Amoeblog

A Giacometti sculpture sells for an ungodly amount of $$

Posted by Whitmore, February 5, 2010 09:58pm | Post a Comment
Alberto Giacometti record setting auction
Crisis, what financial crisis!?
 
Earlier this week at Sotheby's Auction House in London, a rare life-size bronze statue by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (1901 – 1966), L'homme qui marche I (Walking Man I) broke the record as the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction. You’d better sit down for this: $104.3 million. The “fast and furious” bidding was over in less than eight minutes. According to Sotheby's, at least 10 people were in on the trying to pin down the iconic cast. The final price was five times higher than the pre-auction estimate.
 
The price, which includes the buyer's premium, barely eclipsed Pablo Picasso's Garcon a la Pipe, which sold at auction for $104.2 million in New York in 2004. But that was back in the heady days of the boom -- fast flying Wall Street, Krug Clos du Mesnil Champagne breakfasts, Clay Aiken CD’s, real estate’s unstoppable climb -- back then Facebook was just a blip in the dotcom ether. This astounding auction result suggests that though the financial crisis still looms, the art market has survived and its doomed collapse and catastrophic time bomb is no longer ticking down.
 
The bronze of a man walking, cast in 1961, was first acquired in December of that year by legendary New York art dealer Sidney Janis, who bought it from the Galerie Maeght in Paris. Janis debut it at his gallery in 1968. This time around, the statue was sold by the German banking firm Commerzbank AG,Alberto Giacometti who obtained it in 2009 when they took over the Dresdner Bank. Dresdner had purchased the sculpture in 1980.
 
Giacometti's previous personal best at auction took place back in 2008, at Christie's New York for the piece Grand Femme Debout II, (1959-60). That piece sold for a relatively paltry $27,481,000.
 
William Barrett, author of the classic mid-century study, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (1962) wrote that the attenuated forms of Giacometti's figures reflected the existentialist view that modern life was empty and increasingly devoid of any meaning. "All the sculptures of today, like those of the past, will end one day in pieces... So it is important to fashion ones work carefully in its smallest recess and charge every particle of matter with life." Giacometti claimed his forms were not based on the human figure but the shadow that it cast.
 
Just before the Sotheby’s auction, the buzz on the street was that the Giacometti might actually hit $50 million, though all the heavy hitters scoffed at such a ridiculous notion. No one in their right mind thought it would hit and top $100 million.
 
Sotheby's of course did not identify the buyer, saying only that it was an anonymous telephone bidder.

Edgar Allan Poe auction goes stratospheric ...

Posted by Whitmore, December 4, 2009 09:40pm | Post a Comment
Edgar Allan Poe Auction
“Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.”
 
At Christies Auction House today in New York, an 1827 first edition copy of an Edgar Allan Poe poetry collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was sold for $662,500 -- the most ever for a 19th century book of poetry. The 40-page collection, and Poe’s very first publication, was inspired by the work of British poet Lord Byron. Only a dozen copies are known to exist of the fifty initially pressed. Oddly enough Poe did not attach his name to Tamerlane; the authoEdgar Allan Poe Tamerlaner is only indicated as "A Bostonian." Also sold at auction was a two-page, hand written manuscript containing the first 8 stanzas (of 16 stanzas) of "For Annie" ("Thank Heaven: the crisis --- the danger is past....") from 1849, written just months before his death at age 40. The manuscript, which was written for a one of Poe's loves, Nancy L. Richmond, far exceeded the $50,000-$70,000 estimate, netting a mind blowing $830,500 at auction, breaking the 19th century literary manuscript record.
 
The book and manuscript, both somewhat worn and wrinkled, came from the private library of television producer William E. Self (he was the executive in charge of production for such classic shows as Batman, Lost in Space, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, and Land of the Giants). Both pieces were sold to anonymous bidders.
 
“As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and this is my last jest.”

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species

Posted by Whitmore, November 24, 2009 07:55pm | Post a Comment
Charles Darwin "On the Origin of Species" auction
Today in London, Christie's auction house sold a rare first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of its first publication. The book, one of only 1,250 copies first printed in 1859, was found on a shelf in a family's guest bathroom in Oxford. Christie's said they thought the book would likely sell for around $100,000, but an anonymous telephone bidder won the green bound, gilt-decorated tome for about $171,000. Darwin's Origin of Species outlined his theory of natural selection and is the foundation for the modern understanding of evolution.Charles Darwin "On the Origin of Species"
 
Of course, many fearful zealots thoroughly believe, and joyfully so, that Charles Darwin is now barbequing away, racked in hideous, throbbing pain, burning forever in the pit of hell for the rest of eternity because of his blasphemous thought provoking ideas, such as his belief that man evolved from lower forms of primates and random mutation.
 
Many of the least thinking biblical pundits and dim ostriches would like to blame Darwin and all his followers for the reason why this good christian nation is sliding into all things wicked. Any preacher worth his fear mongering salt will certainly lecture on the evil Stalinism these monkey loving evolutionists are shoving down the throats of the faithful joes and janes, taking society to hell in a hand basket with their flu shots, homosexuality, flag burning, pro-choice, science education, gun control, cunnilingus, hip hop, global warming, masturbating, MSNBC, health care reform.
 
Fear not creationists, god created Kansas just for you. Do I hear an amen!?
 
 

Big Night for Andy Warhol!

Posted by Whitmore, November 12, 2009 10:07pm | Post a Comment

Well somebody out there has money to burn ... shit, crisis what financial crisis? The pathetic and mostly lifeless contemporary art market was suddenly re-animated on Wednesday at Sotheby's New York when a silk-screen painting by Andy Warhol, produced in 1962, sold for a $43.8 million, the second highest price ever for a Warhol piece. (In 2007 his painting, Green car Crash (Green Burning Car 1), sold for a mind blowing $71.7 million.) The amazing thing about all this is that the pre-auction estimate of for the silk-screen was expected to pull in only about $8 - $12 million.
 
Sotheby's contemporary art auction as a whole sold $222.8 million worth of art, more than doubling the auction house's high estimate of about $98 million in sales.  
 
The bidding for the piece 200 One Dollar Bills opened at $6 million, but instantly doubled with the very first bid from the floor – those in the biz called it “an unusually aggressive move;” I call it just weird, ego driven conspicuous consumption. Five more bidders joined in the battle before an anonymous buyer won the painting via telephone bid.
 
Described as a "hugely important work for American art history," its one of Warhol’s earliest silk-screens. The 80¼ x 92¼ inches canvas comprises of 200 $1 bills reproduced in black and gray with a blue treasury seal. The painting's anonymous seller bought the piece back in 1986 for $385,000. Nice profit!

Yoko Ono Unveils New Mural

Posted by Whitmore, April 4, 2009 11:39am | Post a Comment
This past week Yoko Ono unveiled her new mural entitled Promise and plans for it to be auctioned off for the charity Autism Speaks. The installation depicts clouds against a clear blue sky and presently stands in the lobby at the United Nations building in New York.

The 76-year-old Japanese-born artist, musician and widow of John Lennon divided the seven-foot tall mural into 67 jigsaw-like pieces. Each piece will be signed by the artist and is being auctioned at www.charitybuzz.com/yoko; the starting bid for each section is $1,000. The 67 pieces represent the approximately 67 million people who have autism world wide. When the piece was unveiled on Wednesday, two pieces were already missing.

Autism Speaks said this UN event was one of more than 100 that took place in 35 different countries to mark the second annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, one of only three issues recognized by the United Nations with a dedicated day. The other days are for AIDS and diabetes.

Yoko Ono hopes that all 67 pieces will be reunited once a cure for autism is discovered.

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