May 07, 2008

Christies Impressionist Auction Total falls Below the Low end of the range

It's HAMMER Time in NYC my little MOA-ettes!

Sadly.. last night Christies first attempt didn't do so well with their big Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.

Of the significantly pair back auction of only 58 Lots.. 14 failed to find a buyer. Ouch! A 24% failure rate! Not good!

Several Picasso's, a Monet, a Matisse, and even a  Gauguin (pre-sale est $4 to $6 million) which was stated in the catalog as "The appearance of Gauguin's Le rêve, moe moea in this sale is a most fortuitous event." all went unsold.

Giacometti_femme_debout_ii One of the only successful lots of the auction was the amazing 8+ feet tall, Alberto Giacometti, Grande femme debout II sculpture.. which sold for a record $27,481,000. Nice!!

So.. maybe Impressionist art is just way out of favor with the billionaire jet set. MAO remembers the last round of super high end impressionist and modern sales last fall in London which also failed to meet expectations... but the following Contemporary Art auctions still managed to go reasonably well.

I feel a cold breeze... but we shall see next week!!

Here's some additional commentary from Lindsay Pollock and Philip Boroff at Bloomberg news..

    May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Monet and Rodin failed to prevent
Christie's International from missing its low estimate for an
evening impressionist and modern art auction for the first time
in four years.
     Last night's sale in New York totaled $277.3 million as 14
of the 58 lots failed to find buyers. The auction had been
projected to tally $287 million to $405 million. Europeans,
taking advantage of a weaker dollar, bought more than half the
lots, while U.S. buyers took 32 percent, compared with almost
half at the previous impressionist sale in November.
     The result suggests that at least $318 billion of credit
losses and writedowns at banks, a slump in the U.S. currency and
a dip in global equity markets may have slowed the international
art market.
     ``It's a rational market that is slightly more rational
than the last go-around,'' said John Good, a director of
Gagosian Gallery.
     Christie's said last night's total was still its third-
highest for the category. The top lot was a $41.5 million
cerulean blue painting by Claude Monet, showing an iron railway
bridge over the Seine, near Paris. Christie's estimated that
``Le Pont du Chemin de Fer a Argenteuil'' would fetch about $40
million. An anonymous phone bidder set a record for the artist,
outspending the previous high set last year by about $5 million.
     The seller was the Nahmad art-dealing family, which bought
the work for $12.4 million at Christie's in 1988.

                         Monet Lilies

     ``I'm very happy,'' patriarch David Nahmad said, standing
in the crowded aisle of the Rockefeller Center salesroom after
the auction. He was outbid for the evening's second-priciest
Monet, the 1908 ``Nympheas,'' which fetched $11.7 million.
     The evening's rejects included a garishly colored Venetian
vista by Monet, estimated at up to $12 million; a tepid Van Gogh
landscape, with a high estimate of $16 million; and a portrait
of a chubby nude maiden by Renoir with a $5 million to $7
million range.
     A dearth of museum-quality impressionist and modern
paintings shifted the focus to sculpture, which accounted for 3
of the top 10 lots.
     Alberto Giacometti's 1960 ``Grand Femme Debout II,'' a 9-
foot-tall bronze of a woman, fetched an artist record $27.5
million, well above the $18 million estimate. The winning bidder
was Gagosian Gallery, which declined to comment on the purchase.
The artwork was one of five abstract forms in plaster and bronze
by postwar Swiss sculptor Giacometti. Sotheby's offers another
six Giacomettis tonight.


     ``Grand Femme'' is an attenuated female figure, with a tiny
Kate Moss-like waist and stick-like arms. It was originally a
commission for Chase Manhattan Bank's Wall Street headquarters.
Giacometti didn't visit the site, or New York, and the work was
never installed there.
     French sculptor Auguste Rodin also smashed records with his
1897 bronze ``Eve,'' estimated to sell for $9 million to $12
million. It fetched $19 million.
     The anonymous seller acquired the sculpture for $4.8
million at Christie's in New York in 1999 and displayed the work
outdoors. Eve has muscular crossed arms and her graceful head is
tucked in shame.
     Sale prices include a buyer's commission of 25 percent of
the hammer price up to $20,000, 20 percent of the price from
$20,000 to $500,000 and 12 percent above $500,000. Estimates do
not include commissions.
     Christie's sold $395 million of impressionist and modern
art at its November sale in New York. The dollar is down more
than 12 percent against the euro in the past year and reached a
record low of $1.6019 per euro on April 22.

     (Lindsay Pollock and Philip Boroff write on the arts for
Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)

May 06, 2008

Natasha Kissell, Artist Interview - Part 2

Natasha Kissell, Artist interview Part 2.  For those who didn't read part can go here and check out.. Natasha Kissell Interview Part 1.

Natasha_kissell_pinkcanyons So before we continue.. here's a brief description we found about one of Natasha's recent paintings.. Pink Canyons.. (Photo #1, Natasha Kissell, Pink Canyons, 2008, 48" x 42", oil on canvas)

PINK CANYONS transports Mies Van Der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion to an Arizona canyon calling to mind Monica Ramirez-Montegut’s comments in the current Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art show 'Painting The Glass House', "Perhaps for Kissell, only nature is the true companion and owner of modern architecture".

Instead of Harrap's peopled places, the psycho-geography comes in the form of the landscapes that the buildings exist in creating a double utopia, the two in conversation with each other. The usual crowds of tourists that would swarm around Van Der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion are emptied out, in a desire to allow the building to exist in tranquility matched only by the sun gently going down in the Arizona outback. This also creates a surreal juxtaposition, two far away places united in one canvas.


MAO Q6.. So your husband Peter Harrap, is also a successful painter.. has he been a huge influence on your work? Both of your paintings are going to be in the new show together..Why?  Do you work closely together.. or far apart? Are you guys co-dependent artists? What other artists would you say have been the biggest influence on you?


NK : We work back to back. Furniture flies, we shout and out of the creative furnace, new ideas come. We challenge each other and point out weak areas. I don't think I would be able to accept this from anyone else, or rather they wouldn't accept the shouting match that would follow! We are independent artists but often arrive at ideas together so it is interesting to show together. There is also the difference in figure/non figure compositions making the works create a dialog that is interesting.


MAO Q7.. In your new work as well as your last show, there were no people. For the most part, everything in your paintings are always very neat and in an unusually orderly setting.. At most there's a bird or a wolf in your paintings.. Why? Are you making a specific political statement, or do you have a specific social message you want to express?


NK :  I do believe I’m making a kind of political statement, if not in your face. I am influenced by the Natasha_kissell_minimalistwithmarsh Siennese painters of the 14th and 15th centuries. Their idea of the Republic was tantamount dictating their perspective on the cities they depicted. Because everyone had a say in the way the city was run, there is a democracy of viewpoint, not the single view point of power, of the lord of the manor, the leader or the war lord, but the multiple perspective of the collective. This is why I combine many perspectives in one picture. The neatness comes I guess because it is more the idea of place, the concept of holding an ideal, a utopia in mind than the loved experience. I use not just one utopia but two - that of the beauty of nature, and also that of the beauty and perfection of design, hence the modernist architecture, not the modernism of 60's high rises but the modernism of exquisite design where architects compete with the natural world to create something spectacular.

(photo #2 Natasha Kissell, Minimalist with Marsh Marigold, 2008, 30" x 40", oil on canvas)


MAO Q8.. So you guys don't live in NYC (the center of the Art World Universe). Do you spend much time going to London museums, or local galleries? How do you think living in the trendy Notting Hill has influenced your painting?


NK :  If I could live in New York I would be there in a shot! I love the energy of it. London's not so bad though, also full of buzz, and allows me to remain well connected with the contemporary art world which is becoming increasingly international. You’re more likely to see an English artist exhibit in Berlin say than London, and London’s full of Romanian/Russian/etc. so you really get to key into the international perspective. Go very regularly to the museums, once a week to look and study old and new. In Notting Hill we work next door to the playwright Harold Pinter, great modernist writer and have others like the fashion design Paul Smith live a couple of doors down, a really buzzy place full of people who have done really interesting stuff with their lives. Also Lucien Freud is a neighbor, he once asked me to sit for him, but I couldn't’t do the commitment of a whole year of giving up painting to pose for him every day.


MAO Q9... Psychogeography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as the "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals."[1] A more straightforward definition is "a slightly stuffy term that's been applied to a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities.

Where did you find this word "Psychogeography"? And why did you choose this as the title for your new show?


NK :  Both Peter and I were using places as representations of an internal, emotional place. Painting is about reflecting our experience of living in the world, how we imprint our own individual identities on the places in which we find ourselves. I guess as a painter you try and stamp this individuality in an act of will, that I exist and I matter, however misguided this may be. Peter’s spaces may be more urban Natasha_kissell_inthetreetops and mine more wildernesses, but each is huge and uncontrollable in its own way. This is what leads us to try and control our little bit of world allotted to us. We’re not interested in ownership, one response to the problem of being “small” in the world, but more interested in this act of the will and how it drives us, and the expressions this takes.


(Photo #3, Natasha Kissell, In the Treetops, 2008, 48" x 42", oil on canvas)


MAO Q10.. When you're not painting.. what's your favorite thing to do? What do you do for fun?


NK :  Breathe! Fresh air is always refreshing after a day stuck in the fumes of oil paint. Love films, we’re addicts, love the stories which I guess we both try and infuse in our work. People have said my work is quite filmic. Otherwise hang out in Soho bars, haunts of the art world and overdose on cigarettes and alcohol, escape from the intensity of our thoughts. A little holiday away from our selves!


Natasha's show opens this Thursday night,

Opening: Thursday, May 8th 6:30-8:30pm at the Gallery 10G, located at 222 East 19th Street #10G between 2nd/3rd Avenues. MAO of course will be there!

FYI... We think all the paintings in Part 2 of this interview will be in the new show (and available)..

Fortunately for Natasha...sadly for us art collectors.. we've been just told that all the paintings in Part 1 of this interview have already been sold/spoken for. Like who says the art market is crashing??? NOT will someone please pass the Kool-Aid!

Congrats Natasha !

May 05, 2008

Artist interview with British Painter Natasha Kissell

Artist Interview with British Painter Natasha Kissell.

Natasha_kissell_the_vertical_hour So it's been just over a year since we first saw the work of painter Natasha Kissell at the Scope'07 NY Art Fair.

And while we have to first confess admit..  we're generally totally turned off by almost all the current figurative and photorealistic paintings..

But, there was just something about Natasha's work that caught our attention.

So, a lot has been happening for Natasha Kissell..

Including a show at the Haunch of Venison's founding director's new gallery, Eleven Gallery in London..

and her work was recently included in Painting the Glass House: Artists Revisit Modern Architecture at Connecticut's Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. The Aldrich show was co-curated by Jessica Hough, and Monica Ramirez-Montagut.

(Photo #1, Natasha Kissell, The Vertical Hour, 2008, 60 x 66, Oil on canvas)

So before her new show opens up this week at the 10G Gallery in NYC.. we thought we'd check in with Natasha, and see how things were going. Here's the first part, of a 2 part artist interview..


MAO Q1. Why did you decide to become an artist?

NK : I felt the need to express my innermost thoughts and unable to do this through other means, the Natasha_kissell_bubblerock_2006_3 thing that came most naturally to me was scribbling with felt tips, crayons whatever I could get my hands on as a child. It all took off from there.

(Photo #2, Bubble Rock, 2006, 48 x 48, Oil on canvas)

MAO Q2. Painting... ? So, with such a huge expansion of the contemporary art world into new media, why choose did you choose the "traditional" brush, oil, and canvas ?

NK : It's like a kind of alchemy, something happens when you play around with paint. You start off with your ideas, but then something completely different happens as the materials respond to your touch and you arrive at a completely different destination. This tactile quality leads to surprises which keep the whole process fresh and unlimited, taking me out of what I know and think to other thoughts and ideas. For example, I may be painting a mountain as an expression of hugeness of space, but this may be done in an ethereal wispy way or it could be concrete and heavy, both would be saying different things.

MAO Q3. Would you describe your paintings as photo-realistic or even figurative? What style would you most strongly classify your paintings? And which artists would you most like to see your art work hung next to in a museum, or along side in an art text book?

NK : Magical Realism. Don’t like photo painting as such, being limited by the photographic source Natasha_kissell_bibbidibobbidiblu_3 material and deconstructing it, about flatness and the lie that manipulates us. Realism can be more real than the world outside, more intense in feeling and alive. The magical element is my desire to transcend the physical reality of the everyday and represent the things we can't see. In this sense I love Caspar David Friedrich. His work is so understated in scale, working sometimes on quite small canvases, but always conveying a sense of something bigger and loftier, a huge expanse of Germanic mountain ranges and a single tree standing solitary like the human presence. Of contemporary painters, I love Peter Doig in his daringness of colour and painterliness, not apologetic for being a painter but boldly exploiting every trick in the book in the whole range of mark making.

(Photo #3, Bibbidi Bobbidi Blue, 2007, 42 x 48, Oil on canvas)

MAO Q4.  Ever since photography, painters had the need to react to it. The Modernist movements in 20th-century painting has frequently been thought of as a reaction to the increasing possibilities of photography. Today, many contemporary painters get their inspiration from photographs.  Where do you get your inspiration from and why do you choose to make paintings that combine Modernistic architecture with idealist landscapes?

NK : Photography has definitely been a major influence from the early 20th century onwards, but the lens as a tool in painting has I would argue always been there. Take Caravaggio’s camera lucida, Cannalletto used one as well, Velasquez, all the great artists of the past, Vermeer have had tools to help them to translate the world out there, 3D and moving onto the 2d canvas. So in a sense photography is nothing new and certainly not a threat to the validity of painting as an artistic medium today. I use many ways of looking at the world, plein air as the old masters did, most recently on a trip to the Himalayas, Switzerland, all over in rain snow and sun, but also from photographs found in magazines, newspapers, and the web. Source material from films, even books (described images can sometimes etch themselves even stronger on the brain). So this with your internal vision, your drive of what you see in your mind’s eye combines with the real world to create new morphed images, combining fantasy and reality. Something utterly new and never seen before. This is what I hope.

