Some of these auctions have the exact theme of “photo ties”, or works from the collection of Uesugi Mochinori, a Japanese aristocrat in the late Edo period.Others are catch-alls and consist of so many different types of items — photos of mid-century car accidents, sketches resulting from Gustav Klimt — a kind of sale. Cabinet of curiosities.. In such cases, the auction catalog is the discoverer of the luxury method, and in most cases, a downloadable PDF or online gallery that records the source, dimensions, and condition of the work, and may even include descriptive inside stories. I have. Sometimes they are stylishly printed and bound volumes. The catalog is desirable enough that the old copy itself is often auctioned.
One of my favorites is Swan’s annual LGBTQ + catalog that accompanies the sale of art, material culture and history. This includes over 200 bizarre sidenotes from the Civil War era to the present day. Here’s a trivia about Mike Mixhe (aka Steve Masters), a former Air Force flight captain who created flashy erotic art in the 1950s and 1960s, for example. Mainly co-starred with tattoo artist and writer Samuel M. Steward. Many featured greeting cards from the Third World Gay Revolution, an executive of radical queer activists from the 1970s.
To navigate this prize, you need to draw an aesthetic line on the sand. This is what I like and I am willing to pay for it. Recently, I have been bidding on Gregory Goby’s 1992 work “Club Miraflores”. This is an almost life-sized sculpture of a dancer swinging his chest around the arrogant male circle below. My rational mind knows that the sculpture is sticky and aggressive on the border, but my reptile brain loves its ruche effervescent. At these auctions, there is no explanation of the taste, just pay for it.
The eccentric and violent concept of art I found at these auctions changed my way of thinking about aesthetic judgment. Before I met the auction, I knew it was ironic and raw (I love Jean Dubuffet’s work, for example). The privacy of the sofa allows you to enjoy art that is not always recommended in public. I’m thinking of a picture titled “Peter (Home Sweet Home)” in 2005. This picture depicts a man wearing a baggy T-shirt and cut-off shorts pulling his pants down in front of a mathematically scribbled blackboard. It’s a quirky portrait like novelty art. Still, the longer you look, the more nuances you get. The contrast between the academic seriousness of the background and the rudeness of gestures is interesting. In addition, the composition is cheeky. Peter’s crotch is a visual and thematic eyeball, highlighted by the south-pointing pixelated arrow on the shirt. I wasn’t the only one who was fascinated by the riddle. The painting sold for $ 625.
Over and over again, auctions offer the opportunity to look more closely and think more generously. An unavoidable question when browsing some of these things is why someone wants it. I want it partially because it’s not very adorable or ignored. The work of a person like Marvin Francis, whose expressive sculptures of prison inmates are now made of toilet paper, looks as elegant as Rodin’s. Auctions are a back channel to formats such as velvet paintings, snapshots, and advertisements that are not on display, rarely on display, and are usually directed to landfills. Sure, I’m often confused by what I find, but I’m also inspired by these treasure trove, where every object can be a masterpiece waiting for its wall.