Thursday, December 17, 2009
I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon) by Richard Polsky
In i sold Andy Warhol. (too soon), Richard Polsky takes the reader on a tour of high priced art and the dealer world of artists, buyers, sellers, galleries, auction houses, and of course, the deal. Polsky is well suited to this task as he has been involved in most of these roles. As a former galley owner and collector, he purchased art and sold it. He is intimately familiar with the big auction houses and the inside manuverings that characterize the transfer of great art from one collector to another.
The book is loosely organized around Polsky's quest to find an Andy Warhol painting for one of his clients. They work the network, approaching known Warhol collectors, quizzing galleries, and attending auctions. All of this brings angst to Polsky. He had had a Warhol and sold it years ago, before the meteoric rise of art prices. Seeing what a Warhol brought at today's prices (a million or more) made his selling that much more painful.
I found the discussion about how the art world is changing quite interesting. Polsky sees a decline in galleries and more and more attention shifting to the big auctions. He redefines himself in this world, changing his role to an art purchasing advisor rather than a gallery owner, and believes this is where many who want to stay in this world will end up as a career choice. I also found the world of the super-rich and their concerns interesting.
This book is recommended for anyone interested in art, how artists work, and especially the finance of great art.