Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Labels: pHOTO:mARIANA rOTHEN
ART AUCTION FOR THE CHARITY FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE DYING TOO SOON
The rich are a funny bunch. If they aren't squandering their money on houses and cars and boats and other crap to make themselves feel alive, they are trying to get free stuff donated to them so they can auction it off to benefit the charity of their choice. In return for this they get their names and pictures in the society pages of newspaper and magazines, that cater to other rich people. Hopefully in the process said charity is benefited by more exposure to its cause and some well deserved cash. Usually famous artists are asked to donate a piece. The rich artist in turn takes a tax break on the donation, a rich collector buys the piece (also taking a tax break) and the charity receives the funds. Because they are a 501c-3 they do not pay taxes. Where the money goes after this is anyone's guess. Once in a great while a poor artist, like myself, is asked to pony up for the cause.
After a week of vague emails from a woman who happens to be a raw juice mogul/art consultant, about a very "exciting" project, I got a call to explain just what she had been referring to. A rich guy collector was distributing "boxes" to various artists, actors, and others to decorate. I was not as "excited" as she was by this project. This is right up there with the Woodridge peace signs that Bronco Billy routered out of plywood, in order to be decorated and drum up some artistic community spirit here in the hood. Decorating someone else's object is right up there with digging my eyes out with a dull spoon. "It's for a great cause." the woman said, naming the charity I had never heard of and finishing the pitch with "They are all dying." I respectfully declined the box and we left it loose as to a donation. But then I reconsidered. I'm a easy touch for kids who are dying too soon. Here is my donation to be auctioned off at a later date. I hope it brings a high price.
1. Bury the box in a spot of your choosing.
2. After covering the box with dirt, photograph the spot.
3. Print photo 42 inches high and hang next to instructions.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
When I ran a real gallery, in the 80's, I took 50% of anything I sold. It was my way of starting a hedge fund. If I couldn't sell my work, I would hedge my bet by representing other artist's work. I handled artists like Robin Winters and Karen Finley and Tony Oursler, all individuals who either had a market, or would go on to have one. The problem was, I wasn't much of a salesman. I could display and present their work in a great context, and maybe even garner them some press, but when it came to closing the deal and actually getting check in hand....I fell flat. It's a deficiency, like lack of testosterone. I have no sales gene. Sales were so few and far between, I was forced to close. Fast forward 30 years.
MO David North revisited this hedge fund approach. Without the on site, retail, aspect of being in an established gallery district, like the East Village, I opted for a low impact "by appt only" approach, on my porch in the Catskills. Shewho sold a couple of Kerns and Rothens to the bass player from U2 and that was about it. No one made an appointment. So, once again I closed the gallery and turned it into my studio. This led me to turn the church, my lawn and the shul also into studio space. Chuck may be right. Give me an empty space and I'll fill it to pathological proportions. My horror vacui was in full effect.
And this brings us to today's proposal. What I need is a syndicate of investors. Those readers who aren't from around here will be surprised to find out just how much money surrounds me. The Porsches and Ferraris are not rare. But, as usual, the money may be there, but the willingness to spend it on art is not. There are no Peter Brants or de Menils bringing in the super models and feathering even a fledgling collection. The money in the neighborhood does not get spent on art. OK. Nobody wants to shove work where it's not wanted nor appreciated. But what if one could invest in specific art projects?
The big steel $ORRY on my front lawn is a perfect example of an investment.
West coast artist and philanthropist TR paid for the fabrication of the piece. In return for this I gave him a 15% stake in the work. I know what you're thinking. 15% of nothing is nothing. Granted. But this won't always be the case, if I have anything to say about it. If I can't sell my work, maybe I can stop the hemorrhaging of my own money in making and displaying it. I've already pitched one idea to a well heeled local, and have yet to hear back. It's simple: pay for fabrication, and display the work on your property. When it sells you get your initial investment back and 15% of the sales price. I won't always be so obscure and worthless. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor. Lines are open.