spend 10 MILLION dollars on this. I know Richter is hot right now but that's no excuse. I don't mind being challenged but this thing is beyond my ken. Feel free to school (or scold) me in the comments section.
Buste de Femme by Picasso. I don't know. On second thought, I guess I kind of like it. But if I had $8,000,000-12,000,000 and could only buy one painting, I'd probably go for the Modigliani. Wouldn't you?
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Edit: I went back today because I HAD TO. Here's a detail shot of the Modigliani. How do you like them apples! Now will you pay £16,000,000 for it? I thought so.