June 15, 2010
Missed Opportunities (for Art Basel visitors)
Sometimes you just miss the boat. In art that is. You walk into an art gallery and you leave empty handed. You dismiss the art, or the price of the art, or the need to buy more art.
- At Third line, circa 2005, you say "Mohsheri painted antiquated jugs, and now these numerals?" Today, you regret that you didn't buy Mohshri's work before he went bling on us, swarovsky, cake icing and Hello Kitty!
- You see a "Blood Line" chinese painting (father, mother and only child in the center) at ArtBasel in 2001 for the price of 20k. You think: "I could buy a fancy car for that price!"
- You remember calling your father in 1994 and urging him to buy a Roy Liechenstein (while the artist was still waking up every morning in his Soho stuido and painting) at 100k because there was a show at the Whitney and how much more convincing is that? But the inevitable answer was: "I could buy a penthouse in New York for that price "(that was in 1994).
- You take a millionaire by the hand at Art Paris, you show him a Chagall depicting those famous wedding scenes, with bride and groom floating over the mountain village of Saint Paul de Vence and a still life bouquet in the foreground, with a provenance of the Chagall family. The millionaire shakes his head and answers: "I could buy a penthouse in Dubai for 2 million dollars" (that was in 2007).
But sometimes you don't miss the opportunity. You try your luck and bid for a Ghada Amr at a Christies auction in Dubai. You raise your arm at the reserve price, turn around with your raised paddle to see who is trying to outbid you, but somehow you are the only one interested. And that is when you return home with a forest scape by Ghada Amr at an amazing bargain. Pure serendipity.