Nate Freeman just published one of those epic quote-machine stories in ArtNews about Christie’s strategy over the last several months to reclaim its throne as the dominant house in Contemporary art. Naturally Freeman focuses on Brett Gorvy’s departure from the auction house. In the process, Freeman casts doubt upon Christie’s big Lichtenstein sale and tells tales of Daniel Loeb and Loic Gouzer sniping in the Instagram comments.
But none of that is really news, so let’s just skip ahead to the best quotes in the story. If you really need a refresher, read it here. Otherwise, here are the sound bites that will make you say, ‘Oh, snap!’
- “One of my colleagues at Christie’s has been saying, ‘You don’t want the May sales to be strong—you want to look good!’ ” Gorvy told me. “But it’s quite the opposite. You build your legacy, [and] the last thing you want is to leave and find that everything falls apart.”
- “When Brett announced he was leaving,” Gouzer told me, “I was high as a kite on 30 mg of oxycodone. You could tell me the world had come to an end, you could shoot a bullet in my other knee, and I would not feel it.”
- Gouzer on his relationship with Alex Rotter: “We’re bros, basically,” Gouzer said, before recalling how they met at Sotheby’s in London. “My internship consisted of cutting and pasting catalogues on cardboard files. That was supposed to be my job, but most of the time, I would just sniff the glue.”
- Speaking with me in her office in March, holding up a ringing phone—one of her multiple phones—Friedlander told me, “Literally, right now, as I’m sitting here with you, I’m closing.”
- Gouzer on landing Twombly’s Leda and the Swan in Japan: The specialists had navigated intricate Japanese ceremonies before and, as they got closer to the end of an endurance test, moved into a carefully calibrated dance to convince the collector that Christie’s would be the house that handled the work best.
Getting Their House in Order: How a ‘Reloaded’ Christie’s Built a Near-$500 M. Sale (ARTnews)