Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Confessions of an Art Addict


Who would I have wished to invite for dinner? Peggy Guggenheim of course!
Slowly turning into an absolute Art Addict myself, without the same capacity to collect as her, but soon I will be able to present and show great artists that I believe in.
Interestingly enough she opened here first Gallery at the same age as me, or should I say inspiringly for me. Her gallery did not last long in London because of the second world war, and changes like creating a little museum instead. But, Peggy continued in New York, where she must be given the credit of bringing out some of the greatest artist of the last Century.
The list is long but she is probably best known for her support to Jackson Pollock and her interesting marriages and affairs that includes among others Laurence Vail, Samuel Beckett and Max Ernst.

Later Peggy decided that Venice was going to be where she would like to live, she bought a Palace and started showing Art right out of her home. Sometimes to the confusion of both visitors and staff.

The books is a refreshing comment on her addiction, she writes freely and honestly.
Quite entertaining at times.
As with her phallic horseman sculpture by Marino that she was showing:

"When the nuns came to be blessed by the Patriarch, who on special holy days, went by my house in a motorboat, I detached the phallus of the horseman and hid it in a drawer. I also did this on certain days when I had to receive stuffy visitors, but occasionally I forgot, and when confronted with this phallus found myself in great embarrassment. The only thing to do in such cases was to ignore it. In Venice a legend spread that I had several phalluses of different sizes, like spare parts, which I used in different occasions."

When it comes to it my biggest wish is not to have Peggy come to my dinner party, but that I could have been at one of her guests, it must have been extraordinary. But I will have to be grateful that I get to read about it.

With Love

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catlin Award 2012

Soheila Sokhanvari
Google TPAJAX to find the title
Taxidermy, jesmonite, car paint, metal


Last night was the final ceremony for the Catlin award. It is an award given to recent graduates from UK art schools. First they pick 40 artists that they see as the most talented of that year, later it triggers down to 10 of these that goes on to be part of the final award. 

Soheila Sokhanvari, that I am so lucky to have a chance to show work by in August at my Gallery was one of the finalists. Soheila is an incredible person as well as an artist. Coming from Iran where every prominent governmental figure is shown proudly and statuesque sitting on a horse, she is here showing a horse that has been taken over, a horse that is lying on it's back overwhelmed by its time. How Soheila has managed to create this piece continues to baffle me, I have seen another of her horses before, but when I came to the award I was pulled back by it and the only thing I could exclaim was "WOW!". Her background in biology is probably one of many links to her impressive craftsmanship.

Greta Alfaro
Invencion #1-3
Plasterboard construction covered in edible meringue

Greta Alfaro drew my interest with these photographs and the exciting work that has been done to make it. To think she made this scenario out of edible meringue is quite baffling.

Adeline De Monsegnat
Mother HEB/Loletta
Vintage fur, pillow filler, glass, motor, wood, sand

Adeline de Monsegnat won the viewers price, unfortunately this image is not giving it the credit it deserves. In real, the furry balls are both beautiful and a bit frightening.

Johnny Briggs
Comfort Object
C-type Lambda prints individually mounted

Johnny Briggs, takes photographs reflecting on relationships, especially his relationship to his parents. They are haunting and touching at the same time.

Johnny Briggs
C-type Lambda print

Julia Vogl
Coloured carpet tiles, vinyl.

Julia Vogl was the winner of the award, I must admit I felt a bit cheated... It is a fun piece and has a great way of interacting with its audience, but seems a bit unfinished and rather simple compared to the other contestants work. 

Soheila and I

Still happy even if she did not win, but in my heart she did.

With Love

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Sotheby's evening sale 2nd of May 2012

Just turned on the Sotheby's evening sale online viewing... and I find myself terribly excited. In one minute begins the sale and "The Scream" is lot number 20. The most talked about Art sale of the year. How much will it go for? Who will buy it?

"Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seat".

So there it begins, with Matisse, Picasso, Leger all selling at good, if not over estimates with a bit of a dip with Soutine.
Feeling like I am having some sort of personal relationship with this painting, like it is the Norwegian soul being sold somehow, but telling myself there are others at "home", also it is quite amazing what this sale of "Scream" is doing for Edvard Munch's placement in the history of art. Suddenly all are talking about the Scream, even the ones who clearly do not care that much about art.

As another reason for my excitement is the Munch exhibit that is happening at the Tate Modern this summer, but really and honestly I am most excited about the opening exhibit of ArtEco Gallery with an exhibit called "After Munch".
In direct response to the Tate exhibit I have arranged an exhibit with acclaimed Norwegian Artists that will represent the feeling of Munch in us now.

.... And there the internet is down and no online viewing is possible... will have to wait patiently (not my strongest quality) and hope that it will pick up again before lot 20. I have only 5 lots to go on...

What?  I am getting the response "This auction is over" is it possible? No... finally I get back in and I can't get a picture but I can hear the auctioneer trying to get a higher bid than $107 Million... but it is not working so $107 Million it is. With the Buyers premium it ends up being 119,922,500 USD.
As I understand this is the highest paid painting at auction. *Auction houses has been involved in higher sales as an example the Gustave Klimt painting in 2006 "Portrait of Adele Blochbauer I" sold at $135 Millions, but as a private sale via Christie's. You can now find that painting at the Neue Galerie in New York. But now the question that lingers is, will we get to see "The Scream" again...? maybe we will know tomorrow.
Now I will follow the London time and slowly fall asleep, but first I have to show you Markus Brendmoe's version of the "Scream" That I will be showing at Art Eco Gallery's grand opening the 28th of June.

Markus Brendmoe
Skrik (Scream) 2009

Markus who has been influenced by Munch, has also here in this painting used images from the devastating 7/7 terrorist bombing in London, so very appropriate that I get to show it here.
Last year Markus Brendmoe had a very successful exhibit called "Munch etc." at the Stenerersenmuseumet in Oslo. ArtEco Gallery is thrilled to have him be part of the opening exhibit together with Unni Askeland and Crispin Gurholt! You will hear more about it later:)

With all this excitement, do you think I can sleep?
Well I will try,
With Love