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9 posts from October 2008

October 30, 2008

It's not just Art.. Hamptons Real Estate Prices Fell 19%!

Just proving all these luxury products are crashing highly correlated.. With US Stocks down 37% this year, home prices out in the Hamptons were just reported down 19% in one year.

Here's todays story by Kathleen Howley of Bloomberg News.

(Photo from the book, American Prospects, MacLean, Virginia, 1978 by Joel Sternfeld)


Joel_sternfeld_mclean Hamptons Home Prices Plunge as Wall Street Upheaval Cools Sales

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices in the Hamptons, the summer resort of Wall Street bankers and Hollywood celebrities, plunged a record 19 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as stocks tumbled and the financial industry shed jobs.

The median price for a home on the eastern tip of New York's Long Island fell to $830,000 from $1.03 million, the biggest drop in at least five years, according to a report today by New York based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Prices in the summer retreat of director Steven Spielberg and billionaire investor Thomas H. Lee reached an all-time high with a $1.1 million median in the second quarter of 2007, before losses in U.S. subprime mortgages spawned the credit crisis.

Upheaval in global financial markets has dashed the confidence of wealthy buyers, even those who spurn mortgages and pay cash for waterfront mansions, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel.

``The Hamptons market is driven by Wall Street,'' Miller said in an interview. ``There's so much financial turmoil right now that even the most affluent people are putting plans on hold.''

The number of home sales fell 29 percent to 257 during the quarter from 361 a year earlier, and the inventory of properties on the market rose to 1,561 from 1,422, Miller said. The difference between the listing price and selling price was 11 percent, he said. A year ago, it was 7 percent.


The slump in prices and sales is likely to be outdone in the current period, Miller said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 778 points on Sept. 29, two days before the end of the third quarter, in what was then the biggest drop on record.

The following week was worse. The Dow plummeted 1,874 points, its worst weekly decline on a point and percentage basis.

``When the stock market crashed everybody put the brakes on,'' said Judi Desiderio, owner of Town & Country Real Estate in East Hampton. ``It's just emotion. It's not even logical anymore.''

More than third of the deals that were scheduled to close in the last week of September and the first week of October were put on hold, she said. While most of the transactions were rescheduled and eventually closed, about one in seven of them were called off, she said. ``It doesn't matter if you are buying a piece of jewelry or a car or a vacation home -- people go into survival mode,'' Desiderio said.

North Fork Rises

The weakening economy may have boosted demand for homes in the North Fork area, where the median home price is about a third less than the Hamptons, Miller said. The eastern tip of Long Island is shaped like two tines of a fork, with the Hamptons on the South Fork and the North Fork above it.

The area that includes Shelter Island, which sits between the two forks and is reachable only by ferry, saw a 10 percent gain as buyers snapped up properties at a median price of $575,000. Sales rose to 98, a 49 percent increase from a year earlier.

Whether North or South Fork, prices in that area of Long Island dwarf those paid by most homebuyers in the U.S. The median price of a new house in September was $191,600, according to the National Association of Realtors.

October 27, 2008

ARTWALK NY - An event not to miss!! November 3rd.

ARTWALK NY - Monday, November 3rd at 6:30pm, the Metropolitan Pavilion(125 West 18th street)

NY_ArtWalk With the US economy crashing.. it's often the case that both Art Dealers, and Art Auction Houses take a very long time to adjust prices to reality (aka...these "new economy" levels)

So, believe it or not,

Charity auctions are one of the first organizations to realize the current reality with much lower contemporary art prices.

Hence the OPPORTUNITY for collectors!!

One of MAO's favorite charities is The Coalition for the Homeless.

Since there's a good chance many of MAO's Wall Street buddies are unemployed, broke and probably soon to be homeless.. it's one cause that's very close to home.

 Also.. our wonderful friends at The Coalition for the Homeless, are offering a MAO Collector discount on tickets...

 A limited number of discounted (50% off) tickets are available for MAO's friends, at the price of 2 for $200 (regularly $200 each)

To purchase tickets, please call 212-776-2056, or visit ww.coalitionforthehomeless.org and enter the discount code COLLECTOR

Tickets available on a first-come basis.  All proceeds help the Coalition for the Homeless provide a safety net for the thousands of New Yorkers in need.

Here's the press release..