Modernist architecture is a device I have found useful in adding to the long tradition of English landscape painting. Turner and Constable painted their cottages, ships, horse drawn carts, and faced with depicting nature you can go two ways, accept that everything that can be done has already been done, or try something new, to update and add to the tradition, to try and add your own personal vision. This is what I am trying to achieve.

MAO Q5... Which painting (or paintings) that you've made are you most proud of? Why?

NK : I don't have any favourites as such, each is given equal attention and labour. Having said that Natasha_kissell_deepanddarkandbea_3 breakthrough paintings are always satisfying. When you take risks, and go places you haven’t been. So 'Deep and Dark and Beautiful' was an exciting venture into the gothic with the spooky car headlights which lead to a whole series of works exploring the darker side of the sublime.

(Photo #4,

Deep and Dark and Beautiful, 2006, 48" x 42", Oil on canvas)


OK... be sure to stop by tomorrow for part 2.. of the MAO - Natasha Kissell Interview.

You can also see more of Natasha's work here.

Her show along with her husband, Peter Harrap's, show.. opens up this Thursday May 8th.. at the 10G Gallery

Opening: Thursday, May 8th 6:30-8:30pm
Gallery 10G is located at 222 East 19th Street #10G bet. 2nd/3rd Avenues
Show Artists:

May 01, 2008

Art Chicago - The Private Art Collection of Richard And Ellen Sandor

Possibly the best thing about going to Art Chicago this year for MAO, was the VIP program, and getting to see the Richard and Ellen Sandor Art Collection.

Ellen_richard_sandor These events were mostly very well organized drinking events, but they also included several amazing collection visits.  By total luck.. MAO got to visit possibly the nations most impressive historic photography the Chicago gold coast home of Ellen and Richard Sandor. (Yes .. we know, it's hard to believe this collection is actually West of the Hudson River !)

Not only was the photography collection a total knock your socks off MAO WoW.. but Richard and Ellen could not have been more gracious hosts. These walls were filled to the brim with Cindy Sherman, Arbus, Curtis, Prince, Man Ray, Vik Muniz, Penn, Burke-White, Kertesz, Steichen..etc.. they have 2000+ images (and it's almost all on the how obsessive is that!).. you probably couldn't name an important photographer who wasn't well represented in the collection.

It was also amazing to see such bright, obsessive, and generous art collectors being so nice.. like how Non-New York City is that ??  Just, think.. rich, important collectors being nice to the little people... Who would have guessed it was possible? Only in Chicago! 

Ellen and Richard gave us a wonderfully coordinated tour of their impressive art collection which really brought all the obsessive details to life. Their love for collecting photography was totally infectious.

After hearing MAO's raves about our lucky collection visit.. One very resourceful member of the MAO fan club.. was nice enough to send us this PDF file of a Metropolitan Home article featuring Richard and Ellen Sander's photography Collection. But FYI..these photo's don't do the collection justice.. it's way more obsessive and impressive in person. Check it

Download MetroP_Home_SANDOR_collection.pdf

Our sincere thanks go out to Ellen and Richard Sandor.. you are a total inspiration to every crazy totally obsessive photo collector...You are now, MAO's photo collecting super heros.. and if you're ever in NYC, we would love to take you guys out to dinner to thank you.

April 23, 2008


ARTOPOLIS 2008... If they build it will anyone they come??

Chicago_mart OK.. we're headed to Chicago tomorrow morning for a few days. We think MAO may possibly be the only silly obsessed New York Art collector to be able to say..we've gone to both Art Chicago in 2007 and 2008.

Do the big European art buyers know where Chicago even is? This could be very scary.

And from looking at the current Map of Art Chicago.. it's going to be very big. Is it possible to have too many galleries... not enough collectors at an Art Fair?

Anyway..we're looking forward to a work break, seeing some new art, meeting some nice mid-west types, and seeing the NEXT art fair.

April 19, 2008

Paul Evans and George Nakashima.. now Co-Kings of Modern American Furniture Design

The collecting world wakes up to the amazing furniture of Paul Evans.

Paul_evans_bronz_sculpturedfrontcab For the last several years.. collectors not MAO have been falling all over themselves pushing up the prices of George Nakashima furniture.  Even books on Nakashima are hard to find.
And, if you've ever seen one of his natural wood tables.. you know, his furniture is amazing.

But the work of Nakashima's New Hope Pennsylvania contemporary, furniture maker Paul Evans..had never managed to get as much attention or demand the same sky high  from the design collecting elite. Well..that was until last weekend. 

This time, we saw jaws drop, tongues wagged, and auction records collectors clamored to buy the several beautiful lots of Paul Evans bronze work for sale from the Sollo Rago Auction house this past weekend.

We've blogged about Paul Evens works before, but, some of these were the most amazing pieces of modern American furniture Dr. Quiz and MAO have ever seen. The bidding wars were intense insane cause MAO got outbid on everything!

We hope, this one Paul Evans cabinet (shown here),  went to the MAO collection a major American museum, because we've never seen a finer example.

Lot 100, Paul Evans, Sculpture Front Cabinet...Pre-Sale Estimate, $80,000 - $120,000... Actual Total Sale Price : $ 228,000.

(photo : PAUL EVANS Two-door vertical Sculpture Front cabinet, vibrantly painted with edges trimmed in 23K gold-leaf, the red-washed interior with three gold-leaf drawers and numerous compartments, 1972. (From the collection of Dorsey Reading.) Signed Paul Evans '72 D. 82" x 36" x 20" )

Now if only someone would publish a book on Paul Evans work..since we don't know of any yet!!

April 17, 2008

Painter, Chris Dorland's Show opens at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago

Chris Dorland, Simulations, at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.

OK.. so apparently there is some great art happening west of the Hudson River as well!!

But you heard about this amazing painter here first...(Artist Interview Part I, and Part II)

Actually painter Chris Dorland, lives and works in Astoria.. so technically..the great art works get made in NYC..and just gets shipped west to Chicago!

Chris_dorland_untitled_cathode_1So, MAO and his art posse got a lucky chance to preview the work before it go shipped west... a

nd we can honestly's Mr. Dorland's best work to date. 

His new "Simulations" all look like photo collages that were created on photocopy and digital scanning machines.. but when you realize some of these are painstakingly hand painted canvases.. you start to understand the merits of these new works.

Here's part of the gallery press release...

Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Simulations, an exhibition of new paintings and photo collages by New York-based artist Chris Dorland. This will be his first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Dorland’s work primarily references imagery from 1960’s and 1970’s architectural history books of stadiums, pavilions and other public buildings.  These grand scale utopian architectural projects, some of which never progressed beyond their planning stages, are hulking contradictions. Once futuristic and forward thinking, they often end up dilapidated and forgotten: wreckages of late Capitalism. Neither entirely realistic nor abstract, these works depict images which oscillate between the process of becoming and dissolving.

The distinct surface of Dorland’s work is created using a varied technique that involves scraping and rolling paint. Thus, his paintings simultaneously reveal and mask his process. The paintings in Simulations in particular reference the artist’s use of photocopied source material. Dorland has also willfully restrained his palette for this exhibition. Pairing violent and aggressive reds, greens and blues alongside deep inky blacks, Dorland’s paintings and collages call to mind Andy Warhol’s early silk-screens as well as the sparse digital glow found in many of Director Michael Mann’s neo-noir films. 

We can't wait to see what the show looks like in the gallery when we're at Art Chicago 2008 next week. (Photo, Chris Dorland, Untitled (Cathode 1), 2008, oil on linen,  32 x 48 inches)

OH..and FYI : In conjunction with the exhibition, Dorland has created a limited edition of hand silk-screened Xerox books, printed at Tiny Vices Books, which are available for sale at the gallery.

Congrats Chris! The show runs from April 18th to May 22nd.

April 11, 2008

Apparently there is Life in the NYC art world above 57th street!!

There's a Harlem Art Tour this weekend!! Like, Who knew??

So, For those clueless NYC art people who need a map and a tour guide to leave Chelsea.. MAO has found a program for you!!

So from what we can gather.. wisitors will be escorted by a tour guide to each gallery where they will participate in a 30 minute visit.

The ArtCrawl culminates in a 45 minute meet and greet at Schomburg Research Center where light refreshments will be served. Participants will pay $45 which will cover the guided bus tour, a gift bag, hors d'oeuvres and music. What a deal!! Here's the formal announcement...

April 08, 2008

Phillips Cancels tonights historic Diane Arbus Auction

In a surprise move, Phillips de Pury & Co. which had a huge historically important 100% Diane Arbus sale of the Hubert Museum work, scheduled for tonight... abruptly canceled it this morning.

They have announced the entire collection will be sold privately.  Hopefully, this means, that all of these amazing historic images will all go to a Diane_arbus_hurbert_museumpublic institution..instead of being broken up and sold on the auction block....never to be seen together again. Maybe the Met.. which already owns the entire Diane Arbus Archive will buy it!

The canceled auction had consisted of 20 vintage Diane Arbus photographs, many which were thought to be totally unique. These photographs were of a Times Square private freak side show, known as the Hubert Museum.  These  photo's were a classic photographic treasure trove of unknown Arbus work.. and these were almost found accidentally.  Actually the story of this portfolio's finding is almost as interesting as the images themselves. Here's a story about this collection of images...

Sadly..they've already taken down the images and the story details from the Phillips Website..but the single catalog of just this Diane Arbus Portfolio is still available.. and a must have for any Arbus Obsessed photo collector. (Photo by Diane Arbus, Hubert Museum, auction catalog cover image)

Here's the Phillips press release..


NewYork – April 8 – A rare and important collection of early photographs by DianeArbus chronicling life at Hubert's Museum, the legendary dime museum in Times Square, New York is to be sold privately by Phillips de Pury & Company

The collection composed of over 20 vintage prints and selection of the museum's archive was scheduled to be sold at auction in an evening sale tonight at the company's Chelsea galleries. Instead, the works will be sold privately and the spring Photographs auctions will commence tomorrow morning, April 9 with the 10am sale of the Corbeau et Renard Collection,Assembled by Gerd Sander to be followed by the various owner Photographs sale at 2pm

April 07, 2008

Seminar with Ellen Harvey at the Whitney this Thursday night

Super Star of the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Painter Ellen Harvey will give a free lecture (with regular admission) at the Whitney this Thursday night.

Ellen_harvey_whitney_paintings At MAO, we've blogged several times, (here and here) about how much we love the work of Ellen Harvey.. but this time you get to hear it straight from the artist's month.  Actually Ellen is a super speaker/presenter as well as an amazing painter. So this will be one event to check out. (Photo : a part of Ellen's Museum of Failure - The Collection of Impossible Subjects & Invisible Self-Portraits, 2007, installation at the Whitney 2008 Biennial)

As a trained Painter and a Lawyer, it should be fun to hear what insights Ellen has about her Whitney Biennial performance experience. During the early weeks of the show, Ellen did a series of 15-minute portrait drawings in exchange for the subjects responses to a questionnaire criticizing her efforts. Sadly MAO didn't get to participate cause it booked up way too quickly.

Here are the event details...and we think you may have to reserve tickets in advance.

Thursday, April 10 at 7pm.

Seminars with Artists : Ellen Harvey - Thur April 10, 2008

Trained as both a painter and an attorney, Harvey balances an artist's sense of faith with a lawyer's skepticism, as she investigates art's simultaneous potential for beauty and failure. 

Seminars with Artists
Launched in the late 1960s as one of the Whitney Museum's first public programs, Seminars with Artists is an open forum for conversations with some of the most notable American artists.  This season each Seminar explores a topic or theme central to an understanding and appreciation of contemporary art.

Admission is FREE for members; $6 for senior citizens and students; $8 for general admission. Members must make reservations by contacting [email protected]. For all others, advance sales recommended. Space is limited. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum Admissions desk or online by clicking the link at left. Inquiries: [email protected] or (212) 570-7715.

April 03, 2008

Matthew Pillsbury and Ryan McGinley, 2 Photography shows not to miss...

The Matthew Pillsbury show, "Elapsed", at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, and the Ryan McGinley show,"I Know Where the Summer Goes," at Team Gallery both open tonight!

These two young hot photographic artistic talents work in so completely different ways and their images are on opposite extremes of the contemporary photographic spectrum. One using cerebral, dusty old world, black & white photos of long studied quiet settings, and the other working in blazing firecracker colors where he perfectly captures that instant of irreverent exuberance of today's butt naked youth culture.  Also, One show is in an elegant dignified uptown gallery established over 20 years ago, and the other is in a hip trendy SOHO gallery, well at least it's not on the art world's bleeding fringe, The Uber Chic, Lower East Side!  Such huge differences.. but MAO loves them both. They perfectly frame the quickly changing world of contemporary photographic art today.. and we're so excited to see these 2 shows.  Now if we could only be both up and downtown at the same time tonight!

First.. Matthew Pillsbury, Elapsed at Bonni Benrubi Gallery. As most MAO readers already know... we're totally crazy obsessed with this young up and coming photographer..

Matthew_pillsbury_arteries_2 We've written about Matthew's work before, he's won some big prizes, and we continue to be totally amazed with Matthew's thoughtful B&W time-laps images. Here is part of the galleries note about the new show..

(Photo #1,Matthew Pillsbury, Arteries, Nerves and Veins, Royal College of Surgeons, London, 2007)

This show expresses Pillsbury's continued interest in the relationship between humans and their technology. Incorporating the screens of television, cellular telephones, and computers as his primary artificial light source, Pillsbury's scenes are depleted of solid human forms and we are left with their ghosts. Using long exposures and a large camera the non-human elements of each image reveal themselves in greater detail than the people they belong too. Each player on these carefully designed stages of life evokes a sense of isolation to the viewer and we find their interconnectedness only in what they have "plugged into." Pillsbury has gone beyond the interior personal space and has taken on public spaces where we see ourselves moving anonymously through our world: blackberry's in hand, mere ghosts. It is truly time elapsed.

Also, Matthew has a website worth checking out as well. The show is up at the Bonni Benrubi Gallery on 57th street till May 31st.

The Ryan McGinley show, "I know where the Summer Goes," is at the Team Gallery in Soho.

OK, I know.. We at MAO have blogged on and on, about how much we love the work of young photographer Ryan_mcginley_questionmark Ryan McGinley.  But this artist just keeps living up to all the MAO hype potential.. and it looks like he's delivered once again!  From what we've seen so far, Ryan is showing additional growth in his artistic vision and signature style.

