|Photos by Ty Milford Photography|
Fund-raising auctions are big business these days, with almost every
major arts organization holding one annually. They offer great opportunities
for fledgling (and some real) collectors to buy contemporary works of art, and
the organizations obviously benefit. But many artists say the auctions mess
with the market — if prospective buyers think they can get a piece for
$300, say, why would they ever pay $2,000 for a work by the same artist? Other
artists complain that they can’t get gallery shows or interest from museums
and yet are repeatedly asked to donate their work. Still, the auctions generate
a lot of interest in the contemporary art world and often serve as an introduction
to (and for) emerging artists. Not a bad thing. Plus, they can be a lot of fun.
Really. Over the past several months, the Weekly’s art-auction editorial
board of one attended five auctions, spent too much, and rates them unscientifically,
in 10 categories, for a possible high score of 100.
To launch a pdf file and see how the auctions stack up, click