Overall, the auction was successful, with evening results totalling $1,517,250 against a low estimate of $1,352,000 for the 28 works. That’s nothing to be sad about. Still, most of the lots that did sell hovered just above their low estimates, and 30 percent of the lots didn’t sell. It seems that at this moment, a showcase of Avedon’s strange, glamorous world doesn’t garner much excitement.
“Most of our online-only sales will be open and available for a week,” Christie’s specialist Amy Cappellazzo said in a phone interview today. “So if you’re in Azerbaijan, you don’t have to log in at 12 past 3 on a Wednesday morning in order to bid.” Warhol may be a household name, Cappellazzo added, but many people around the world have never seen a Warhol up close. “The prospect of delivering his work in places it’s never landed before is very exiting. It’s exactly what Andy would have wanted.”
Some male politicians did show up to last night's Women's Campaign Fund reception at Christie's in Rockefeller Center, though they were solidly outnumbered by their female counterparts.
Public advocate and aspiring mayor Bill de Blasio was there, as was congressman Jerry Nadler, but so were Representative Nydia Velazquez, who's facing a tough reelection campaign, community board chair Julie Menin, who wants to run for Manhattan borough president, Councilwoman Letitia James, who's running for public advocate, and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student Rush Limbaugh called some nasty names, and who now seems to be setting up nicely for a run for something.(2)
The small crowd that gathered in an upstairs room at Christie's on Tuesday evening was youthful even if it wasn't universally young, casually well-dressed, savvy about both art history and the technical aspects of painting. It was, in other words, a group of people very much like the artist Will Cotton, whose talk these people had come to hear.
It was the first ArtTalk of the American Federation of Art's 2010-11 season, this one with in-kind support from Christie's, which provided the conference room and the flat-screen monitor, and refreshment from the Kumquat Cupcakery.