Here's a exert from the gallery show announcement..

Ryan McGinley’s “snapshots” have been evolving steadily since his guerilla show at 420 West Broadway in 2000. In the intervening eight years he has moved away from an artistic practice that was the soul of casual and towards an elaborated production schedule that raises the ante on “being there.” McGinley has gone from being perceived as the hottest young photographer in town to being considered a serious artist with a rare gift for creating enduring color photographs — photographs that show us the best of youth.

The title of this exhibition, taken from an early B-side by Belle & Sebastian, is more than just a piece of poetic musing. McGinley does, in fact, know where his summers go. In the summer of 2007, for example, he traversed the United States with sixteen models and three assistants, shooting 4,000 rolls of film. From the resulting 150,000 photographs, he arduously narrowed down the body of work to some fifty images, the best of which are on display here at the gallery.

The inspirational images for the project were culled from the kinds of amateur photography that appeared in nudist magazines during the 60s and early 70s. McGinley would sit with his models and look through all of the ephemera of the period that he had collected, discussing with them the mood that he was hoping to capture that day. McGinley had chosen a very specific itinerary that would bring his troop through the incredible range of landscapes that are available across the US and carefully planned a battery of activities, sometimes orchestrating the use of special effects. He has always been quite fond of fireworks and fog machines and in this new work they play a major role.

The very artificial constructedness of the project allows for situations in which the models can both perform and be caught off guard. The resultant pictures of nude young men and women playing and living in the great outdoors are innocent yet erotic, casual yet calculated.

(photo #2, Ryan McGinley, Question Mark, 2007-8, c-print, available in only one size, 30x40, edition of 3)The McGinley show is up at The Team Gallery in SOHO until May 3rd.

Don't miss these 2 Shows!

March 28, 2008

Sales at the Armory Fair look good so far..

Collectors are cautious but still buying at The Armory 2008 Art Fair.

So far we've gone to both The Armory and The Pulse fairs.. and while we at MAO have been wrongly slandered labeled as the main evil soothsayer for the coming of the Art Apocalypse, we are very happy to Paul_pfeiffer_four_horseman_of_the_ report the contemporary art market is NOT crashing yet.

We directly witnesses lots of over highly priced art works getting swooped up by well known collectors.  On Wednesday afternoon we personally know collectors who bought Kehinde Wiley, Paul P, and Chris Dorland paintings.. plus a Spencer Finch Light Sculpture and even several new photo works by Ryan McGinley were all sold to wise members of the MAO fan club.

(Photo #1, Paul Pfeiffer, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.2001, digital duralex print)

We'll post more on the NYC art we see the rest. But here's one of the first stories we've seen in the press... Story on Bloomberg by Lindsay Pollock of Bloomberg News.


Worried Dealers, Cross-Dressing Potter Open Armory Art Fair
By Lindsay Pollock
     March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Collector Donald B. Marron noticed a less-frenzied pace at New York's Armory Show art fair yesterday as he strolled the aisles during the VIP opening. "You can see people contemplating the art,'' said Marron, chairman of Lightyear Capital LLC, with his curator at his side. "It's the way you ought to look at art.''  Following a seven-year jump in prices for contemporary art and a proliferation of international art fairs, the speculative boom may be losing some steam. "I'm not sure, at the end of the day, how good business is,'' said Roland Augustine, head of the Art Dealers Association of America and co-founder of Chelsea gallery Luhring Augustine, which isn't exhibiting.  "I'm not sure if the market can absorb all this.''  The fair, a showplace for 160 international galleries selling from booths on Pier 94 on the west side of Manhattan, runs through Sunday. Last year attendance topped 52,000 and organizers reported sales of $85 million.
     Marie-Josee Kravis, chairwoman of the Museum of Modern Art's board, and real estate developer Arthur Zeckendorf were among other VIPs. Europeans, particularly French and German, attracted by the weak dollar, were out in force. Some dealers fretted over few or no sales, but business was brisk in some quarters. Chelsea gallery Friedrich Petzel sold works by Allan McCollum, Sarah Morris and a $120,000 sculpture by Cosima von Bonin, made from grungy stuffed animals dangling on clothespins.

                       Pendulous Breasts

     Greenberg Van Doren Gallery sold their priciest work, a $275,000 androgynous wooden sculpture by Katsura Funakoshi with an elongated neck and pendulous breasts.  Sales outperformed London dealer Victoria Miro's expectations.  "Everyone is quite nervous about the economy,'' she said, "but it's been quite normal.''
     Miro sold three vases by the Turner Prize-winning cross- dresser Grayson Perry, priced $30,000 to $90,000. She sold five paintings by Varda Caivano, a young artist whose subtle pastel- hued abstractions cost $12,000 to $18,000. Renee and Robert Belfer, philanthropists and collectors who have a named gallery at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, raced over to a dealer to buy two photographs. "They were already gone,'' he said.
     Die-hard collectors were oblivious to gloomy economic forecasts. Don and Mera Rubell, who own a private museum in Miami, charged around in black sneakers. They said they weren't inclined to buy less.    "After 40 years of collecting, are we pulling back? No! We are buying a ton of art,'' said the tanned, white-haired Don Rubell. "But if everyone else pulls back, we'd be delighted.''

                       Blur of Art

     With over 2,000 artists on view, the art tended to blur, but one-person booths stood out. A one-woman show of Jenny Holzer paintings, marble footstools and LED installations based on declassified U.S. documents at Cheim & Read gallery seemed more museum-like than most.   Annette Lemieux's installation at Paul Kasmin Gallery, based on a country fair, featured gingham paintings, old barn wood, and free apple pie served with whole milk from the jar. A bumper sticker proclaiming  "No Bull'' cost $1.

     Most of the art wasn't rebellious, but Joe Bradley's bland beige painting at the Lower East Side's Canada gallery poked fun at "art as luxury goods,'' said Wallace Whitney, a dealer at the gallery. "This is a tough piece.''     The "Bread'' painting -- Whitney said the color reminded the artist of Wonder bread's crust -- was priced at $30,000.

There were no takers.

--Editors: Mary Romano, Yvette Ferreol.

March 25, 2008

Jeremy Kost's Art Installation at the Tribeca Grand

Jeremy Kost art installation and party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel this Sunday.

Well.. my little MAO-ettes.. We know everyone will be oh so super busy doing Armory Show events this weekend.. but there's one hot event you might want to put on the calendar for Sunday night.

Jeremy Kost, up and coming artist and Friend Of MAO (to be known as FOMAOs) will be holding court a party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel.

The reception will be hosted by 2008 Whitney Biennial Curator, Shamim M. Momin and artist Terence you know it has to be a totally chic event! Jeremy Kost is represented by Conner Contemporary Art in DC so you may already know his Polaroid centric work.

The work Jeremy will be showing is called "Not Yet Titled (Making Faces)", 2008 and it's been inspired by Bruce Nauman's "Studies for a Hologram".  Its a new fresh, provocative, sexy take on an incredible work. Here's an interview Jeremy did with Renee Lucas of City Magazine about the new project at Tribeca Grand.

Jeremy_kost_making_faces_working The video work will be installed in the lobby of the hotel, showing in the evenings of March 28, 29, and 30th.

The Party... 
Sunday March 30th, 2008 
7pm to 11pm
2 Avenue of the Americas
(at Church Street).
Oh.. and Be sure to
caue it's going to be quite a crazy art hot hot hot happening scene!!
MAO and the Dr. Quiz will be there!

March 24, 2008

Christies Photography Book Auction.. Thursday April 10th.. With prices not to be believed!

Christies Important Photography Book Auction.. April 10th.

One of MAO's many obsessions.. is collecting first edition signed photography monographs. And while there are tons of Contemporary Art and Photography auctions coming soon to be very worried blog about, it's important to see a major auction house conducting one of their first significant Photographic Art Book Auctions. We at MAO think photo monographs are one of the only few undervalued art collectibles out there.. and this Christies auction will mark a milestone for the art world.

Just a few reasons to pay-attention to collecting Photo books...

  1. Early want-to-be art collector, since the can't afford the actual photographic art works.. an easy and interesting compromise is to collect the photo books. They are cheap (most are only $25 to $50), and if you go to a book signing.. you can get them signed for free!! YEA!!
  2. Over the last few years, as art book publishing has become a totally money loosing business.. Many publishers are gone, and collectors have realized.. these photo books are hard to get, and undervalued.
  3. The world is going totally digital, and electronic/on-line books are going to become the norm.
  4. Artists first books are frequently small editions, represent the artists most important work. Many of these monographs have gotten destroyed as general circulation copies at public libraries, and coffee table books. Hence artist signed first edition books in good condition have become very rare.
  5. The artist monograph is an important part of art history, it allows you to see the artists full vision, and comprehend a total artistic project.
  6. Photo books frequently force artists to edit their photographic material to their strongest images.
  7. Most used book stores are long gone.. So there are actually only a few places to even buy these old monographs. Hence Christies has begun to enter the photography book auction business.

It looks like some huge records are about to be set.. it's a very high quality Photo book auction coming up at Christies on April 10th. Some of the MAO highlights are :

Cartier_bresson_decisive_moment So, it will be interesting to see if any of these lots go for such sky high prices.. many of these book could have been purchases as recent as 2 years ago.. for almost nothing..

But the catalog essay by Andrew Roth, astutely points out..

"... this is the first major collection offered at public auction, and at present there isn't a significant public holding of inscribed or association copies of rare photobooks in the US."

(photo of CARTIER-BRESSON, Henri. The Decisive Moment. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952. Folio (14.25 x 10.5 inches), original boards, original dust jacket)

So what do you think... Time to buy?

March 20, 2008

Josh Azzarella, Artist Interview Part 2

Josh Azzarella interview Part II.. For all those who missed part must read here first.

Before we continue with the MAO/Josh Q & A. We just want to mention.. Josh's new show opens up tonight and runs through May 17th at DCKT's new posh  gallery space on the Lower East Side (at Bowery and Spring Street), just a block and a half down from The New Museum.

FYI..on Thursday and Friday nights the New Museum is open till 10pm.. And it's totally FREE admission on Thursday nights!!

Josh_azzarella_untitled_ssg_fredric Also for all those poor young collectors.. While there's no better bargin art program than Jen Bekman's 20x200 print program.. Josh also has this bargain much less costly edition print available from DCKT Contemporary.

(Photo #1, Josh Azzarella, Untitled (SSG Fredrick), 2008, archival digital c-print, edition of 50, 8 1/8 x 12 ¼” image, 11 x 14” paper..Abu Ghraib original source material here )

So if you like the work.. Act fast cause we think it will sell out fast. Oh.. and be sure to tell those DCKT people.. MAO sent you.. and they'll give you the special MAO discount  a free set of steak knifes from the Restaurant Supply store next door.  We now return to part 2 of the Josh Azzarella interview...


MAO : What's your starting point for the art work? And how do you choose your source material? How difficult was it for you to get a good quality starting image or video from?

JA : I don't know that there is an identifiable starting point for any of the work. When I look at the Josh_azzarella_u39_kent_state lineage of the work I find that it's reminiscent of footnotes. I'll begin researching one event that I consider recognizable and it will lead to another event and so on. Somewhere in there I find an image, or perhaps another event, and consider making a piece. As the body of work has progressed it's slowly moved further away from the iconic image. I've become increasingly interested in the context of the images: where they come from, what is being shown, what is being conveniently left out and why we as a society choose one image over another to label as the identifying image of an event.

(Photo #2, Untitled #39 (265) 2007, archival digital c-print, 20 x 30", Note.. this image takes its source from John Filo’s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of the 1970 Kent State shootings)

As for source material, everything I use is about the worst possible copy I can get. In the beginning, I set in place a rule for myself that the only images, video, etc., I could use had to originate from the internet because this is where everyone else has access to them. This means that for most of the video work the beginning resolution is, at best, half that of a DVD. The still works usually begin as an image that is 2" x 3" at 72 pixels per inch. Because of this rule, I've spent a considerable amount of time developing a method to enlarge images while maintaining maximum quality.

MAO : Some of your images (4) have been modified twice. Can you explain why you did this? What was different about these works?

JA : The pieces you are referring to - Untitled #14 & 22 and Untitled #17 & 18 - are pretty early in the Josh_azzarella_untitled_18_tania body of work (even if their numbering doesn't indicate that). When I made them I was learning and problem-solving and interested in how these images retained cathectic energy with and without the figure.  For a while I would use the images in the pair interchangeably under one title and which one showed up would depend on the works surrounding it. But it became frustrating for me and for others so I officially added them as individual pieces to the body of work.

Josh_azzarella_untitled_17_hibernia (Photo #3 & #4,  Untitled #18 (Tania) & Untitled #17 (Hibernia) both archival digital c-print, 20 x 30", Note.. this image takes its source from this security cam photo

I think this practice of removing the figures entirely from one piece and altering their actions in its companion could be successfully applied to almost all the works. However, I don't know that I would gain any additional knowledge by doing so.   

MAO : Many of your images involve different US crisis... such as war, assassination, social unrest, murder, crime, and even catastrophic scientific failure.. Nothing too happy.. why ? Do you have some specific fascination, or is there a social/political statement you want to make about the media coverage of these events? 

JA: One aspect that draws me to this type of image is that they are records of specific events that have shaped or helped to shape everything we know and how we live, whether or not we were alive at the time or involved in the event. And what happens if, by slowing down and obfuscating or altering the image to create a new outcome, I affect our memory of the event? Can I affect a viewer's memories by offering a new possibility, confusing their previous memory or perhaps creating a memory of an event where one didn't previously exist?

The doctoring of images is nothing new. Altering, inventing or manipulating still photographic and moving images is a phenomenon that has accompanied photography since arranged or manipulated photographs of the Civil War affected the perception and consumption of the war. In recent history, these falsified images are proliferated by some of the most trusted sources; The LA Times, Washington Post, etc.

MAO : So Josh… You have a kick ass blog.. why did you create a blog? Has it been a help to you as an artist and professor?