ARTWALK NY - Monday, November 3rd
Now in its fourteenth year, ARTWALK NY, a benefit for the Coalition for the Homeless, is one of New York City's largest and most anticipated charity art auctions. On Monday, November 3rd, the Coalition will join returning Co-chairs Richard Gere and Carey Lowell, and Honored Guests Alec Baldwin, Chuck Close, Darryl Pottorf and Christopher Rauschenberg, to honor and remember iconic American artists Robert Rauschenberg's unparalleled contribution to the world of contemporary art.
Featuring an art auction and cocktail party at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelseathis year’s live auction includes works by Chuck Close, Ed Ruscha, Jenny HolzerJeff Koons, Dennis Oppenheim, Jack Pierson, Pat Steir, Robert Rauschenberg, and Wade Guyton.  The silent auction features artists like assume vivid astro focus, Donald Baechler, James Nares, Terence KohYoko Ono and William Wegman.

Tonight 34,000 homeless New Yorkers, including 14,000 children, will sleep in emergency shelters.  The Coalition for the Homeless is the nation's oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children.  They are dedicated to the principle that affordable housing, sufficient food and the chance to work for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society.  Since their inception in 1981, the Coalition has fought successfully for lasting solutions to homelessness through their renowned advocacy.

October 24, 2008

An Essential Art Reading List from BOYD LEVEL Art Consulting

MAO hosted a lecture and collection visit last night with The Contemporaries.

Aside from all the occasional recession gallows humor, the night was extremely up beat with lots of enthusiasm for collecting Contemporary art.

Yes.. My little MAO-ettes, some crazy obsessive art addicted people are indeed looking at this great art crash of 2008 "slow down" as an opportunity to Collect Art!!

So, we were also fortunate enough to have a visionary presentation by 2 of the art world's most thoughtful consultants.. M. Franklin Boyd, and Jonathan T. D. Neil. Of BOYD LEVEL Art Consulting. You guys Rock!


One of the most interesting parts of their presentation was a list of readings, as Jonathan described:


Some Essential Histories of the Present:

       A highly selective and perhaps arbitrary list of articles, books, and collected writing that are nonetheless essential to understanding the trajectory and claims of much contemporary art.  These are by no means easy reads, but if studied, they will render a deeper understanding of contemporary art then any broad survey.


  1. Nicolas Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics (1998)

  2. Douglas Crimp, “Pictures” (1979)

  3. Robert Smithson, The Collected Writings, ed Flam (1996)

  4. David Joselit, Feedback: Television Against Democracy (2007)

  5. Donald Judd, “Specific Objects” (1965)

  6. Rosalind Krauss, A Voyage on the North Sea (1999)

  7. Miwon Kwon, One Place After Another (2004)

  8. Robert Morris, Continuous Project Altered Daily (1993)

  9. Seth Price, "Dispersion" (2002)

A Big MAO Thank You goes out to both, Franklyn and Jonathan for being so candid with their thoughts and advise to The Contemporaries group, you guys are the best!!

P.S. We all particularly liked that part about reading the MAO blog every week...but then again maybe you were just pandering a bit preaching to the choir...

October 22, 2008

An Event not to Miss.. NY Art Book Fair this Weekend

NY ART BOOK FAIR at Phillips De Pury, October 24 - 26th


Friday/Saturday, October 24 & 25, 2008, 11am - 7pm
Sunday, October 26, 2008, 11am - 5pm

Some of the best thing in Life are FREE.. Yes.. the NY Art Book Fair is Free this weekend!

(Photo by Abe Morell, Dictionary, 1994, silver print, Also...Don't miss his new show PicturesinPictures at Bonni Benrubi Gallery till Dec 6th)

Here's some of the book fair press release...


Abe_morell_dictionary Printed Matter, Inc. presents The NY Art Book Fair, New York City’s annual fair devoted to contemporary art books, art catalogues, artists' books, art periodicals, and zines. Over 140 international exhibitors, from major distributors and antiquarian dealers to independent publishers and artists, will participate in the third annual Fair, taking place this year at Phillips de Pury & Company at 450 West 15th Street at 10th Avenue.

Exhibitors and participants from New York City to Oslo to Tokyo will be attending the Fair to showcase both contemporary and classic works within the medium of artists' publications. Back by popular demand, Friendly Fire, a curated zone of artists and independent publishers, features artists and art collectives who self-publish in a free-spirited range of forms from books and zines to CDs and DVDs.
Artists present for book signings include Gary Panter, Marina Abramovic, Slava Mogutin, Jason Fox, Leigh Ledare, Terence Koh, Micah Lexier, Matt Keegan, Michel Gondry, and Carlos Motta, Duke Riley, Chris Stain and Steve Lambert who will a sign A Guide to Democracy in America. For a full signing schedule see www.nyartbookfair.com.

