Graham Bowley does a great service to the art market by focusing on the vibrant, healthy and broadest base of the market, indy auctioneers:
“Here anyone can walk in,” Capo’s co-owner Larry Berman said. “What we have here is for the masses. Most people feel uncomfortable going to Christie’s or Sotheby’s. We are trying to lure them into coming into Queens.” […]
He and his brother and co-owner, Robert, have run a trucking business for years from Queens warehouses, crating and shipping art for auction houses, dealers and collectors. But when one of the small Manhattan auction houses they served closed down, they decided in 2010 to try the selling business themselves, with a partner, Michael Capo, who has since left and now runs a different auction house, Beaux-Arts Auction, a few miles away, also in Long Island City. […]
But buyers balked at many of the more than 700 lots. No one wanted the fish knives. The vintage clothes were a dud. A sculpture by the Finnish artist Rut Bryk was the top selling artwork, going for $7,000 to a phone buyer from Potomac, Md.
Each buyer had his or her own calculus for deciding what to buy. Joel Kramer, 70, a retired actor, bought a carved alabaster figure of a Native American with an eagle for $150.
Jenine Lindner, 65, of Manhattan, bought three paintings at Capo: a fishing scene for $250, a landscape for $100 and a portrait of a young woman for $50. […]
“There is so much good art out there,” she said, “for a little bit of money.”
Art Auctions Without the Attitude (NYTimes)