The ’80s, Through Warhol’s Eyes

I knew Andy Warhol for a short but lively stint in 1984 and ’85, while my then-fiancée was one of his best friends. We were out every night, all night. One night, my parents had their big summer party in Greenwich; I thought Andy would like it since I had invited a few top polo players, all the Argentine pros. He arrived late, in a long white stretch limo. As… Read more

The Grand Tourist

In the art world, summer is the time to make the pilgrimage: Events in Europe, public and private, afford much to marvel at, to think about-and, possibly, to buy.     FROM BASEL: THE Swiss have a few things to teach us about art collecting, given their appetite for it and the superb way they exhibit their works. Case in point is the Schaulager. This private museum, funded by the… Read more

Betting on China

In December of 2008, sitting on an art collecting panel at Art Basel Miami Beach, I was asked what I thought of Chinese contemporary art. My sarcastic response was that I loved Chinese food, but when it came to art, it seemed to me that the market bubble had already burst. The month earlier, at the Christie’s auction of Asian art, 44 percent of the lots failed to sell and… Read more

Secrets of the Star Art Collectors

Clichés die hard and slow, mainly because most people simplify things in order to process them. When it comes to art collecting, people love to talk up the storied collectors of old to give hope to new art buyers. Consider the oft-told tale of Herb and Dorothy Vogel, a retired postal clerk and an ex-librarian who famously pooled their very limited resources and collected thousands of artworks over 45 years,… Read more

Schooled by the Sculls

The new show “Robert and Ethel Scull: portrait of a collection” at Acquavella Galleries is a must-see, not only to marvel at some of what the Sculls once possessed, but to reflect on where the art world was then and is now.   The show includes a Jasper Johns’ trifecta: Map, donated to the Museum of Modern Art by the Sculls, as well one of his exquisite target paintings… Read more

Art Critics: Get Real!

Last week, the New Museum opened its new show, “Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection,” curated by mega-art-star Jeff Koons. This show has prompted a huge amount of controversy and suspicion, from The New York Times to The Village Voice, and all the blogs in between.   Some journalists feel safe sounding prudish, cautious and wary of shows that are fraught with art market implications. Like it… Read more

Artless in Miami

Want to know what the scene was like at Art Basel Miami Beach this year? The answer can be summed up in one word: bloated.   The fair has been running for seven years, and its success has paralleled the contemporary art boom. The fair allows foreign dealers from all over the world to show art in the U.S., still the global art-buying sweet spot, and gives collectors a shopping… Read more