Today was a very packed school day. I had three different classes. First learning about China and the contemporary art market. Next was a class devoted to our presentations. My group was first and I think we did pretty well. It was nice to present at the beginning and get it over with! The next class we learned about Art Fairs like Frieze, Art Basel, etc.
We finally ended the night with watching the Sotheby’s auction from school live streaming. It started at 7 and went on for an hour and a half. It was the contemporary art evening sale. There were a lot of bigs names in it like Alexander Calder, Damien Hirst, Richter, Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon… But overall the auction was a little flat. It wasn’t quite as exciting as I thought it was going to be. It does show there is a cooling in the contemporary art market right now. Out of the 56 lots, 9 went unsold because they didn’t meet the reserve price. There were the few that sold for double the high estimate so overall they may have done very well once the figures are all added up. I do like seeing how the auctioneer plays bidders against each other. When the bidding as slowed down he will point at the people who don’t have the highest bid, who had been bidding and say…450,000 pounds is not with you sir, nor you kind lady. And he asks people if they are sure after they bid, and there is no…going once, going twice..like I thought there would be. He says other things like, last call or fair warning, or hammer is going to come down. We talked in our group about what we thought certain pieces would go for or our instruction would explain certain words or actions the auctioneer was saying or doing. I think I’ll have to go to one in person soon! Maybe the diamond one. Just to look! Overall a very educational day, but exhausting one!