Artists Paul Chan, Matthew Higgs and Anne Collier, and Jonathan Monk have created new limited editions for the fair’s opening night Benefit Preview. Tickets are available at three price tiers and each level of admission is accompanied by a limited edition artwork.

There's also some cool events worth checking out...

On Saturday, October 25th..
5pm - Terence Koh signs the journal, entry 24, supplement "Moby Dick" (Booth O5)
6pm - Terence Koh signs his new book, A Beaver Tail (Art Metropole)

Sunday,October 26th
12pm - William Powhida signs his collaboration with Jeff Parker, The Back of the Line (DECODE BOOKS) 4pm - Performance by Erik den Breejen (Freight + Volume)

Look for MAO.. casue we'll be there.. trying not to spend any money, cause times are difficult on Wall Street these days!

So...Here's a little more Wall Street Humor...

Question : What is the Capital of Iceland?

Answer : About three dollars and forty eight cents!


October 17, 2008

Congrats to Collette Blanchard.. and her NEW LES Art Gallery!

Yes my little MAO-ettes.. you read that correctly! A new Gallery is OPENING!!! YEA!

Even in these difficult times.. some risk loving bright people have the cojones ability to open a new cutting edge contemporary art gallery! http://www.colletteblanchard.com/

Last night was the grand opening of a brand new gallery on the super hip and happening Lower East Side.

Collette_Blanchard_Gallery_opening Collette Blanchard was the long term hottie director of the Von Lintel gallery in Chelsea..and now has set out on her own!

Collette has put together one amazing new show featuring works by some of the most promising up and coming artists of our time. Her inaugural exhibition, Belle de Jour,  includes painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography and video; there is a diversity of mediums as well as perspectives by artists : Asgar/Gabriel, Sarah Baley, Jane Benson, Libby Black, iona rozeal brown, Zoe Charlton, E.V. Day, Langdon Graves, Julie Heffernan, Tracey Langfitt, Maria Porges, Mickalene Thomas, Cynthia Rowley, Laurie Simmons, Shinique Smith and Cindy Wright.

A big MAO congrats goes out to Collette! We totally love and admire your sheer courage, and we wish you the best of luck, cause she's going to need it we know we'll be in her gallery many times in the near future!!

The Collette Blanchard Gallery is on 26 Clinton Street. For more information or images please contact the gallery at 646.249.7720 or [email protected].

October 16, 2008

The Cold winds of Recession blow through the Frieze Art Fair....

Not a big surprise.. it sounds like the generally red hot Frieze Art Fair in London got a chilly reception.

CaterineOpie_ice_houses_1a   We're hearing that perhaps the Paris, FIAC "Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain" (contemporary art fair) held in the Louvre's courtyard which is running next week, maybe have a chance of doing a bit better..

Now the only question remains.. how bad and deep will this art recession get??

(Photo #1 by Catherine Opie, "Untitled #6 (Icehouses)," 2001, C-print, ed of 5, 2 artist proofs, 50 x 40" )

Here's the first story we found on the influential art fair...by Scott Reyburn and Katya Kazakina of Bloomberg news..


Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- International art collectors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Charles Saatchi, George Michael and Dasha Zhukova did more browsing than buying during the early hours of the Frieze Art Fair in London yesterday.

The event, which runs through Oct. 19 in Regent's Park, coincides with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

As the U.S. and European governments infused billions into their banking systems, fears of art market meltdown didn't materialize. Dealers said they were pleased to see American collectors and curators still supporting the fair, even if the economic slowdown had made them more hesitant.

``There are a lot of people who are a lot less inclined to spend money immediately,'' said Matthew Armstrong, who curates the collection of Donald Marron's Lightyear Capital LLC, a private equity investment firm in New York. ``As a result, people are looking at art a little more soberly. It's not as frantic,'' said Armstrong, who was taking his time over purchases.

VIP guests were in no hurry as they trickled in for the first view at 11 a.m. Among the American collectors was the Oscar-winning actress Paltrow, who strolled leisurely from booth to booth in black, chunky high heels.

``I come to Frieze every year,'' she said. ``It's something I really look forward to.''

Paltrow, who described herself as a collector of ``the whole gamut from Darren Almond to Jasper Johns,'' didn't make any immediate purchases.

