Thursday, July 14, 2005

My Favorite List

It's lame, I know, but in the way others get excited about the 100 Richest People or the 50 Most Beautiful People lists published every year, I can't wait to see ArtNews' summer round-up of The World's 200 Top Collectors. Well, it's out again, and there are some nice surprises in it.

Mind you, I only have a passing interest in anyone who doesn't collector contemporary art, but it's fun to see who's been added or cut. I was very pleased to see one of my favorite collectors join the list this time, as well as see some of those who've been there hold their spots. There's a few I've been pulling for, but, alas, they'll still have to wait (it does make me wonder how much lobbying goes into this...anyone know the process?). Now if ArtNews would just publish their mobile phone numbers. ;-)


Anonymous crionna said...

Nice to see some of the Microsoft money eing used well...

7/14/2005 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Yes, I agree, crionna. It's nice that they collect.

A friend of mine in the business noted a while back that Gates himself could have bought each and every piece sold at The Armory Show last year (total sales were an estimated $45 million), each and every piece, and barely missed the money.

Of course, Gates is not on the list, so perhaps he would miss the money.

7/14/2005 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous crionna said...

Wow, then again, Gates has funded quite a large foundation to help the less-fortunate. Perhaps they would miss it.

Ovitz too makes the list. Penance?? ;)

7/14/2005 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Penance?? ;)

Probably not the sort one normally thinks of. The rationale behind the collections of many barons of business is illustrated beautifully in any of the biographies of Joseph Duveen (I'd read this one by's more fun than some others) perhaps the greatest art dealer in American history (depending on how you define "great").

The idea, or so it's suggested in Berhman's book, is these folks have conquered everything it's rational to conquer on this earth, and into their twilight years begin to focus on an odd mix of wanting to be immortal and ensuring their legacy is a positive one. The positive legacy is certainly where the penance part comes in, to some degree, but the other is more a sense of somehow becoming a "god" via their collection. In other words, it's still sometimes creepy. I'm not doing it justice, but Berhman does.

7/14/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous jj said...

I read something a few years back indicating that the list is heavilly influenced by auctions but I'm certain it is a byzantine political process in addition to that activity. Auction houses definitely dont show the whole picture.

7/14/2005 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous crionna said...

Heh, thanks for the book rec E, but when I mentioned penance, I meant more in the form of Ovitz buying great art as penance for some of the crap he puts out...

Whenever I see these lists I hearken back to The West Wing where CNJ gets fired from her PR job because she can't keep a guy from dropping in the "Hollywood Power List" in spite of his horrid films that year. Prolly a little of that happening too. Especially to help ensure/advertise a legacy.

7/14/2005 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

thanks for the info JJ...It must be (at least partially) sheer total $$ spent (basing that on who's there and who's not), but how do they figure that out?

7/14/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous jj said...

It might be taxes although I think it's partly based on media perceptions too. For example, notice how many Seattle area collectors are suddenly on the list this year?

New Yorkers might not have heard about this but the State of Washington is agressively collecting use tax on art that these collectors are bringing into the state. These people are paying the back taxes owed and probably declared more on tax day this year as well. The net result, lots of Seattle collerctors on the list, although I dont believe they are collecting any more than usual. Regina Hackett at the Seattle PI broke the story.

Of course the solution is simple (Paul Allen does this already) simply keep some of these great collections in Portland (the place is jumping with art activity these days). Of course Allen owns a NBA team in Portland and has a residence at the arena... I wonder where he keeps Lichtenstein's Blam?

7/14/2005 11:53:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home