My wonderful buddy Scott Niichel invited me to check out the Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art exhibition before their corresponding auction last week. The rooms were packed with sketches, paintings and sculptures typically reserved for elite museums and public institutions, but in this setting the placards with artist, name & date also came with estimates. While it boggled my mind to consider that these pieces by Picasso, Miro, Gauguin, Matisse, Renoir... are likely to end up in private collections, the exhibition also reminded me of the patronage behind the art as well.
Like it or not the stories of the commerce of art are as intrinsically linked to it's development and documentation as the historical and aesthetic movements behind the work. What inspired the art, the process of creation and then who in turn chose to buy or preserve lead to me view it at an auction 80 years later. The question of public/social vs private/capitalistic aside it was a pleasure to be inspired both artistically and ethically. Thanks Scott! Here is a portrait I drew of him!