New Fees at Sotheby’s too; Dean Valentine talks to the Times; Dallas Art Fair opens flexi-space; Swizz Beatz is a some sort of saint; What your business manager hears when you talk about buying art.
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New Fees Coming for Sotheby’s Next Week
- the 25% BP tier applies under $400,000 for sales in New York, £300,000 in London, €250,000 in Paris, €250,000 in Milan, CHF400,000 in Switzerland, and HK$3,500,000 in Hong Kong
- above that level the BP will be 20% until $4m/£3m
- Over $4m/£3m, the BP will rise from 12.9% to 13.9%. That change applies to New York, London, Paris, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and for Milan where VAT also applies.
Valentine’s Day in the Sun
The New York Times does its “Show Us Your Walls” thing with Dean Valentine but the striking takeaway is this brief quote from the collector that makes you wonder if this isn’t the real difference between the art world of late 20th Century and the fair-driven business of today:
- “I learned a lot of what I know about art from hanging out with dealers in the mid-90s and asking them, ‘Why is this any good?’” said Mr. Valentine, the former president of Walt Disney Television and the former chief executive officer of UPN.
Dallas Art Fair’s Year-Round Exhibition Space
The Dallas Art Fair is launching a flexible exhibitions space as an extension of the fair, according to D Magazine:
- “The event’s organizers announced a new exhibition space and cultural venue called 214 Projects, set to open on Saturday, March 2 in the Design District. It’s taking shape in River Bend, a redevelopment led by Dallas Art Fair Chairman John Sughure, which also holds the Dallas Art Fair office and other galleries. The 2,500-square-foot space will host year-round programming organized by the Dallas Art Fair team, giving a platform for international exhibitors as well as expanding upon the fair’s footprint.”
T Magazine’s Swizz Beats Profile Goes Off the Rails
There’s a compelling irony to the fact that M. H. Miller writes a long, gushing, fact-challenged profile of producer Swizz Beats as an art collector and instigator for so many in the rap world to become interested in and passionate about art for T Magazine without ever mentioning Kasseem Dean’s role in bringing Jho Low into the art world. The profile is worthwhile just for the long description of the art in Dean’s home. And Dean surely deserves credit for being a thoughtful guide to friends like Sean Coombs in buying an important work by Kerry James Marshall.
But you really have to be honest about your subject’s very long dalliance with Jho Low, if you’re going to go off on the art world like this:
- “To understand Dean’s true impact on the contemporary art world, one must first grasp just how unethical and ridiculous the art world can be. The best summation of this I’ve ever seen came from an email chain that was forwarded to me that was between a group of prominent artists, some of whose works regularly sell for seven figures. One of them was trying to sell a work he owned by another prominent artist in order to pay for an expensive surgery, but he didn’t want it to go to a particular collector who was known for selling works at auction for massive profits. “The auction thing is grotesque,” one of the artists remarked in the email. “But most people just think it’s fabulous. The art world is sick … Now it’s been taken over by these Kool-Aid drinking greedy ugly immoral hedge-fund auction-house zombies and everybody is just so titillated as they follow the creeps off the cliff.”
- “Auction houses are largely unregulated dens of inequity, where the identities of buyers — many of whom are actual white-collar criminals — is a closely guarded secret, the prices of works are marked up mostly for reasons of theatrics and artists receive no percentage of the sales, no matter that they created the works now making everyone in the room rich.”
Your Business Manager Doesn’t Care About Your Collection
- “Hollywood business manager Chris Bucci says about 10 percent to 15 percent of his clients (who include Emmy- and Oscar-winning producers and talent) are serious collectors; the rest are at least casually interested in fine art. If a client is considering a $250,000 piece, Bucci makes a referral to an art adviser. But if someone falls in love with a $1,500 painting, he’ll merely oversee the transaction and make sure it’s added to the client’s insurance policy. ‘I’m not going to tell them they can’t buy a piece of art. I’m just going to tell them what they can afford,’ he says. ‘Like the car they drive or the house they buy, it’s in the eye of the beholder.’”