Thursday, May 08, 2008

Psst...hey you...wanna start an art collection?

One of the best-kept secrets in New York is the extraordinarily high quality of the artwork available at the Momenta Art benefit each year. It's one of the don't-miss events on our calendar, not only because we love Momenta (and, well, because this year I'm on the benefit committee), but because the atmosphere and format of the benefit is always one of pure joy (ok, so if your raffle number is called last, it might not be "pure" joy,'s still fun!).

Add in the fact that we have scored some pretty amazing artworks in the raffle and virtually stolen gems during the auction portions of the benefit each year, and it becomes impossible for me to understand why everyone interested in building a collection of contemporary art isn't snapping up a raffle ticket and grabbing themselves an auction paddle.

You can see the all-star line-up of works available in the
raffle section (for only $225) here (click link in middle of page). And in the auction section, I must say, the benefit folks have truly outdone themselves this year. Included are fantastic works by :

huma bhabha
carol bove
carteranne collier
jason fox
matthew higgs
laurie hogin
sibusiso mbhele
robert melee
matt mullican
wolfgang tillmans
olav westphalen
white columns portfolio (jeremy deller, trisha donnelly, richard prince, rirkrit tiravanija)
beatrice wood
andy yoder

(psst...the Andy Yoder is a particularly smart buy at the heard it here first).

Momenta has made it
easy for you to purchase your raffle ticket online, but let me encourage you to come to the auction as well, and support this Williamsburg institution and truly one of New York's most important non-profit art spaces for emerging artists.

Event at White Columns
Wednesday, May 21, 5-10PM
Auction: 5-6PM
Raffle: 7-9PM

Labels: Momenta Benefit


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think participating in benefits undermines the value of the work? Why would any collector pay full price when he/she knows they can pick one up at 40% at a benefit? I do donate to arts organizations but there are so many benefits which target artist donations now.

5/08/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Do you think participating in benefits undermines the value of the work?

Undermines it? No. I think it indicates an artist considers themselves part of the community. The programming at Momenta gives so much to emerging artists that I think artists who contribute to their benefit are merely saying "thank you."

Why would any collector pay full price when he/she knows they can pick one up at 40% at a benefit?

If they can. There is some competition generally.

there are so many benefits which target artist donations now

Yes, there are. Which is why I advise my artists to limit the number they contribute to, but having said that, there are tens of thousands of artists in New York, so there's plenty of work.

I also see benefits as a nice way to get your name out (keep it in the public's mind) between exhibitions. Not too many, mind you, but when I see an artist as established as say Wolfgang Tillmans donating work to a benefit, I assume 1) this organization does great work to attract someone of that stature and 2) the quality of the other work I'll find there will be high as well.

5/08/2008 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Allison said...

It's all those mirrors on the cover, I guess.

5/08/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is not a pipe!

5/08/2008 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why would any collector pay full price when he/she knows they can pick one up at 40% at a benefit?"

Keep in mind, artists use benefit auctions as a way to build collections of their own. Paying full price isn't an option when you're having trouble selling your own work.

5/08/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

I'm not a fan of artists donating work to auctions, for the reasons I enumerate in this post:

I'm not totally bah-humbug. If you have personally benefitted from an organization, a donated work is a nice way to say thank you, and there are other non-art ways artists can support organizations, but typically it's the poor being asked to support the poor. How about if these non-profit organizations hit up attorneys and bankers to auction off legal or financial services, or developers to offer free rental space?

5/08/2008 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think non-profits should make the bidders sign a legal contract promising that the art won in an auction cannot/will not be sold for a certain period of time.

Am I being naive? Would this kill benefit auctions?

5/08/2008 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

I will donate something other than my commercial work like like a drawing or maquette but not a signature piece of my sculpture- at least not at this stage of my career while i am trying to build my exhibition record and a consistent price structure- but i think if you donate you should at least get to go to the event for free and be able to bring a guest- and you should get some percent of the sale price- i've had venues 'reject' my donation and ask for something more substantial, in addition to an organization losing the donation and of course- not selling it and wanting me to give it to someone who works at the organization as a gift but my favorite is the mfa boston- you have to be juried into their auction- so you can pay for the ultimate privilege of competing with other artists to give your work away- it just makes no sense to me esp when the auction is not for an art association or museum- that's when they should be auctioning off gift cards to target or to restaurants or something the average person can understand the value of instead of art- it's usually bad for artists except for the rare situation where the market price and/or reputation of the artist is understood and the audience is sophisticated and the piece might not be a new one- it might be a nice piece of an older series that just didnt sell... and the artist has a ton of inventory and they also get the name and contact info of the buyer- then i think it's ok- but still not great for the artist- at least not artists for whom money is a reality

5/08/2008 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If the auction wasn't for the MFA Boston, why were they holding it? What was it benefitting?

5/08/2008 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

it was for the mfa- the comment after that referred to a separate issue- auctions that are for a good cause- sorry for the confusion

5/08/2008 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoy being asked to donate work to arts organizations which have never shown my work or the work of friends. While I appreciate the necessity of keeping a wide range of spaces open, being asked to help a group which won't even do a studio visit with me - it just seems rude. (Mind you, the first time I was asked, I gave.)

5/08/2008 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger said...

hmmm, looks great. Can raffle tickets be purchased by people outside the USA

Nicholas Forrest

5/08/2008 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger pam farrell said...

I've just been asked to donate a piece to an arts organization I belong to and have benefited from. This org offers participating artists the option of donating the full amount of the $$ realized from the auction or receiving a 40% commission. I've read Joanne Mattera's post on this issue and the many interesting comments and given my decision some thought. Since I support the mission of the org, and because I can opt to receive a share of $$ realized, I will participate. I believe each request for a donation should be considered on an individual basis.

5/08/2008 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger concrete phone said...

I give to the visual aids, an excellent event and benefit, once a year. People buy and support just by looking at the work, very simple, which I like, which In its simplicity is still quite revolutionary-- helps in not so much furthering one's career though better adds potential, comfort, to those whose lives have been unexpectedly compromised.

5/09/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a couple of thoughts...

artists do not, generally, donate major works to benefits. i don't.

I have NEVER donated to a benefit and not had the piece sell, while normal sales are sometimes a struggle. Having said that, they sell for a small fraction of what a major piece, in a gallery, goes for.

5/09/2008 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous barry said...

James and I have discovered / followed / collected a huge number of artists we first spotted at art benefits such as this one, the DUMBO Arts Center auction, and others.

5/09/2008 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

and don't miss the second annual...
Art Auction and Gala Benefit
to complete the preservation of the 33 year A-V archives of Artists Talk On Art (ATOA)
Monday, May 12, 2008 at 6 pm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, NYC

5/09/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to start a art collection. Just so long as it doesn't have to involve the bludgeoning to death of a doe, a pig, a horse, and three other animals with a hammer.

5/10/2008 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Just so long as it doesn't have to involve the bludgeoning to death of a doe, a pig, a horse, and three other animals with a hammer.


5/10/2008 12:04:00 PM  
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5/10/2008 11:43:00 PM  

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