Other past participants noted that the prices their pieces achieved weren’t the only consideration. While painter Sarah Slappey said she was content with what her works earned—such as $390 for an oil-on-paper rendering of distended fingers poking through a window pane
—“the exposure was probably more valuable,” she said.
Moore put me in touch with a few of SYNT’s recent successful bidders, including Jackie Goldstein, senior director of commerce at Vox Media, who said she’s been collecting art for around seven years via traditional channels. Her introduction to See You Next Thursday came through the artist
, whose oil-on-paper painting of a skull with a halo she snagged for $275. Lexi Bishop, a New York–based specialist in Christie’s post-war and contemporary art department, was the winning bidder for the aforementioned work by Slappey.
“It is absolutely, wholly addicting,” Bishop said of SYNT’s format. “Bidding in the comments section on Instagram is so entertaining—it is transparent and collegial, everyone is cheering you on. My colleague and I are almost always bidding against each other.…To have an auction on this platform feels less institutional, less corporate, and more democratic, fresh, and just an overall new experience. There is no buyer’s premium, no hidden costs; you don’t have to create an account or forfeit your private information.”
Indeed, for all its flouting of convention, one of the things See You Next Thursday replicates surprisingly well is the camaraderie and competition of outbidding fellow art-lovers in a semi-public forum. Nevertheless, Moore is also interested in bringing her virtual community of artists and collectors together in the real world. This May, she’s opening a group show in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn; while the works will hang in a physical gallery space, bidding will still take place on Instagram. She’s also launching a partnership with Artsy’s online sales platform around the same time; See You Next Thursday will soon be staging online exhibitions on the site. But overall, Moore is excited to stay on the path she has helped pioneer.
“I want to keep it very simple,” she said. “This model works.”