George Michael

Singer George Michael, who last year paid 3.5 million pounds ($6 million) for Damien Hirst's ``Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain,'' joined the throng. Dealers also welcomed Saatchi -- whose new gallery opened in London on Oct. 9 -- and Zhukova, partner of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, whose Garage Center for Contemporary Culture opened in Moscow in September.

``It's a looker's mood,'' said U.K. collector Frank Cohen, who owns an art foundation, Initial Access, in the English Midlands. ``The price levels are the same as last year or a little bit more,'' said Cohen, who hadn't bought anything during the first two hours.

Gagosian Gallery was offering two Richard Prince paintings.

The red ``Heartbreak Nurse'' was available for $7 million, the gallery said. A large canvas featuring hundreds of tiny porn magazine covers had a price tag of $2.5 million. Both were unsold at 3 p.m.

Exhibitors said that, unlike last year, collectors were slow to make decisions, putting things on reserve instead of instantly purchasing them.

``Last year, by 12 o'clock galleries would say, `Sorry, It's gone,''' said Wendy Goldsmith, a London-based private dealer. ``I haven't so far encountered that this year.''

Energy Levels

Some collectors balked at prices they perceived to be out of step with the turmoil in the wider economy.

``Marked out of 10, the energy level is about four,'' said Todd Levin, a New York-based art adviser and curator of hedge- fund manager Adam Sender's collection. ``People are talking about the financial markets.''

Frieze, which is in its sixth year, specializes in new works by cutting-edge artists, with most transactions priced at less than $500,000.

At David Zwirner gallery, works by Lisa Yuskavage, Stan Douglas, Thomas Ruff and Francis Alys sold for about $100,000 each, according to owner David Zwirner.

Gober Sculpture

Among the few works to sell for more than $1 million was Robert Gober's 2007 mixed-media sculpture ``Leg with Anchor.''

The piece sold to a private U.S. collector at the booth of Matthew Marks Gallery for $1.2 million. An untitled Gober sculpture, featuring a pair of breasts protruding from a wooden chair seat, also went to an American collector for $650,000.

Despite these sales, gallery founder Matthew Marks described collectors at the fair as ``cautious.''

Collectors tended to congregate at the booths of the more- established dealers. Hauser & Wirth sold 10 works on the opening morning. Indian artists were in demand with Subodh Gupta's 12- foot-wide painting, ``Still Steal Steel #9,'' selling for 450,000 euros ($607,590). Bharti Kher's 18-foot-wide triptych, ``I'm going that way,'' made of thousands of arrow-shaped Indian bindi-beads, went for 300,000 euros.

``The numbers feel better than we feared,'' said London and Zurich gallery owner Iwan Wirth. ``We've seen plenty of Americans. The crisis didn't make them stay away.''


Here are a few more Frieze stories we found...

A Soft Landing at Frieze? http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/28992/a-soft-landing-at-frieze/

            Sales picked up as buyers relaxed.

New Sobriety at a Slowed-Down Frieze http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/28991/new-sobriety-at-a-slowed-down-frieze/

You can’t quite hear a pin drop, but thanks to colossal global gyrations in the financial markets, the 2008 Frieze Art Fair is decidedly quieter and less frenetic than previous editions, with art commerce slowed to a more old-fashioned pace.

Curator's Voice: Neville Wakefield on Frieze Projects http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/28964/curators-voice-neville-wakefield-on-frieze-projects/

At an event that’s all about making money, even Frieze’s not-for-sale section, the curated Frieze Projects, tends to engage the commercial rationale of the fair, often in provocative ways.

October 08, 2008

Phillips de Pury sells the company to the Russians!

In yesterday's news wire we heard the auction house, Phillips de Pury & Co has sold itself Majmoscow_wideweb to theRussians! The new owner will be The Mercury Group of Moscow.

Mercury is a luxury department store owner in Russia.

Here's the details of the story..from Bloomberg News.

Congrats to Phillip's Simon de Pury  for selling out at the top of the market.... !

We guess.. the Russians are not just buying our American Contemporary Art.. but now they are buying an entire art auction house!

It will be interesting to see with a new deep pocket owner, if Phillips tries to expand and take market share away from Christies, and Sothebys... Hey... Now.. maybe a good time to cut those crazy buyer premiums !!


Russia's Mercury Group Buys London Art Company Phillips de Pury

2008-10-06 15:05:45.990 GMT   By John Varoli

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Moscow-based Mercury Group has bought control of Phillips de Pury & Company, the New York and London- based auction house said today in an e-mailed statement.