JA : Let's be honest, it's less than stellar right now and has been for about the past 9 months. I started it for two primary reasons:  as a depository for some of the things I found while spending time on the internet and I wanted to learn more about content management systems, php, mysql, and all the nerdy things that come with it. Much to my surprise I found that it has been helpful when planning shows, mostly because I use it as a reminder of technical things I've tried, haven't tried or tried and failed at. However, after The Aldrich show, I found that it was more a source of anxiety than a problem-solving device. Then I began teaching 5+ classes a semester and simply haven't had time for it. In terms of helping me in the classroom, it plays no role. On occasion, a student will mention that they found it online and I either ignore them or respond that it came free with a “value meal” at some fast food chain (which really confuses them).

March 19, 2008

Artist Interview - Josh Azzarella - Part 1

So, you may not know the work of Video/Photographer/New Media Artist Josh Azzarella yet.. but you will!! Trust MAO! You will be hearing a lot more about this young artist..
First off..  Josh has the honor of being the first big solo show for the grand re-opening of the latest established Chelsea gallery high rent-refugee to move to the more hip and happening Lower East Side. See DCKT moves to LES.. Show opens March 20th.

Secondly.. We at MAO have been a fan from the first day we saw Josh's work. We find it bold and innovative. Josh has integrated new technology (digital video and photography) with our image obsessed culture to ask historically thought provoking questions. He's created new video and stills from well known subject matter, hence the new images are all somewhat familiar.. but they leave the viewer asking the question.. What if ??

(photo #1,     Untitled #15 (Tank Man) 2006, archival digital c-print, 20 x 30", note.. here's the Pre-Josh original Column of Tanks vs. Man at Tiananmen Square press image, more details here)

Thirdly.. Josh is a blogger. and all new young smart ambitious enterprising artists have blogs..

Josh_azzarela_untitled_28_ce_133_bFourthly.. Josh won the 2006 Emerging Artist Award from the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and most NYC collectors still have yet to discover his work and his prices are still very affordable!

(Photo #2, Untitled #28 (CE 133-B), 2006, archival digital c-print, 30 x 20"..
Note.. here's the pre-Josh Lee Harvey Oswald photo)

so now that MAO's got your attention.. here's the first half of a Q&A with artist Josh Azzarella...

MAO : Hey Josh, So, why did you become an Artist?

JA :    I don't feel as if I consciously chose to do this. For various reasons, other career paths didn't work out, and one day I picked up a camera and started making photographs around town.    Next thing I knew, I had completed an undergrad art program and was on my way to grad school.

MAO : So, many of your works involve altering (or re-writing) recent American history.

Why did you make these works, and not something else?

JA : In early 2000, I began looking at the breakdown of technology and communication. I was watching videos online (several years before YouTube) and they would stutter, stammer and, more frequently Josh_azzarella_untitled_33_balconythan not, simply quit playing. Sometimes, during or after the initial failure, I would think I saw movement in the image but wasn't sure and worked to try and detect any change in frames. This led me to question how slowly a moving image could move before it's no longer a moving image.

(Photo #3, Untitled #33 (Balcony), 2007, archival digital c-print, 20 x 30"..
Note.. here's the original pre-Josh image from the 1972 Munich Olympics Terror Massacre)   

But simply slowing down a piece of footage via software or hardware isn't the solution, as it makes the movement very obvious – when the frames do progress, they jerk from one to the next. This led me to develop a system of manipulation that involves layering, varying opacity, offsetting and recursive frames. This system yields a slow moving, undulating piece of footage. Initially, I made several small tests, and within 6 months had created the first piece, Untitled #3 (B.B.).

Concurrently, I was interested in personal memory, collective memory and cachectic energy, mostly due to the constant replaying of 9/11 images and the removal of the World Trade Center from contexts such as movies, etc. Add these interests up and the results are Untitled #3, 4, 34, 36 and 45 - works in which a recognizable piece of footage is rendered unrecognizable and new as a result of the obfuscation process. As I was completing the second obfuscated piece I realized what was happening and wanted to make work that didn't obscure the source imagery but altered it, which leads to #6 and the rest of the work. . 

MAO : You've been working with still photography, Video, and the creative use of new age computer technology... If you had to, how would you currently classify yourself as an artist..? Video, Photographer, digital, or something else? Do you see staying with this media for the rest of your career?

JA : Classification is a daunting task. It's a task I've never set out to accomplish. So to that end, when Josh_azzarella_untitled_13_ahsf_2asked this question, I point to a passage written about the work when it was at Lawrimore Project in  Seattle. The passage is contained within an article where Elizabeth Bryant uses the term "post-medium" to describe both the work and my practice. I feel this term gets pretty close to how I feel about the medium as a tool and not the focus of the work itself.

(Photo #4, Untitled #13 (AHSF), 2006, archival digital c-print, edition of 7 + 3 AP, 20 x 30".. Note, here's the initial press photo the image is based on from Abu Ghraib - Iraq US POWs torture)

As for the future, I don't foresee any change in media primarily because I have the next group of works tentatively plotted out and they take me through 2010-2012. However, if the work necessitates a change then yes, of course, but there aren't many things I'm interested in making that I can't in some way generate from in front of my laptop.

MAO : So far, which artists has been the biggest influence on you and your art work?

JA : I can’t really identify one person, however I find myself looking time and time again at the work of Gerhard Richter, Robert Frank, Sherrie Levine, Walker Evans, Michal Rovner, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Eugene Atget, Sharon Lockhart, John Gerrard, Susan Sontag, Rineke Dijkstra, John F. Simon Jr. and Shirin Neshat.

OK.. Stay Tuned my little MAO-ettes.. Part II of the Josh Azzarella interview will be posted tomorrow..

March 15, 2008

In loving Memory.. Adele M. Hoeh, 65

In loving memory of Adele M. Hoeh, Sept 22, 1942 -  March 15, 2008.

Adele_hoeh_with_nan_goldin_inmao__2 Adele lost her 23 year long battle with cancer the morning of March 15, 2008.

She is survived by her loving devoted husband of 45 years, Henry, her 2 sons, Mike and Henry Jr. (Maureen Nolan) and her feisty Britney Spaniel Dottie.

Adele lived life to the fullest, all the time enjoying family, gourmet cooking, wine, food, travel, art and musical theater.

(photo by MAO, Mrs. Adele Hoeh with Nan Goldin in Blue Bathroom, & Chris Jordon's Cell Phones, NYC, Dec 2007)

She was sincerely loved, and will be greatly missed by many friends and family.

Rest in peace.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, March 19th at Saint. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on Long Island, New York.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Cancer Center at Memorial Sloan - Kettering in NYC.

Continue reading "In loving Memory.. Adele M. Hoeh, 65" »

March 13, 2008

New Young Artist to Watch.. Yoon Lee - Opening at Pierogi

Painter Yoon Lee.. solo show opening at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg..

Leeyoon_jfk_2 We first saw Yoon Lee's amazing high energy paintings at Pulse Miami 2006 at the DCKT Contemporary booth.

(photo, Yoon Lee,  JFK, 2007-08, Acrylic on Sintra (PVC),84 x 240 inches )

Our first impression, was Yoon Lee's paintings were a more interesting fresh new exciting expansion of the work by Julie Mehretu. What do you think?

Her first NYC show is opening up tomorrow night at Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and will be up untill April 14th.

If you had any question of how impressed we've been with Yoon Lee's paintings.. Believe it or not.. MAO was actually thinking of crossing a river for an Art opening tomorrow night.. !!!

March 11, 2008

Strong Sales Reported at Tefaf, the world's largest Art and Antiques fair

Strong Sales Reported at Tefaf, the world's largest Art and Antiques fair.

Brian_finke_cheerleader015 So we at MAO have been wrongly accused of being a total Debbie Downer, too negative, and most shockingly, the team captain of the "Art Market Death Watch Cheerleaders" (AMDWC).  Et tu, DinkyWinky?

So just to prove we at MAO can be just like Fox News "Fare and Balanced," today we bring to everyone's attention.. The strong sales reported in the European art market.  So, despite the total world wide financial system meltdown, those lucky collectors phat flush with Euros and British Sterling are ready to buy art with both hands.  Even, an $8 million Jackson Pollock painting "The Magic Flame" was sold yesterday by Zurich based, Hauser & Wirth. (Photo by artist, Brian Finke, Cheerleader #15, 2001.. see his new show at ClampArt until March 22nd)

Here's a report by Scott Reyburn posted this morning with Bloomberg news.

Pollock's $8 Million `Flame' Tops Sales in Maastricht  2008-03-11 03:47 (New York)

By Scott Reyburn

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- A Jackson Pollock painting priced at around $8 million became the most expensive work sold so far at Tefaf, the world's largest art and antiques fair, in the Dutch city of Maastricht, which opened on March 7.

Pollock's ``The Magic Flame,'' from about 1946, was bought by a European collector from Hauser & Wirth, based in Zurich and London, said Florian Berktold, one of the gallery's directors, in a telephone interview yesterday.

``The European art market is very strong at the moment,'' said Berktold. ``We saw this at the auctions in February too.'' The organizers of Tefaf said 25,000 people had visited the event in the first three days, an increase of around 7 percent over the same period last year, even as gloom gripped financial markets.

``A number of exhibitors, particularly in the antiquities and modern-art section, reported their busiest-ever opening to the fair,'' said Tefaf in an e-mailed news release.

``I've seen fewer Americans than before,'' said Raimund Thomas, of Munich-based modern-art specialists, Galerie Thomas. ``But there are plenty of clients from Europe, Russia and Asia.

One is jumping into the gap of the other.'' Thomas said he had sold four works, including a double-sided canvas by the German Expressionist artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to a European collector for around 3 million euros ($4.6 million).

Oriental art specialist Floris Vanderven of Dutch-based Vanderven & Vanderven said yesterday he had sold more than 80 pieces.

No Complaints

``Last year I sold 75 pieces during the entire fair,'' said Vanderven. ``Nobody has complained about the stock exchanges or the low dollar.'' Vanderven said U.S. clients had accounted for 20 percent of his sales, which were led by the 400,000 euros paid by a European collector for a Tang dynasty terra cotta of a dignitary.

The London-based Oriental specialist Ben Janssens has so far sold more than 50 pieces. These included a 19th-century Japanese lacquered wood karabitsu box to a New York-based Russian collector at 50,000 euros and two 18th-century Indian marble water slides to European collectors at 30,000 euros each.``We could have sold those water slides 40 times over,'' said Ben Janssens's Hidde van Seggelen, a contemporary-art specialist.

Charles Ede, an antiquities dealer based in London, said he had sold 27 pieces so far, including a 2200 B.C. Cycladic marble sculpture for 220,000 euros to another European collector.

Demand `Surprise'

``I've been surprised how well the fair has gone,'' said Ede.``Art collectors seem to be less affected by recession than others.''

Ede said he and other antiquities dealers had benefited from being placed near modern-art galleries at the fair: ``There's been some wonderful cross-pollination.'' Ede said 20 percent of his sales had been to contemporary-art buyers.

Tefaf said that the Vincent Van Gogh portrait of a young girl offered by the London dealers Dickinson at $30 million remains unsold.

Among the most significant early sales confirmed by Old Master dealers was a Hendrick Avercamp ``Winter Landscape'' bought by a U.S. collector from Zurich's Koetser Gallery for 1.6 million euros, said Tefaf.

The fair continues though March 16. (Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are his own.)

March 07, 2008

Ellen Harvey At the 2008 Whitney Biennial

Ellen Harvey at the 2008 Whitney Biennial...Don't miss it! 

Due to terrible work problems, and a major family illness.. MAO has not yet made it over to the 2008 Ellen_harvey_museum_of_failure_whit Whitney Biennial.. We just hate it when life gets in the way of Art!

And while it's general NYC Art Critic Sport to bash the Biennial.. So far everything we've heard is pretty good, and certainly much better than the 2006 Whitney Biennial.

(Photo, Ellen Harvey's The Museum Of Failure, illuminated plexi-glass mirrors in aluminum frame hand-engraved with a salon-style hanging of empty ornate frames, 8 ft (2.44 m) x 12 ft (3.66m), 2007)

We just wanted to point out that one of MAO's favorite artists, Ellen Harvey, is featured in BOTH locations of the 2008 Biennial..!! Sweet ! So Ellen's amazing work can be seen at the main museum.. and at the Armory location. Congrats to Ellen!

The ever insightful, Robert Ayres.. just wrote a positive article, giving the major high points not to miss on your visit to the Whitney 2008 Biennial... Of course Ellen Harvey was his first pick!

March 06, 2008

Art Report Says 60% of February Sale Lots Missed Estimate

Well... there's been some record art sales going on in London the last few days... and while to the total Jill_greenberg_deniability sales dollars might be bigger then ever.. prices are really starting to show some real scary weakness. Could this huge art party really be over??

Here's a story today by Scott Reyburn from bloomberg news... (photo added by MAO.. photo created by Jill Greenberg, "Deniability, 2005" )

U.K Art Report Says 60% of February Sale Lots Missed Estimate

2008-03-06 01:05 (New York) By Scott Reyburn

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- About 60 percent of lots in a record series of contemporary-art auctions in London failed to achieve expected prices, according to research company ArtTactic.

The evening sales at Christie's International, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury & Co. raised 189.8 million pounds ($378.4

million) in February, the most for a series of contemporary sales in the British capital.

According to London-based ArtTactic's March ``Rawfacts''

bulletin, published today, most items sold for bids (or were left

unsold) below or at the lower end of their catalog estimates, indicating that sellers and auction houses' expectations were not being met. These bid prices did not include auction-house fees, ArtTactic said.

ArtTactic's Managing Director Anders Petterson said that 73 percent of works at Christie's Feb. 6 evening auction failed to achieve mid-estimate prices. The equivalent contemporary-art sales at Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 saw 61 percent and 53 percent of lots, respectively, unable to attract mid-estimate bidding.

``The auction houses are continually raising the stakes at the top end of the market,'' said Petterson. ``But this masks how demand is slowing in the middle. Auction valuations of contemporary art are now out of synch with demand.''

Petterson, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. bond trader who founded ArtTactic in 2001, said a majority of the lots at Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips de Pury's evening auctions of contemporary art in London and New York has been failing to achieve mid-estimate prices since October 2007.

Bacon Sales

ArtTactic said 10 lots accounted for 70 percent of the total of sales at both Christie's and Sotheby's, where Francis Bacon paintings sold for 26.3 million pounds and 20 million pounds, respectively.

