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Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon) by Richard Polsky

I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon)
Publisher: Other Press
ISBN: 1590513371
Pages: 288 pgs
Genre: Memoir
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Publisher’s Description:

In early 2005, Richard Polsky decided to put his much-loved, hard-won Warhol Fright Wig, up for auction at Christie's. The market for contemporary art was robust and he was hoping to turn a profit. His instinct seemed to be on target: his picture sold for $375,000. But if only Polsky had waited . . . Over the next two years, prices soared to unimaginable heights with multimillion-dollar deals that became the norm and not the exception. Buyers and sellers were baffled, art dealers were bypassed for auction houses, and benchmark prices proved that trees really do grow to the sky. Had the market lost all reason?

In I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon), Polsky leads the way through this explosive, short-lived period when the "art world" became the "art market." He delves into the behind-the-scenes politics of auctions, the shift in power away from galleries, and the search for affordable art in a rich man's playing field. Unlike most in the art world, Polsky is not afraid to tell it like it is as he negotiates deals for clients in New York, London, and San Francisco and seeks out a replacement for his lost Fright Wig in a market that has galloped beyond his means. A compelling backdoor tell-all about the strange and fickle world of art collecting, I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon) takes an unvarnished look at how the industry shifted from art appreciation to monetary appreciation.

My Review:

Before I begin I must say that I don’t know much about art. I mean I know the requisite stuff but anything beyond that is questionable. I unofficially minored in art history in college but my interests were more classical than modern. But nevertheless, it did not take away from my enjoyment at all.

I found this book to be conversational and intriguing. I love reading books about subjects I know nothing about and art dealing is most definitely one of those things. I had absolutely no knowledge of how books got into collections and the people behind the deals. I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon) really gives you a birds-eye view on the world of art dealing and the changes in the market and tastes. I loved the dealing and negotiating. It was the most interesting part of this book.

This book could have been very boring if it had not been written in an engaging and intelligent manner. Polsky’s prose brings you right into the art dealing world and it really grips you and keeps you interested. There were however some points where I felt my interest fading but not for long. Polsky always managed to draw me back in.

I really liked I Sold Andy Warhol (too soon). It was a great subway read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, yet intelligent read.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

1 comment:

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