Phillips's founder and chairman, Simon de Pury, retains his position and stake in the company as part of what the e-mailed news release calls ``a strategic partnership.''

``We have seen tremendous growth in the company over the last four years,'' said De Pury in the statement. ``This partnership with a major player in the luxury sector will allow us to provide a unique platform to new and fast-growing markets.

Russia has clearly emerged as an important art market.''

Phillips said in the statement that its contemporary-art sales rose 80 percent in the first half of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007. Besides auctions, Phillips conducts private sales, selling exhibitions, and helps clients build collections.

Mercury owns the TSUM department store in downtown Moscow, and the Barvikha Luxury Village in a Moscow suburb. Its shops sell brands such as Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani and Rolex. It also has showrooms for Ferrari, Maserati and Bentley cars.

In October 2007, the Luxury Village hosted the first contemporary-art exhibition in Russia by Gagosian Gallery, the art world's global leader in exhibition space.

``For us, particularly, it represents a substantially expanded capital base,'' said Ariel Childs, spokeswoman for Phillips de Pury, in a telephone interview. ``It means we can grow. It's an added level of support that we are very pleased to have. I would expect that we'll be holding sales in Moscow. We will keep our focus on contemporary art and design and the core business values will remain.''

October 01, 2008

A little Wall Street Investment Banking Humor... It's been a difficult week!


New Flag Art Foundation Show, WALL ROCKETS, opens this FRIDAY.

The FLAG Art Foundation invites you to the first public viewing of
WALL ROCKETS: Contemporary Artists and Ed Ruscha on
FRIDAY OCTOBER 3 FROM 11AM TO 3P... MAO will be there!

WALL ROCKETS, Contemporary Artist and Ed Ruscha, Curated by Lisa Dennison

Ed_Ruscha_Wall-Rockets The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to announce our third exhibition, WALL ROCKETS: Contemporary Artists and Ed Ruscha, curated by Lisa Dennison. The exhibition will include works by a large number of international artistswhose artworks, whether directly or indirectly, have been influenced or inspired by Ed Ruscha's iconic style. (Photo #1, Ed Ruscha, WALL ROCKETS, 2000, oil on canvas, 64" x 72 1/2")

Many of the MAO readers don't know the FLAG Art Foundation yet.. but let's just say... it's about time NYC had something Much BETTER than like the Miami Rubell Family Collection, or the Margulies Warehouse collection.


Amy Adler
Noriko Ambe
Kamrooz Aram
Tonico Lemos Auad
Conrad Bakker
John Baldessari
Jeremy Blake
Mark Bradford
Delia Brown
Jeff Burton
Peter Cain
Ingrid Calame
Peter Coffin
George Condo
Will Cotton
Jennifer Dalton
Thomas Demand
Amie Dicke
Iris van Dongen
Sante D'Orazio
James Esber
Dan Fischer
Tom Friedman
Barnaby Furnas
Francesca Gabbiani
 Kendell Geers
Ewan Gibbs
Joe Goode
Joseph Grigely & Amy Vogel
Nir Hod
Jim Hodges
Dennis Hopper
Roni Horn
Barbara Kruger
Cary Kwok
Inez Van Lamsweerde
Louise Lawler
Robert Lazzarini
Graham Little
Mads Lynnerup
Marco Maggi
Florian Maier-Aichen
Robert Mapplethorpe
Christian Marclay
McDermott & McGough
Jean Luc Moerman
Paul Morrison
Richard Patterson
Richard Pettibone
Richard Phillips
 Richard Prince
Alessandro Raho
Charles Ray
Ugo Rondinone
Danna Ruscha
Ed Ruscha
Eddie Ruscha
Tom Sachs
Thomas Scheibitz
Michael Scoggins
Ken Solomon
Billy Sullivan
Juergen Teller
Yuken Teruya
Robert Therrien
Fred Tomaselli
Jim Torok
Rosemarie Trockel
Keith Tyson
Aya Uekawa
Julia Venske & Gregor Spanle
Mark Wagner
Lawrence Weiner
Terry Winters

The show is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue featuring essays by Lisa Dennison and James Frey and an interview with Ed Ruscha by Bill Powers.

The FLAG Art Foundation is located in theChelsea Arts Tower at 545 West 25th Street, 9th floor.

For further information, visit their website: www.flagartfoundation.org.