Sotheby's total of 95 million pounds with fees was a record for any contemporary-art sale held in Europe, the auction house said.

In total, including the 4.4 million pounds with fees achieved at Phillips's Feb. 29 day sale, Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips de Pury took 250.1 million pounds with fees for their February auctions of contemporary art. This was a record for a London series of sales, representing a 59 percent increase on February 2007.

``There's a huge difference in price between the best and the very good,'' said Cheyenne Westphal, chairman of contemporary art, in an interview after Sotheby's sale.

Westphal said there are 26 other versions of the 1983 Gerhard Richter ``Kerze (Candle)'' painting that sold for a quadruple-estimate 8 million pounds, setting a record for the artist, according to the auction result tracker, Artnet.

``The problem for the auction houses is that they have to find these masterpieces for every sale,'' said Petterson. ``From what we're hearing from dealers, things are slower. From now on, every auction is going to be a test of the market.''

(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are his own.)

March 04, 2008

Tim Noble & Sue Webster's Electric Fountain at Rock Center..Pretty!


Art Production Fund Presents Tim Noble and Sue Webster.. Electric Fountain. Now blinking in Bright Blue at Rockefeller Center now till April 5th 2008.

OK... So.. we took some photos on our walk home the other night.

We just thought everyone would like the pretty 35 foot high fountain in 3-D neon blue on the plaza at Rock Center.

We at MAO don't really think this is too thought provoking great art..  but.. It's BIG!! AND AS THEY SAY.. IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT GOOD.. MAKE IT BIG!! So.. It's 3,390 LED bulbs and 527 meters of neon tubing...and blinking.

But it brought a moment of happiness to what had been a terrible few weeks for MAO.  For those looking for more mental stimulation about public Art.. why in the world are you reading this blog?? please go here and read Ed's Blog..

God.. how much worse is it going to get on Wall Street!!  So much Gloom, Doom, and Losses everywhere.

So enjoy the Fountain! It's Pretty!



February 29, 2008

Congrats to Jen Bekman...

Well... we at MAO thought Jen Bekman was a secret find of ours.. NOT!! We totally love her blog personism.. Jen_bekman_with_dog and we always go shopping every week at her amazing 20x200 art project, like here and here...which is bringing cool art to the masses.

Oh.. and of course we can't forget Jen's uber cool LES gallery, and her Hey Hot Shot! young emerging photographer project.

(photo by Gabriele Stabile, of Jen with her dog Ollie)

But.. it now looks like Jen has arrived, to the Big time..via the New York Times (Why it's in the Home and Garden section we have no what's up with that?).

Congrats to Jen Bekman..  clearly you're a new force to be reckoned with on the Lower East Side gallery world! XXOOXX MAO

Here's the New York Times Story by Julie Scelfo, Easing the Pain of Collecting.

There is even a Multimedia link on-line for the MP3 And if that wasn't enough good news for Jen...

Clearly all her hard work is paying off.. Hence.. It's no surprise Jen has joined an elite photography group, by winning this years Griffen Museum Rising Star Photography award.


Hmm.. MAO, being a total numbers geek, we were wondering.. Just how financially amazing is Jen's 20x200 project...not that anyone but MAO is counting. So.... with..

200 prints at $20 = $4,000  +  20 prints at $200 = $4,000 +  2 prints at $2,000 = $4,000

For a grand total of $12,000.. very nice..

And if they do 2 prints per week for 52 weeks per year... that's $1,248,000 per year. Now that's SWEET! Way to go Jen!

If Jen split's that with her artists...thats.. a nice tidy some of doe-rae-mee to help out some new young artists, make some young collectors happy.. and feed her cute pup Ollie too!!

February 25, 2008

New Online Art Auction Tools..Artnet and AuctionBlip

In a world where the big art auction houses are jacking up to 25% their auction buyers premiums... Gavel_fight There's now a new on-line art auction competitor to the big guys..YEA!  The internet art powerhouse, has launched a new web based auction service... and bidding starts today! It will be interesting to see if a pure web-based high end art auction site can succeed and take market share when Sotheby' couldn't make a go of it.. and shut their web-auctions all down with big losses a few years ago.

Check it out <click here..> They have 24 works up for auction by  artists, including Todd's favorite artist Gregory Crewdson, plus top priced works by.. Massimo Vitali, Louis Nevelson, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Calder.  Some other the interesting benefits from are..

  • No buyer's premium
  • Each seller is authorized and registered (which sounds like these are mostly art dealers dumping moving's not clear if private individuals can list items for sale as well)
  • There are listing fees ($25 per item) and the sellers pay only a 10% commission
  • has linked in tons of sales history, performance charts, and other ArtNet inventory prices relating to the work...very cool!
  • Credit Card payments are allowed (with a 3% fee)
  • If you buy an item that is not delivered as indicated in the description, the sale can be rescinded and your purchase price refunded

There's also a new on-line Auction service we found a few weeks ago...

This is a very cool website, which gives the user advance notice of auctions around the world.

The user just provides a list of "Key Words" that interests you, and you get daily listings (with links) of any items coming up for auction that fit your list. They search over 50 different auction companies.

For example.. a recent search for artist Andy Warhol.. found well over 10 auction listings... and that didn't include Sotheby's or Christies.

Oh.. and one last thing.. Don't forget about good old they have a new photography auction coming up.. another place to get a great auction deal!!

February 22, 2008

MAO - Viewer Mail - Email From an Artist

Happy TGIF!!

Chick_or_egg One of the main motivations for starting the MAO blog was to get attention be in better contact with Galleries and Artists...of course a little bitchiness and humor along the way always helps too.

Granted on this site we've frequently overly obsessed talked about the investment aspects of art, but as a contemporary collector, one of the great joys has been getting to know, help out and support artists and galleries. We've learned nothing so much, and the people we've met, and the art we've collected has enriched our life.  A few unexpected things we're learned along the way..

  1. Just because you like the artist's work.. it doesn't mean you'll like the artist
  2. Most galleries are very small businesses that need to pay the bills, so despite their "enthusiasm", they don't always believe strongly in all of their artists
  3. Artists who produce super hip chic hot work, can be total geeks, nerds and totally down to earth

So we've always enjoyed getting tons of email from both artists and galleries, particularly if it's genuine interest in MAO art discussions, and not just looking to sell sometime or to get a write up on their latest show.

But last week, we got this email.... questioning if the art world revolves around the artist or the gallery??  So we were wondering what the many MAO readers thought.. all comments are welcome.


          My name is Mr. Emale Artists and I read your blog about the art world and I couldn't agree more!!  But I have another side to offer - as an artist, I can say that not only does the art world appear to be 'above itself' but it is also the realm where galleries, many set out, only to exploit the artist.  They 'trick' artists to exhibit in their space, pay exorbitant fees to do so, and then do nothing - when I say nothing, I mean that they don't bring anyone to view the works, instead they leave it to who ever is out strolling on Thursday nights.  In my opinion - the art world revolves around the gallery and not art, as it were.
Of course, not all galleries are like this - but it has become so hard to see the good from the bad!
Anyway, I really just wanted to thank you for what you wrote, and add my two cents.
Mr. Emale Artist

February 21, 2008

The Art Show, the 2008 ADAA Fair.... All Hat and No Cattle..?

Last night was the VIP preview for The Art Show (ADAA Fair) at the uptown Armory.

Newyorkparkavenuearmory What a difference a year makes! It was soooo different than last years 2007 ADAA Fair preview... It was very calm and almost tranquil.. not even close to the typical cattle call... can anyone say recession?

Here's just a few MAO observations...

  • - It wasn't anywhere near as crowded as 2007, we didn't see much sold either
  • - Single artist gallery booths REALLY standout (Tina Barney @ Janet Borden, Jennifer Bartlett at Grey, Amy Sillman @ Sikkema, Richard Prince photos @ Skarstedt, Avedon @ Fraenkel)
  • There was much less Warhol than last year
  • The art frenzy energy of 2006 and 2007 was totally missing.. but the night felt very civilized
  • There's a lot of very busy bad rich plastic surgeons on the UES
  • Even L&M Arts with all their Goldman Sacks money can stage a totally dull and boring booth
  • VIP visitors were spending more time at the bar than the gallery booths
  • Dan Tanzilli has a very nice beard
  • Compared to 2007, there were very few super expensive high end art works presented here.. we saw almost no multi-million dollar Pollocks, Warhols, Johns, or Hirsts for sale
  • Fur Coats are still tacky back in style on the UES
  • There was much more contemporary photography than last year...sweet!
  • They really need to make those pulled pork sandwich hors d'oeuvres much bigger!
  • We did see a very over priced Vik Muniz (chocolate series), and a Diane Arbus photo sell in the first few minutes of the fair open... so clearly quality is still in hot demand!
  • Art Dealers should never wear purple LAVENDER corduroy suits to art fairs, it's not chic, and can make them look fat cheezey
  • The MAO Best Booth award goes to the D'Amelio Terras gallery for their all "Suspended Art" theme..totally wonderful !

February 14, 2008

Boom or Bust... Let's Take our First MAO Poll... ABMB 2008 ??

artDC Announces Show Cancellation...

Coalmine_canary_coal_cartoon_drawin Can you say.. Canary in a coal mine?

The first of many to come?

Should we take a MAO poll.. ??

14 Fairs in 2006, 24 Fairs in 2007...  How many art fairs will be left in Miami during ABMB in 2008 ?

Go here to cast your vote.



artDC Announces Show Cancellation for 2008

DC’s Premier Modern and Contemporary Art Fair Postponed

WASHINGTON, DC (February 13, 2008) – artDC organizers regretfully announced today their difficult decision to cancel the 2008 show due to the recessionary nature of the present economy.

artDC was set to return to the Washington Convention Center May 16 to 18 following last year’s inaugural success, but uncertain economic conditions were the deciding factor in canceling this year’s show.

The world of art fairs has expanded globally while galleries and dealers are narrowing their field of participation to the proven markets, such as New York and Miami.

“We were excited to be bringing this modern and contemporary art show back to our nation’s capital, but current indicators show that the return on investment is not there for our exhibitors in this economic climate,” said Eric Smith, Vice President of Summit Business Media, which runs artDC.

However show organizers plan to continue other events in more established markets, including New York and Miami, and have not ruled out bringing artDC back in the future.



Michelle Hillman and Simone Cumming   

Corbin & Associates, Ltd. (212) 246-6515

[email protected], [email protected]

February 13, 2008

Will 2008 mark the End of the Polaroid Picture.... ??

So did everyone see this story..???

Polaroid shutting 2 Mass. facilities, laying off 150

As company exits film business, plants will close in Norwood, Waltham

Email|Print| Text size + By Hiawatha Bray
Globe Staff / February 8, 2008

Polaroid Corp., the Massachusetts company that gave the world instant film photography, is shutting down its film manufacturing lines in the state and abandoning the technology that made the company famous..................

Kota_ezawa_polaroid The Complete Boston Globe text here.. Polaroid Shutting Down.

And here's the WSJ Story..

(Image by Kota Ezawa, Polaroid Supercolor 1000, 2005, Computer vector drawing. Courtesy of Haines Gallery, San Francisco)

MAO has to say.. this is not exactly a surprise.. Digital is here to stay and will completely take over in the next few years.  Film and Polaroid cameras are going the way of the Projection Screen TV, The Members Only Jackets, Disco, KT's hair; Velour shirts, MAO's sex life, Bell Bottoms, and Boom boxes..

Actually this is just one of the many reasons why MAO, plus many other collectors, don't mind paying silly large amounts of money for dusty old B&W photos,  Dye Transfer Color Prints, and now someday Polaroids!! This film technology is going away very quickly.  And hence even though, digital photo's are already looking amazing.. you will always be able to identify photos taken with real film.

So, this story has been ricocheting around the photo obsessed blog world the last few's just some of the blog chatter... What do you think? Is Polaroid Film gone for good???

February 12, 2008

In Honor of Today's Westminster Dog Show..some Dog Art!

To celebrate the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show here in NYC.. can't believe how many crazy dog people are in NYC today.. Yikes..  Here's A few great dog art photos.

FYI.. MAO's money was on Dreamer, the Chow Chow ! , But it looks like Uno, the 2 year old Beagle, who was the first in 69 years to win the Hound Category, is now the favorite to take it all!

Oh..and by the case you were wondering.. there are some really obsessive, crazy, enthusiastic, impressive Dog Art blogs out there..

Download Westminster_chow_chow.txt

Daido_moriyama_dog Here are 3 of MAO's favorite

Dogie Photos..

Photo #1 :

Daido Moriyama,

stray dog  Misawa,

Aomori Prefecture,


But, Almost no photographer ever did B & W animal photos as well ad

Peter Hujar.

Peter_hujar_will_char_pei_1985 Photo #2 :

Peter Hujar,

Will (Char Pei)


And then in his

homage to Peter Hujar,


David Wojnarowicz

created this three photo montage..

David_wojnarowicz_fever Photo #3,

David Wojnarowicz

Fever, 1988-89

3 silver gelatin prints,

30 3/4 x 25 inches

February 07, 2008

31-count indictment of former Superintendent of Manhattan Armory

Corruption in NYC?? Good Heavens... Impossible!   Mafia.. what Mafia..there's no Mafia !

Sopranos_hell_hath_no_fury_like_the In total NYC fashion.. NY Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo has accused former superintendent of the Manhattan Armory of extorting money from fair organizers.

The Pulse Contemporary Art Fair paid some $30,000 in cash and goods! Geeeze... No wonder the prices Those Pulse Dealers charged for brand spanking new wet contemporary art were so high!

It probably didn't help the gallery booth prices either !!

Anyway.. You can't make this stuff up any better than this..   (photo by Annie Liebovitz, from The Sopranos, "Hell hath no fury like the family", At MAO think.. Ms Liebovitz was going after something like Delacroix's "Barque of Dante." )

Here's a more detailed story by Philip Boroff filed today on Bloomberg News.


