From: Clieff1@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2006 7:30 PM
To: Clieff1@aol.com
Subject: NEWSLETTER AUGUST
 
 
NEWSLETTER, Volume 9
August 3, 2006
 
 
 
 
 
 
      THE ART ADVISOR NEWSLETTER
 
 
 
 
 
   Now all my sweltering little art peacocks, at the
 
end this newsletter there is a 7-Question Quiz,
 
devised by a brilliant collector I know, and if you
 
get all of the answers right, you win a free trip to
 
visit me and my art, all-expenses paid, with the
 
exception of taxes, taxis, licenses, hotels and all  
 
transportation. So sharpen those pencils!  A list of
 
winners will appear in the next edition.
 
 
 
   Do you want to hear the most amazing story?  I
 
am actually on a first-name basis (and his name has
 
been changed to protect the innocent) with some-
 
one who is of sane and sound mind (or so I thought)
 
who, of his own volition and with no forethought of
 
malice left sunny (well ok, very sunny, if you insist 
 
on splitting hairs) California last week to go to.....
 
now are you ready for this.....New York City???
 
 
   In all seriousness (I see that gimlet eye), this is 
 
about the sultriest (I'm watching) summer
 
in memory and that applies to art sales, too.  In 
 
twenty years, I've not experienced such blistering
 
activity in July and August.  If this is the tip of the 
 
iceberg  (you don't think I know I'm mixing 
 
metaphors?) what in heaven's name will the Fall be
 
like? The record amounts of art being sold is unfath-
 
omable, and it's the same story with every dealer
 
with whom I have the (hmmmm) pleasure of
 
speaking.
 
   It is my wont to run over to Cap D'Antibes or Ibiza
 
in the summer.  Not this year.  Phones haven't
 
stopped ringing.  An apparently quenchless thirst to
 
buy, buy, buy.  I, too, have been inoculated.  I'm not
 
complaining.  I've always thought vacations were
 
overrated.
 
 
   So moi?  What exactly am I doing?  First, selling a
 
lot of art;  second, buying a lot of art.  Am always
 
nonplussed at all these big-shot contrarian thinkers
 
and their disconnect when it comes to buying art.  
 
For some, this philosophy does not migrate to the
 
art area.  One can absolutely, unquestionably, make
 
the savviest buys during the summer.  The most
 
independent dealers get bored to tears when the
 
market is phlegmatic.  Art dealers are restless.
 
They like action.  So when they tell you that you
 
should "hang around more" if you want to do more
 
business, do it, and do it in summer.  Like the
 
Arabian Nights and open sesame, the vaults swing
 
out and you're Sheik (or Sheikess) for a Day.
 
 
  True, you may again be persona non grata on
 
November 1st, but check it out on August 1st.  Do
 
some empirical inquiry.  Tell me I'm wrong.  (But of
 
course, I'm right, that's why I'm The Art Advisor.)
 
 
   So you heard it here. Don't make art-buying a
 
seasonal herd activity, but a seamless hedonistic
 
pursuit of pleasure. More attention from fancy (or
 
not so fancy) dealers, less competition from other
 
collectors.  What could be better for this narcissistic
 
group?
 
 
 
 
  A while back, I told you to buy Henry Wessel.  Well,
 
good luck now.   Very little for sale (forget vintage
 
work), those who have them, not especially
 
anxious to let  go (present company included).  I am
 
often asked "what won't you sell" (I always know
 
this is some kind of veiled attempt to measure my
 
morality).  Well.... I won't sell my house, but I might
 
sell my soul,  and I won't sell my Wessels (yet).  The
 
show Sandy Phillips has organized at SFMOMA this
 
January is killer.  If you've not checked out the new
 
five-volume Steidl catalogue, you haven't lived.  It is
 
so luscious, I almost mistakenly ate a page of it
 
instead of the single organic strawberry I usually
 
reserve for lunch.
 
 
 
   New Vik Muniz show of pigment masterpieces
 
redux is just closing, was a sell-out.  The most
 
amazing renditions of Rothko, Yves Kline, John
 
Malevitch, Munch (The Scream, to die), a Matisse
 
Odalisque.  Gorgeous.  Jpegs attached.  I bought
 
three.  Prices will be off the charts in the Fall.
 
 
 
   Also, great Hockney show of very personal
 
portraits of his friends and colleagues at MOCA.
 
 
 
   Know anyone with a Robert Bechtle or John
 
Wesley for me?  Drawing, gouache, or painting?
 
 
 
 
   Last month I told you about this terrible situation
 
with my muse. You know, how he was gone! Now
 
my fine-feathered friends, I never dreamed how
 
dire this muse situation was!  
 
 
   To start with, there were the applications: 
 
 
 
   I knew I was in trouble when the first one I
 
got was from someone who said he had a permit for
 
long-antlered elk, and would that work?   And then
 
there was another one, from someone calling
 
himself "Bullwinkle", with an IQ nowhere near 150,
 
in fact, it was quite clearly below room temperature
 
and he had obviously not read the job description, 
 
and for all I know he couldn't read at all!
 
 
   Have been positively inundated with this stuff.
 
I had absolutely no idea there were so many out-of-
 
work muses!  (Frankly, I had no idea there were so
 
many muses, period!)  I must say, though, that
 
some of the applicants were more than a little
 
nettlesome.  I mean, can you imagine, some of them
 
wanted to know about the payWho ever said
 
anything about pay?  Do you think Karl Lagerfeld
 
paid Lou Lou de la Falaise?  Or  Dante, Beatrice? 
 
How about Gertrude Stein, was she paying Alice
 
B.Toklas?  Or Modigliani, Jean Hebuterne (true, poor
 
thing, committed suicide, but I never said this job
 
was not without its occupational hazards)?  So let's
 
give that one a nice strong Stinger and put it to bed.
 
.....the pay is you get to hang around with me!....
 
oh, and maybe a plane ticket thrown in here and
 
there....But actually, I was hoping to find a plane
 
with its own muse,.... no, no, no,... what I meant
  
was a muse with its own plane ....and not the kind
 
that has to stop in Kansas, either. 
 
 
   Honestly, it's no wonder these muses are out-of-
 
work!
 
 
   You think it's easy writing these ridiculous news-
 
letters with no inspiration?  Try it sometime.  "Let ye
 
who is without muse cast the first stone".  Didn't
 
somebody famous once say that?
  
 
  So now I'm thinking maybe the old muse was over-
 
worked.  If I cut back his hours?  Good lord, at least 
 
there weren't any complaints about the pay, and he
 
didn't need any airline tickets.
 
 
 
   I do see some light at the end of this Parnassian   
 
tunnel. The old one is stirring and might be coming
 
around.  I actually think he might miss his little
 
muse job.
 
 
   As the bard of Avon said,  "All's well that ends
 
well".  Right, little muse?
 
 
 
 
 
Hershey's Kisses,
 
 
 
Carole
 
 
 
NOW: 7-PART QUIZ:  What Kind of Collector Are You?
 
 
The Decorator
 
The Patron
 
The Scholar
 
The Exhibitionist
 
The Influencer
 
The Trader
 
The Possessor
 
 
If you get all 7 right, remember that great prize!
 
Correction:  Josh Baer, of Baerfaxt, whose name was spelled incorrectly in last month's issue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
ph: 805.565.2000
www.carolelieff.com