Thursday, May 17, 2007

Million Dollar Sales at Sotheby's

New York City's best kept secret on freebie entertainment? The auctions at Sotheby's. Heck, they even serve free coffee and bottled water! But buyer beware: the day ain't free if you raise your blue paddle to vie for exquisite art and collectibles. At the recent Contemporary Art Day Sale, works by Kline, DuBuffet, Motherwell, Pollock, Albers, Guston, Mitchell, Calder and of course Warhol (one of his soup cans, no less!) were on the block. The night before a Rothko sold for a record breaking $72.84 million - the highest for any contemporary art at auction. I did get to witness the excitement of $2.3 mil sale of a Frank Stella, and once those bids get up over a million you better believe the crowd hushes down.

The auctioneer was a handsome French-accented hottie, the crowd dressed in high-end artsy wear (best shoes & eyeglasses in Manhattan) and the phone-cradling brokers for overseas bidders all resembled Ralph Lauren models. Perfect people watching at these auctions, which are open to the public so go and buy buy buy if you can.

Bonus: For great art advice, get in touch with Robert Casterline of MW Gallery in Chelsea (also Aspen & Miami), the super smart and unpretentious art dealer standing next to me. His irrepressible enthusiasm for cutting-edge contemporary art means he's in-the-know.

1 comment:

Rick said...

Mary - I'm glad your auctioneer was a "hottie", b'c when I clicked on the link regarding the $27mm record art sale, the auctioneer in the picture looked a lot a lot a lot like John Cleese in a Monty Python skit. Guess it was just a bad day. Or, maybe silly auctioneers make for good bidding?