Pulse Fair Was Forced to Pay Bribe for Armory Use, Cuomo Says, 2008-02-07 00:10 (New York)
By Philip Boroff
     Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The Pulse contemporary-art fair next
month may find its expenses cut in one area. New York Attorney
General Andrew Cuomo has accused the former superintendent of
the state-owned Manhattan armory where the fair was held last
year of extorting money from organizers and soliciting a bribe.
     In a 31-count indictment filed in New York State Supreme
Court, James Jackson was accused of receiving more than $30,000
in cash and goods from Pulse, Marc Jacobs fashion shows and the
New York International Carpet Show. Jackson pleaded not guilty.
     Deputy Attorney General Ellen Biben said in a press
conference yesterday that Jackson demanded payoffs to guarantee
the dates Marc Jacobs wanted for his shows. Jackson allegedly
extorted money from Jacobs through public-relations firm KCD,
from 2000 to 2007. Jackson is charged in connection with Pulse
and the carpet show for 2007. Jackson's lawyer, Alan Abramson,
declined to comment.
     Details of the alleged extortion of money from Pulse, which
specializes in art that's more affordable than the latest by
Damien Hirst, weren't available. A Pulse spokesman declined to
     The 69th Regiment Armory, bounded by 25th and 26th streets
and Lexington and Park avenues, rents for about $6,000 a day,
excluding utilities, security and insurance charges, according
to the Attorney General's office.
     Cuomo said yesterday: ``If anyone believes they have to pay
off or offer a gratuity to access state space, let us know,
because that is a crime. It's not a way of doing business. It's
not OK.''
     This year's Pulse, which begins March 27, will be held at
Pier 40 on the far west side of Manhattan.
--Editors: Jeffrey Burke, Yvette Ferreol.

February 06, 2008

24% goes unsold at Christies Impressionist & Modern Sale in London

This Blog is starting to sound like a bad country western song... If it weren't for bad news there would be no news at all.

Basquiat_palm_springs_jump_1982 So it sounds like even with the strong British Pound and the even stronger Euro.. people still didn't buy at this weeks Christies big Impressionist and modern Art sale.  24% went unsold, and many lots selling at the low end or even below the pre-sale estimates. Yikes!

Which doesn't bode well for tonight's Contemporary sale. aka..the big art crash of 2008.  (photo Sale 7565, Lot 9, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Palm Springs Jumpsigned, titled and dated ‘“PALM SPRINGS JUMP” JeanMichelB 1982’ acrylic, oilstick and gold paint on canvas, 72 x 84 in.Executed in 1982, Estimate on request)

Here's some more details of the bad news by Linda Sandler and Lindsay Pollock of Bloomberg news..


Christie's Fails to Sell 24% of Art as Many U.S. Buyers Retreat, 2008-02-05 11:47 (New York)
     Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Christie's International failed to
sell 24 percent of the art at a London auction last night as U.S.
buyers retreated in the wake of losses in the credit and equity
     Christie's, which vies with Sotheby's to be the largest
auction house, sold 76 percent of the impressionist and modern
art lots, down from 81 percent at its November sale. Collectors
in the Americas took 15 percent of the items; they took home
about half of the sale at Christie's in November.
     The supply of U.S. buyers appears to be shrinking amid the
worst housing slump in a quarter-century, with fallout spreading
through the economy, hurting builders, retailers, wholesalers,
buyout funds and mortgage lenders.
     ``The average rich aren't rich anymore,'' said Asher
Edelman, a former Wall Street raider who is a private art dealer.
``The average rich are probably the guys who buy everything
except the top-priced lots.''
     Writedowns at banks and declines in real-estate values have
knocked out many buyers for less expensive works. Bankers and
brokers aren't getting bonuses, and the value of developers'
properties is declining, Edelman said. Delinquencies on home
loans have surged to record rates, leading to $133 billion in
writedowns and credit losses at the world's biggest banks and
securities firms in the past year.
     Prices for modern artworks including Pablo Picasso have
risen 2.5 times since 2002, according to Art Market Research's
index of the central 50 percent of works. The same index more
than halved after the 1990 art-market crash and stayed down
through 2002 before starting to climb again.

                          Trouble Selling

     The most desired works continue to appreciate. A Picasso
painting of his mistress Dora Maar took 5.7 million pounds ($11.2
million) with commission last night, after failing to sell in
2002 at a low estimate of $4 million.
     Still, a five-foot-high Picasso canvas of a man with a rifle
sold near its low estimate before commission, taking 5.6 million
pounds. Among the top 10 most expensive lots, works by Juan Gris,
Henri Matisse and Paul Signac sold near their low estimates.
     The auction results indicate that sellers are having a
harder time monetizing their collections. Three out of nine works
from the collection of Maurice Wohl, a U.K. office developer and
Israel backer, didn't sell. One of his paintings, a 1910 Kees van
Dongen oil of an exotic dancer, took a record 5.6 million pounds.

February 05, 2008

Happy Super Tuesday! Get out and VOTE!!

Diane_arbus_boy_in_straw_hat Today is Super Tuesday..So, It's our big chance to make history!

Be sure to get to your local polling station.

Which brings to mind.. a recent email MAO got from a dealer friend offering us one of our favorite Diane Arbus photographs at a really super high price.

If anyone is interested in buying this great photo.. let us know..cause, MAO has a bridge, subprime mortgage, we'd like to sell you can put you in touch with our dealer friend.

Photo : 

Boy with a straw hat, NYC, 1967 / printed 1974
gelatin silver print
paper: 20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
framed: 23 1/2 x 22 1/4 inches (59.7 x 56.5 cm)
edition of 50 (#49/50)
printed by Neil Selkirk, signed by Doon Arbus


January 31, 2008

All good things come in three.. The New High Line, Creative Time, and Spencer Finch

Yes.. it's Spencer Finch all the time over here at MAO.. clearly it's not mystery why there's the big-O in this website title! Nothing but Finch! Finch..Finch.. Finch.. What can we say.. MAO hearts SPENCER FINCH !

It was just announced by Creative Time and Friends of the High Line... here's a sneak peak!

Congrats Spencer!

Spencer_finch_high_line_creative_ti SPENCER FINCH

High Line, NYC
Fall 2008 - 2009

Creative Time, Friends of the High Line, and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation present Spencer Finch’s first major public art installation and the inaugural art commission for the High Line Park. Finch will craft 700 unique panes of glass, representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over a period of 700 minutes on a single day. The work links the movement of the river, viewable from the site, with the historic movement of the railway on Manhattan’s West Side.

We at MAO, think this new Spencer Finch work will be installed at the Chelsea Market Space on the High Line..Maps here... but we're still searching for additional details.. 

January 30, 2008

Photographer Tod Papageorge Talk and Book Signing

OK.. this is a free chance to meet a living photo history legend.. Tod Papageorge.

Todpapageorge_central_park_new_york And despite what this blogging quitter Mr. Soth had to say.. MAO would firmly put Tod Papageorge in the category as one of the last undervalued photographers of the 60's, 70's & 80's. (Photo by Tod Papageorge, Central Park, NY 1973)

So, here are the event details..MAO will be there so you know it will be fabulous!

Plus, you'll get to say.. you whiteness the re-discovery of a great American photographer.

FYI.. his new Aperture book,  American Sports, 1970 is wonderful, witty & totally relevant in today's war time era. The book will clearly become an immediate "must have" for any art photography collector.


Tod Papageorge
American Sports, 1970: or How We Spent the War in Vietnam
Talk and Book Signing

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
6:30 p.m.

Free Admission

Aperture Gallery
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
(212) 505-5555

Tod Papageorge will discuss the coolly observational yet intensely engaging work featured in his new Aperture monograph American Sports, 1970 or How We Spent The War in Vietnam. These remarkable images, taken over the course of a watershed year for popular opinion against the war, draw a subtle but sharp parallel between the war in Vietnam and the American attitude toward spectator sports during a time of conflict.

January 25, 2008

More Gloom and Doom for the Art Market from ArtTactic

So.. if the huge sell off in stocks worldwide, the loss of almost $8 Billion by a rogue trader in France, Jill_greenberg_bear_untitled_5 the firing of anyone on wall street who could spell CDO, the emergency panic rate cute by the Federal Reserve, and the paltry Bush stimulus package wasn't enough to get your depressed..

Today there's an Art Research firm putting out even more gloom and doom !  TGIF!

(Photo by Jill Greenberg, Ursine Project, Untitled #5) Here's the story by Bloomberg's Scott Reyburn...


Contemporary Art Market Confidence Slumps 40%, Survey Shows,

2008-01-24 23:51 (New York)
By Scott Reyburn
    Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Confidence in the contemporary art
market has dropped 40 percent over the past six months, according
to a survey by ArtTactic, a London-based research company.
     The biannual survey, based on the responses of 155 buyers of
contemporary art, mostly international private collectors, said
the decline in confidence followed the credit crisis in the last
quarter of 2007.
     The full survey, published on Jan. 23, follows a snap poll in
August that showed contemporary art buyers were increasingly
worried about the prospects for the economy, said ArtTactic.
     ``It is clear that the respondents no longer think that the
art market can be detached from economic realities,'' ArtTactic
said in the survey. ``Confidence in the primary market is down
only by 10 percent, and is holding up significantly better than
the auction market.''
     The ArtTactic Market Confidence Indicator was first published
in November 2005. According to ArtTactic's survey's methodology
statement, data is collected and made available every six months.
     Respondents are asked six constant questions on their
perceptions of present and future conditions in the general
economy and the contemporary art market. Answers are in the form
of the response options ``positive,'' ``negative,'' and
     The overall November 2007 Art Market Confidence Indicator,
computed from the totality of the received data, fell by 40
percent since the last reading in May 2007, said ArtTactic.

                       `Economic Realities'

     The primary market refers to art offered for the first time
in galleries and by artists in their studios. Prices are often
lower than when the same works reach the secondary market of
auctions and resales by dealers and collectors.
     ``There are so many collectors in the primary market now and
they want to carry on buying,'' especially works by younger
artists that have relatively low prices, said the London-based
contemporary art dealer Thomas Dane.
     ArtTactic's findings come less than two weeks before
Christie's International, Sotheby's and Phillips de Pury hold
Impressionist, modern and contemporary art sales in London that
have a record overall low estimate of 429 million pounds ($838
million), according to figures released on Jan. 22 by the auction

                          Auction Records

     Last July, before the global credit crunch triggered by the
U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, record prices for contemporary
artists such as Damien Hirst, Piero Manzoni, Ilya Kabakov and Yue
Minjun pushed the total for these auctions in London to an
unprecedented 462.5 million pounds, including fees, compared with
a low estimate of 322 million pounds.
     Since then, Wall Street banks have declared more than $100
billion of writedowns. On Jan. 21, two days before ArtTactic's
survey was published, London's FTSE 100 stocks index fell 5.5
percent, the biggest drop since Sept. 11, 2001.
     Rising concern that a housing slump will damp consumer
spending in the U.S., causing a recession, has dragged down stock
markets around the world this year. London's FTSE 100 index fell
as much as 17 percent this year before recovering part of the
     ``We'll have to see how the stock-market volatility plays
out before the sales,'' said James Roundell, Impressionist and
modern art specialist at London dealers Simon C. Dickinson Ltd.
``If anything, it should have more effect on the contemporary
auctions. The Impressionist and modern market is much more
     Roundell said Russian and Eastern European buyers are
increasingly important at London's Impressionist and modern sales.
``They've been behind quite a few of the stand-out prices in
recent years,'' he said. Sotheby's said clients from the former
Soviet Union bought 9 percent of the lots at its evening sale of
Impressionist and modern art in London a year ago.

                         Soaring Estimates

     The 89 million pound and 82 million pound low estimates for
Christie's and Sotheby's respective February evening
Impressionist and modern art auctions are the highest ever seen in
     In July, Christie's and Sotheby's evening contemporary
auctions carried low estimates of 54.5 million pounds and 40.5
million pounds, respectively. Both houses' February sales in
London are expected to fetch at least 72 million pounds.
     Christie's Feb. 6 contemporary auction includes a Francis
Bacon triptych with a low estimate of 25 million pounds, a record
for a work of art offered at auction in London. Three weeks later,
Sotheby's will offer a single-panel painting by Bacon with a
guarantee of around 18 million pounds, also a record for London.
At the contemporary art auctions in July in London and in
November in New York, more than 80 percent of lots typically
found buyers.
     ``I'd expect the general mood of buying everything and
anything to come to an end,'' said art dealer Dane.

                            Mood Change

     According to the ArtTactic November 2007 survey, there has
been a negative mood change toward some of the less established
artists that saw a rapid and significant increase in prices during
2006 and 2007. Marlene Dumas, Neo Rauch, Franz Ackerman, Cecily
Brown and Peter Doig were among the artists that had seen
a ``significant decrease in confidence'' from buyers.
     ArtTactic said auction performance is a major influence on
the market's confidence in a particular artist.
     ``The auctions will be the test of what is happening,'' said
Thomas Dane. ``People are definitely putting off certain decisions
until after the sales.'

January 23, 2008

New Work by Spencer Finch

We at MAO have been a long time fan of Artist Spencer Finch..ever since the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Art_in_america_spencer_finch_on_cov His show up at Mass MOCA "What Time Is It on the Sun?" is amazing (now extended through Spring 2008)..

The D.A.P. Monograph book..a total WOW!

And now, finally he's got some well deserved attention by Art In America this (Jan 08) month. FYI... They don't have the story on-line.. so you'll just have to buy the deadwood media magazine!

But Spencer now has a new show opening up in Germany!  And the work looks as thought provoking as ever! 

Spencer Finch: In Praise of Shadows, Berlin, Galerie Nordenhake, Now through January 26.

The gallery has almost every work up on their website..very nice.   Aaaah.. there's nothing like German engineering !

The dusty old Black and White photography maven in MAO just loves the Atget references! Bravo Spencer!

Here's a brief description from todays ArtKrush :

In Spencer Finch's current exhibition at Berlin's Nordenhake, the American artist explores the nature and inadequacies of perception. In a diverse array of works — twelve serial photographs, nine drawings, a light installation of color-filtered fluorescents, and five glasses filled with progressively darkening liquid — Finch aims to replicate the measurement, memory, and color of specific shadows. Each work reproduces the spectrums of light that Finch has encountered while visiting historic locations, including Goethe's home and Parisian alleyways photographed a century earlier by Eugène Atget. By revealing the precise inspiration for his pieces, Finch reminds viewers of their present circumstances, creating works that are both chromatically beautiful and absurd in their attempt to reproduce a fleeting sensory experience.

