Kenny Schachter was busy last week prowling the sales with his running buddy; who was bidding up Guyton and Stingel while deftly avoiding becoming an owner, according to Kenny. When not buying a Polke, Kenny was watching the day sales like a sniper:
From the Christie’s day sale, a recently bought Harold Ancart (Belgian, b. 1980) from 2014 with an estimate of $80,000-$120,000 (said to have been offered by Michael Ovitz) sold for a remarkable $750,500; his previous record was just shy of $100,000. Before the hammer fell, three Ancarts appeared on my phone for sale. Who said speculative flipping has flopped?
Schachter also has a small anecdote about the ways in which dealers are trying to keep their best works from getting ‘burned’ just by being offered:
Some of the contributing factors to the overall expansion of the breadth of the art market have to do with greater transparency afforded by technology—whereas art used to trade by photographic reproductions and auctions were largely for the trade—now you can watch sales live on your phone and images fly across the net like airborne contagion. However, in this tech defined era that has transformed the nature of how art is bought and sold, there is a paranoiac backlash underfoot. One dealer tried to sell me a Mark Bradford but only on the condition we meet in a restaurant to see the image on her laptop. She then refused to pass the image along to me (in any form). That was the end of that.