January 18, 2008

Free Artist Lecture at the New Museum!

For anyone willing to brave the cold.. and the Lower East Side this weekend..

There's going to be a fun group talk tomorrow, Saturday, Jan 19th at 3pm at the New Museum.

And to answer the question... YES. We at MAO are now Obsessed by the New Museum.. so we're going to be posting more and more about it! It's All NEW. all the time!

The talk...  :  Mark Bradford, Christian Holstad, and Wangechi Mutu discuss “Collage: The Unmonumental Picture” this talk will be moderated by Chief Curator Richard Flood. Pretty Cool..

It should be fun, here are the 3 artist biographies..

Wangechi_mutu_peltart750 Mark Bradford, Born 1961, Los Angeles, California/Lives and works in Los Angeles, California. 

The social dynamics of community, determined by race, class, gender, sexuality, migration, and their attendant stereotypes, inspire Mark Bradford’s work in collage, video, photography, and installation. Bradford explores public space by excerpting and recomposing its contents—from billboard posters to beauty salon endpapers—to create abstract compositions whose grids, lines, and fields of color flicker with the visual and informational juxtapositions that characterize the urban experience. Through the formal limitations and restrictions that he imposes on his artistic practice, Bradford structures his works’ explosive energy, elegantly corralling it into an abstract narrative that reflects our geographical and geopolitical surroundings.

Christian Holstad. Born 1972, Anaheim, California/Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. 

Holstad’s artistic practice consists of photography, drawing, sculpture, installation, and collage. A selfdescribed “visual junkie,” the subject of his work includes the ways in which appearance-based stereotypes obscure individual sexual identity. Referring both to the mainstream and subculture, Holstad’s collages often depict erotic couplings of gay men whose bodies are composed of decorative patterns and textures extracted from magazines ranging from high-end fashion and lifestyle rags to small-press porn publications. These intimate scenes are set in unexpected or even contradictory surroundings such as immaculate, designer-home interiors, monumental architectural settings, or surreal landscapes. This juxtaposition of at least two kinds of decadence and desire serves to both charge conventional environments and cheerfully normalize same-sex erotic activity.

Wangechi Mutu, Born 1972, Nairobi, Kenya/Lives and works in New York. 

Wangechi Mutu’s wall paintings, collages, and installations make reference to race, politics, fashion, and African identity. Mutu assembles portraits that challenge media depictions of fashion, pornography, and ethnography. Her idiosyncratic renderings of female sexuality catalyze multiple interpretations: each exquisite portrait incorporates the contradictions, stereotypes, and expectations of African women and the African diaspora. (Photo #1, by Wangechi Mutu, from her "Exhuming Gluttony Exhibit" courtesy of Salon 94 Gallery)

Plus you'll get to see the great lecture hall they have built in the basement of the New Museum.

Here are the details from the New Museum website... Click Here For More Info

We at MAO have heard Mark Bradford speak before.. and let's just say.. she's one totally Fierce Artist!

So OK... MAO-ettes... if you attend the talk... Please be sure to say hi to MAO!!

January 17, 2008

Yet another Gallery Opens, and not on the Lower East Side!

So we went to the Grand Re-Opening of the new New Museum last night..  and WOW.. it's amazing how different a  museum feels with Art on the Walls.. !!  Imagine that!! The new collage works are a huge improvement to their current: The Unmounumental Picture show.

Mark_bradford_helter_skelter_i_2007 We love the pieces by Mark Bradford, Wangechi Mutu, Kelley Walker, Kim Jones and the Christian Holstad works.. all very impressive. The Wangechi Mutu "Moon Mural",  complete with flying pigs with fur.. is a not to be missed!! (Photo of Artist Mark Bradford, working on Helter Skelter I, 2007, collage)

Very telling, of what total drunks we have become we got to the Museum Preview a bit too early.. and so went to the nice new bar next door for a quick drink or 2 or 3.. But the bar bill came to an amazing $58 dollars for 4 tiny drinks!! Ouch..!! Well.. clearly things are seriously changing on the Lower East Side!! Has it become too expensive already?

So.. Here's yet another Gallery choosing NOT to open in Chelsea (or the LES).. but to open on the expensive & stuffy hot and not chic Upper East Side of NYC.. story by Linda Sandler of Bloomberg news..

     Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Asher Edelman, a Wall Street raider
turned art dealer, is seeking space to open a gallery on New
York's Upper East Side that will show young and emerging
     Edelman, 68, has been a private dealer for about seven
years, trading impressionist and modern works through Edelman
Arts Inc. while promoting younger artists such as Yasmine
Chatila, Christopher Winter and Cathy McClure. He is ending a
joint venture in the Neuhoff Edelman Gallery because he prefers
working on his own, he said.
     Art dealing isn't as lucrative as trading stakes in
companies, according to Edelman. In the 1980s and 1990s, the
investor bought holdings in more than three dozen companies,
from Canal-Randolph Corp., a real-estate holding company, to
computer company Datapoint Corp. and champagne group Taittinger
SA, sometimes profiting as he took control or induced management
to boost the stock price.
     ``I can't make as much money in art as I used to on Wall
Street, but I can make a good living,'' Edelman said in a
telephone interview yesterday.
     Edelman said the art market is showing scattered signs of
weakness as bank losses mount from subprime mortgage
investments. In the private art market, purchasers of high-
priced works are driving harder bargains than they did two years
ago, and some dealers are hurting after borrowing to finance an
inventory that's losing value, he said.
     ``I think the time might come when some people stop bidding
at auctions,'' Edelman said. ``I would still rather have art
than dollars.''
     The dealer said he isn't concerned about opening a new
space at what may be the top of the market. Some staff from his
private dealing business could move over to the new gallery,
limiting the overhead to about $1 million a year, Edelman said.
     His commission from brokering a sale of a $10 million
Willem de Kooning or Andy Warhol picture would cover the cost,
he said.

January 16, 2008

Some new shows not to Miss in Chelsea..Sarah Pickering and El Anatsui

We did the rounds of many of the new dull shows opening around Chelsea last Thursday.. Of course...every gallery was just packed with people looking for free drinks great art.

Interestingly, not too many were sold out.. But there were at least 2 shows we all thought were... not to be missed..

1. Sarah Pickering's New "Fire Scene" Show at Daniel Cooney Fine Art ..

Pickering__glue_sniffing_kids_2007 We at MAO have been a long time fan of

this hot British photographer.. and

this is Sarah's second solo show in NYC... Congrats!

and she's done it again.. with an impressive new heated body of work.

(Photo #1, by Sarah Pickering,

Glue Sniffing Kids, 2007)

The Artist, also has her own fiery website, with more of her fabulous work.. so you can check it all out here...


2. The El Anatsui,  "Zebra Crossing" show at Jack Shainman Gallery..

El_anatsui_bleeding_takari_ii_2007_ totally amazing!

(photo #2 by El Anatsui, Bleeding Takari II, 2007)

FYI, You can see another one if his works on the wall  at the Metropolitan Museum! Here's a brief NYT mention of it!

The first major work of contemporary African sculpture acquired by the Met..

Oh.. and if you have a chance..

be sure to check out the well fluffed thoughtful and fun Christopher K. Ho show at the Edward Winkleman Gallery, and the new "Caucus" group show at Schroder Romero which includes one kick ass great David Wojnarowicz photograph!

January 04, 2008

Something to look forward to.. The New Museum's Next Show!

So..we at MAO love the new New Museum Building.... but the first show didn't exactly hit a high note Newmuseum_building with the MAO editorial staff. Even Dr. Quiz said it totally sucked was a bit disappointed at the opening night.

Oh.. and in case you missed's a Roberta. We agreed with her "visually messy, way too hip, and a tad monotonous" part of the NYT story..

But January 16th... they add part 2 of the (4 part) "Unmonumental" Series, which will continue to run until March 30th.... and this time it even includes some of MAO's favorite artists..

So.. you'll see us at the next opening...

and hey..

it has to improve the current show..

Well... at least now, they will have something on those nice new walls !

Here's the list of artists

included in the Collage : The Unmonumental Picture (with a A big MAO congrats to all these artists)

Mark Bradford
Jonathan Hernández
Thomas Hirschhorn
Christian Holstad
Kim Jones
Wangechi Mutu
Henrik Olesen
Martha Rosler
Nancy Spero
John Stezaker
Kelley Walker

Oh.. and MOA-ettes... be sure not to miss Mark Bradford's new solo show opening up at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. on Jan 17th !! It's sure to be a total MAO WOW!

January 02, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Champagne_cork723814 Happy New Year to Everyone!!

Let's hope 2008 can't get any worse on wall street is better than 2007.

Here's one of the first Year End 07 reviews by Linda Sandler of Bloomberg News.. I'm sure there will be many more boring ones to come!


Bill Gross's Stamps, J.K. Rowling Tale Starred at 2007 Auctions
2007-12-30 19:49 (New York)

By Linda Sandler
     Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- This was the year Bill Gross said his
stamps had outperformed his bond fund, Stanley Ho beat Damien
Hirst in bidding for a truffle, and Inc. paid 39 times
estimates for a book of J.K. Rowling stories. Among the mishaps,
Marie Antoinette's pearls and a Van Gogh painting didn't sell.
     New money poured into the salerooms in New York, London and
Hong Kong, swelling auctions by 46 percent at Sotheby's, to $5.33
billion; Christie's International's totals aren't in yet. Andy
Warhol and Mark Rothko paintings fetched more than $70 million
apiece in May, and Jeff Koons in November deposed Hirst as the
priciest living artist.
     Analysts are watching to see if prices continue to rise in
2008. The biggest financial institutions have marked down more
than $80 billion after a surge in U.S. subprime mortgage defaults
prompted investors to shun higher-risk debt.
     ``The art market will soften, and an adjustment in values
will take place, but it may not happen for six months to a
year,'' California collector Eli Broad said in August. ``Many of
the buyers of contemporary art have been hedge-fund managers and
other investors who obviously are having a difficult time and
have lost lots of money,'' Broad said in an e-mail.
     The 2007 boom boosted values of all kinds of collectibles,
from Chinese ceramics and antiquities to diamonds and stamps.
Here are some high points and low points of the auction year:

                           Pimco Profit

     -- Billionaire fund manager Gross raised $9.1 million for
charity in June by selling early British stamps -- mostly bought
in 2000 -- that outperformed his Pacific Investment Management
Co.'s bond fund, the world's largest.
     ``It's four times cost,'' Gross said after the sale in New
York. ``It's better than the stock market.''
     -- Amazon, after selling more than 12 million Harry Potter
books online, paid almost $4 million at Sotheby's for Rowling's
``The Tales of Beedle the Bard.'' Amazon's Web site has summaries
and reviews of the best-selling author's handwritten stories,
which no one currently has permission to publish.
     -- Christie's sold Steve McQueen's 1963 Ferrari Lusso for
$2.3 million, or twice the top estimate at a California auction
in August. Christie's soon after dismantled its car auction
business, which has much lower commissions than art sales.
     -- Casino billionaire Ho this month paid $330,000 for a
white Italian truffle at a charity auction, exceeding the
previous record by about 50 percent. In September, Ho paid
HK$69.1 million ($8.9 million), the highest price ever for a Qing
Dynasty bronze horse head, giving it to the Chinese government,
which is trying to recover its treasures.
     -- Banksy's ``Di Faced Tenners,'' or 10-pound banknotes
carrying Princess Diana's face instead of Queen Elizabeth II's,
tripled their top estimate at a Bonhams sale in October, fetching
24,000 pounds ($48,000) as demand for the artist soared. Not
everyone is so enthusiastic about the Bristol, England-born
graffiti painter: On London's Charterhouse Street, a defaced
Banksy rat image says, ``Go Back to Bristol, Boy.''

                             No Buyers

     There were scattered signs the auction houses are entering
more difficult markets, in items that found no buyers after
featuring in the press from the Middle East to Europe, the U.S.
and Asia.
     -- A necklace made from the pearls of Marie Antoinette, who
was guillotined in 1793, failed to sell on Dec. 12 at Christie's,
which valued it at as much as 400,000 pounds.
     -- The same day, Maria Callas's love letters to Giovanni
Battista Meneghini, her former husband and mentor, failed to sell
at a Milan auction. Sotheby's, which had priced the opera
singer's letters at as much as 70,000 euros ($102,739), reoffered
them successfully at the end of the auction at a 50 percent
     -- The year's big loser was Vincent van Gogh's ``The Fields
(Wheat Fields),'' estimated by Sotheby's at as much as $35
million. It received no bids at a Nov. 7 auction and Sotheby's
stock plunged 35 percent over three days as it took a $14.6
million loss on guaranteed impressionist works that sold below
their estimates.

December 19, 2007

Tis the Season to be Giving to Arts Education!!

So... for all you rich artists, gallerinas, and collectors getting even richer riding the insane wave during the golden age of Contemporary Art.

Bulldogsrockydaisyrockychristmas Ho.. Ho.. Ho..!!   It's about time to give a little back to Art Education.

Mr. Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes.. "The most influential of all the visual-arts blogs" cough..  has put together a selective list of very worthy arts education projects in bad need of your support.

So please.. click here.. read the sappy sweet note from the art teacher looking for financial help.. and give..give..give...  it will make you feel really good!  Trust did. :-)

The future of contemporary art and our children's education is in your hands! Now that's scary!'s almost Christmas.. so give a little!  PLEASE!  It will make Tyler happy too!

Brian Ulrich Prints for only $20 on the Jen Bekman 20 x 200 Project Website

Attention MAO Shoppers... !!

Ulrich_brian_thrift_200x20 There is one more Photography collector bargain left out there in cyber space!!

The amazing blogger (Not If But When) and photographer Brian Ulrich.. has been spreading the Christmas cheer.. His new project from the COPIA series on Thrift shops looks amazing.. and now you can buy one of his photographs for only $20.

I shit  kid you not ! Twenty Dollars !! that's Two-Zero! Twenty!

Just click here..

and the Wonderful Jen Bekman and her Gallery.(also a kickass wise blogger : Personism). will offer you this print in one of the 3 the 2 sizes!

DAMN! Only the small and mediums are left.. you snooze you lose folks..

But get them soon..cause with Rhona Hoffman, Julie Saul, Robert Koch, and Quality Pictures galleries (like how many galleries are selling this guys stuff, anyway???) all are selling Brian's work for big bucks..this one is not going to last!

It's already almost 50% sold out and that's in the first hour. Congrats to Brian and Jen..

Oh... and if you missed out on this print.. you can always get a copy of the Brian Ulrich book, MP3 here at Aperture.

December 12, 2007

MAO Art Buy of the Month by Famed Photographer Catherine Opie

OK.. my little MAO-ettes.. this one is almost too good to believe...but yes..

It's totally legit..and such a deal plus you get to help a great charity!

Catherine_opie_olpc_project_luminai There's this amazing charity called.. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). Here's more about the OLPC charity.

The charity's mission is to provide a means of learning, self-expression and exploration to the nearly 2 billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education. They look to provide a laptop to help connect and educate what could be better then that??

Well.. how about also getting a one of a kind signed 11" x 14" color photo from one of America's most sought after photographers for just a $500 donation (aka.. a tax deduction).. ??

Actually it's a $400 donation and for $100, and you'll get a signed photo.

FYI.. a typical editioned Catherine Opie photo of this print size would sell easily for over $3,000 in a these are all unique! Not bad!  Here's more on Catherine Opie.

So Catherine Opie created a project of 100 images where she took photo's (both landscapes and portraits) of the artist's neighborhood of Los Angles and Three Rivers as a backdrop for the OLPC laptop.

Dr. Quiz and I saw a few examples of the photo's at the Luminaire Studio during Art Basel.. they were all pretty cool.

So, the only catch is you can't choose your exact image.. it's a surprise which one you'll get.

First, you just have to register at this website.. and then you can make your $500 donation here, and you'll get your unique 11"X14" Catherine Opie photo. Then they send you an invoice.. your pay, and they send you the package with the Opie Photo.

For those having trouble with the Luminaire Site.. Just call or contact :

ANGELA PEREZ: 305.576.5788 OR [email protected]  or

Monique Brendel : [email protected]

and tell them MAO sent you.. for more info on this Charity Print Offer.

December 09, 2007

A few things we learned at Art Basel Miami Beach!

Well.. besides learning where to get the best Mojito in North America..

A few things about artists we love, that we learned while getting shit faced drunk at Art Basel Miami Beach 2007..

1. Photographer Nikki S. Lee has just stepped up to the Big Time, and will now be represented by the contemporary art  powerhouse Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

2. Photographer Phillip Lorca DiCorcia has also left the incredibly unfriendly people at Pace/McGill to go to the David Zwirner Gallery.

3. Painter Chris Dorland will have his next show at Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago.  Rhona had several of Chris Dorland works in their Booth at ABMB. 

4. Ellen Harvey,

5. Mika Rottenberg, and

6. Photographer Melanie Schiff were all chosen for the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

7. Photographer David Hillard does actually claim to know Bernard Toale..even though David never seems to show up where Bernie thinks David should be!

Congrats to all the artists above.. we at MAO are so deeply happy to see these artists success and have their prices go up and up get the public recognition they all so rightfully Installationview01_ellen_harveydeserve! It's all Good! Congrats to all!

(photo of an Ellen Harvey installation of several Invisible Self Portrait paintings, 2007)

December 08, 2007

For all things Basel, Dan Tan is your man

OK... so since there's next to nothing to talk about with regard to sales at Art Basel Miami Beach (aka.. the huge party before the art crash of 2008) the last few days... Ouch! 

Dantanzilli I.E... We noticed 2 huge New Barbara Kruger Paintings..both amazing.. had gone totally unsold as of last night (day 4 of the fair) at the Mary Boone Booth at the big fair.

So.. it would seem to fill space wrote a story.. about the hot boy man who makes ABMB happen!

Here's the story... Dan Tanzilli story

Hmm... for some strange reason, they seemed to leave out the part about Dan helping MAO get into every hot VIP event in SoBe!!

MAO hearts Dan Tan the Man!

December 07, 2007

Art Basel Miami Day 1.. NADA, Pulse and Art Miami...

Yesterday was the VIP opening preview's for most of the Miami Wynwood art fairs..

So many few VIP's... 

With so many fairs having VIP openings on Tuesday afternoon/evening all the fairs seemed a bit empty. Even the famed NADA opening night benefit seemed a bit energy-less. MAO dragged Dr. Quiz from Art Miami at 3pm, to NADA at 5pm, to Pulse at 7pm. Yes.. it's a crazy way to see anything.. but we wanted to be seen to get a taste of all 3.

We can say, all 3 fairs have never looked better. What use to be new, fresh and cheap emerging, has quickly turned in to very professional, thoughtful and expensive established.   

Sales seem slow at all 3 fairs, it's hard to say if it's just due to collectors being spread too thinly across so many fairs, or if the slowing economy and the expensive prices are taking their toll.

More to details come....

Oh, and yes.. the parties are FABULOUS!!! So fabu that MAO knows one prominent art dealer, who's already : gone to the emergency room, had nine stitches put into his head, has his "date" arrested, and been seen in a car during a DWI... not bad for the first 2 nights of Art Basel Miami Beach. How sheik is that!

Continue reading "Art Basel Miami Day 1.. NADA, Pulse and Art Miami... " »

December 05, 2007

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song at Von Lintel Gallery

For those 2 people still left in Chelsea.. There was one group show MAO thought well worth checking out.

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song at the Von Lintel Gallery.

One of the best gallery group shows we've seen this year. We found they've included some (photos, painting, and sculpture) by many of our most admired artists. It's also particularly nice to see a gallery do a group show and not pack it with only the artists they represent.  Plus, how could anyone not like a show that uses the word Baadasssss in the title!!

As expected, many of the works were already sold out by the opening party.

The title comes from a Melvin Van Peebles’ infamous 1971 film, the exhibition of fourteen African American artists is also a journey that examines the representation of African Americans in popular culture.

Standouts included works by : Mickalena Thomas, Zoe Charlton, Carrie Mae-Weems, Renee Cox, and Hank Willis Thomas.

Hank_willis_thomas_petey_wheatstraw (photo by Hank Willis Thomas, Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil's Son In-Law, 2000/2006,light jet print,54 x 51 in (137.2 x 129.5 cm), ed. of 5 for $9,800)

FYI.. we've heard through the MAO grapevine.. there's an Aperture monograph coming out soon for Hank Willis Thomas...that's very exciting!

The show is open till January 20th... so all those Art Basel Miami people can still get to see it!

December 03, 2007

The Wall Street Journal on Art Basel Miami 07

The art mania hasn't even started yet at Art Basel Miami 07... and there are already press stories about tons of sold signs..Clearly the press team for Art Basel Miami has been working some huge overtime! Congrats !

Since most MAO readers probably don't look at the WSJ.. we've pasted the story below..Here's the link: WSJ's Art Basel Story. This was published this Saturday.... and Reporter Lauren Schuker has a podcast as well..


The Art World's Biggest Party

'Sold' signs are already hanging on many of the top works at Art Basel Miami Beach. But most people aren't there for the paintings. How to navigate the new art scene.
December 1, 2007; Page W1

When the nation's largest art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, opens next week, it is expected to draw more than 40,000 visitors. But many of them will be coming for the glitzy social scene and beach bacchanalia, rather than the art.

One reason: Many of the top works are already spoken for. Collectors and dealers say the practice of "preselling" -- allowing collectors to purchase the art well before the main event -- is more common in Miami than at other fairs, in part because it is so heavy on coveted contemporary works. As the fair's international profile has grown, so has the pace of preselling. "It's getting earlier and earlier every year," says Lisa Austin, a Miami-based art adviser who helps collectors choose work. "So much of the art world is based on what you can't get, so it makes people crazy for certain works when they walk in and a whole booth is sold."

By Thanksgiving, the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York had already sold three of its 15 works to collectors, including a $100,000 Tracey Emin sculpture made with neon lights. The Richard Gray Gallery in New York and Chicago just sold two new portraits by American artist Alex Katz, whose Pop Art-inspired work is in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art. Now the gallery plans to bring only a small painting by Mr. Katz and the artist's less sought-after drawings. And last month, New York's Mary Boone Gallery sold five works by the 59-year-old American painter Eric Fischl to a single collector, for $2 million apiece. Mr. Fischl, who is often compared to Edward Hopper and Édouard Manet, is best known for his subtle renderings of psychological tension and figurative paintings of domestic scenes.

Buyers will have more luck finding art at the "satellite fairs," which take place during the same week and feature works from newer galleries with emerging artists. The number of these fairs has more than doubled -- to about 23 this year over last -- in part to cater to buyers locked out of the main event by top collectors who bought in advance.

The feeding frenzy in Miami reflects broader shifts in the way art is bought and sold. Years of booming business, particularly in the contemporary area, have attracted new buyers and new money from around the globe. Galleries have long waiting lists of collectors clamoring for the works of in-demand artists. In 2006, Christie's brought in $4.67 billion from art, the highest in art-market history.

The social cachet of collecting has also drawn younger people into the fray, increasing the profile of arts events, from evening auctions in London and New York to art fairs like Miami. Fairs used to be stodgy trade shows for serious collectors. Today, shows like Art Basel Miami Beach have become an excuse for jetsetters to party for a cultural cause. Big-time collectors do their buying beforehand, because they know that major deals are rarely brokered on the spot anymore.

These changes annoy some collectors, but they have invigorated the scene in Florida. Now in its sixth year, Art Basel Miami Beach -- an offshoot of the long-running Art Basel held annually in Switzerland -- is no longer merely about buying art, but an all-purpose super-convention for the rich and trendy.

"Miami has become overwhelming and insane -- but mostly, it has become a major social event. It shows what has happened to the contemporary art world," says Adam Lindemann, a collector and investor in New York who is exhibiting watches at Design Miami, one of this year's satellite fairs. "It has become impossible to see everything, or even much of anything."

Art advisers say they have their eyes on a handful of satellite fairs this year, including one run by NADA, or the New Art Dealers Alliance, a not-for-profit group formed in 2002. NADA's fair will combine works from more than 80 emerging galleries.

At a booth run by the Daniel Reich Gallery in New York, for example, four new Susanne M. Winterling photographs will hang, including the $4,500 "Untitled (her cup of tea)." The image of a fur-covered teacup pays homage to Meret Oppenheim's famous 1936 fur-lined cup on a fur-covered saucer with spoon. The gallery will also put up an $8,000 collage titled "Cold Cream" by Anya Kielar, an American sculptor in her late twenties whose work sells for as much as $16,000.

Other fairs are held in hotels (the staff empties the rooms and turns them into booths), the arts district of Wynwood, and in galleries in Miami's "Design District." Many of the fairs specialize in photography or design.

Pulse Miami, at SoHo Studios in Wynwood, will offer high-end works from 80 galleries. Tel Aviv's Braverman Gallery, for example, will feature the melancholy landscape installations of Israeli artist Uri Nir. For contemporary Asian works, art advisers recommend Scope Miami.

Some galleries at satellite fairs are now starting to presell, too. Didier Krzentowski runs Galerie Kreo in Paris and will be exhibiting sets of limited-edition furniture at the Design Miami fair. He says that before the event begins, he will have sold between four and eight items of each 12-piece set. The sold pieces include a $44,000 coffee table by the young French design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and a table designed by Martin Szekely.

Mr. Krzentowski says he offers the pieces to favored clients before the fair, because they follow the work of his artists and "will be really upset if we tell them it is sold out."

The Miami Beach Art Photo Expo, a satellite fair being held at the the Surfcomber Hotel on Collins Avenue, says it had already set aside 20% of its stock for VIP clients by the end of November. The fair is dedicated to works by leading fashion photographers, with prices averaging about $8,000 and going up to $40,000. Among the reserved works is a flashy photograph by Miles Aldridge called "Pure Wonder" and a work by Japanese photographer Kanjo Take called "Madonna," which shows a nude modern Geisha peeking through a colorful coat. It sold for $20,800.

John Morrissey, a lawyer in West Palm Beach, Fla., says that after attending the fair for the past six years, he has learned to plan ahead. If he wants work by a particular artist, he calls galleries about a month before the fair. Even if they won't presell work, Mr. Morrissey says it can help grease the wheels of a deal by showing interest ahead of time.

The process of selling a work in advance typically starts when dealers notify clients about the items they are bringing to the fair. Images are emailed, along with lengthy descriptions. Often in the world of contemporary art, the pieces that go to fairs are fresh from the artists' studios -- and most in demand. Seasoned art collectors develop intimate relationships with galleries in order to get access to such work.

Many dealers who presell works will end up bringing different, less valuable pieces to the fair. But some dealers exhibit presold work as a way to attract visitors to their booths. Fair organizers say that's a practice they discourage. "Putting something on your wall that is sold -- well, it's a real waste of real estate," says Lucy Mitchell-Innes, co-owner of the Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York and a member of the fair's selection committee.

Ron Warren, director of the Mary Boone Gallery, which presold the Eric Fischl paintings, calls the business of preselling "a frustrating situation." He says, "On the one hand, we can't say no to our clients, but on the other, we need to bring unsold work to attract collectors."

There are other ways buyers can get special access. They can ask dealers to reserve a work for a couple of hours while they roam the fair, or they can score a VIP ticket. Some 2,000 VIP tickets are sent out every September by the organizers of Art Basel, allowing entry to the fair about 24 hours before the general public. Museum directors and curators are usually on this list, and exhibitors are given four tickets each for their top clients.

Ken Edelson, a real-estate developer who splits his time between Boca Raton, Fla., and New York, collects work by blue-chip artists like the German painter Anselm Kiefer, known for his post-apocalyptic landscape paintings. He says he'll go to Art Basel again this year, but with so much already spoken for, he doesn't have high hopes: "Anything that is a name is probably snapped up, and if it isn't, it's because it's a 'B' or a 'C' piece."

Samuel Keller, director of Art Basel as well as Art Basel Miami Beach, says while preselling is more common, there is still plenty of art available this year. He says he tries to keep the playing field level by barring collectors and their advisers from the fair before the VIP opening. In recent years, he has also allowed galleries to bring more art so they can replace works on the wall as they are sold. Last year, he says, galleries brought 40% more freight than the year before.

"We would not get the world's biggest collectors here if we ran out of art -- there is still more artwork than money, even in Miami," says Mr. Keller.

Write to Lauren A.E. Schuker at [email protected]