Andy Warhol at Christie’s: Five Takeaways from Last Night’s Opening in Silicon Valley

Artsy Collecting
Jun 25, 2013 8:59PM

At the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley—a fitting place for the exhibition titled “Viral: Andy Warhol and the Image Before the Internet Age”—an intimate group of curators, art advisors, and collectors came together to celebrate all things Warhol, art, and technology; so surely with Artsy in attendance. After a viewing and cocktail hour to toast the exhibition, a panel of six was held (including Artsy’s President and COO, Sebastian Cwilich) to discuss collecting, investing, the image-inundation of our contemporary world, the Silicon Valley Art fair, and the position of artist, gallery, and curator in the contemporary, technology-centered landscape. The takeaways—besides the beautiful art available for sale—were as follows:

1. Collecting is personal. How do you collect for someone else?

View auction catalogues and visit private collections to see how others live with art in their homes, and look to friends who collect—what are they collecting? Identify programs that you like. And finally, in order to discover your own taste, look at 1,000 works before you buy one work. Artsy is a perfect way to do so. As art advisor Sabrina Buell mentioned, Artsy is a great filter to process the large volume of images that we experience.

2. How is an art advisor different from a gallerist?

The advisor works strictly for the client whereas the gallerist plays a fence role in acting on behalf of both their artists and their clients.

3. What makes a good investment?

Look at indicators like auction records, condition notes, and museum track records.

4. What is an art fair, and how can the public find out more about them?

An art fair is a marketplace for galleries to exhibit works that are for sale. It is open to the public with ticketed admission, and can occur in cities across the world—in fact, the fairs have blossomed to such abundance that it is possible to view different fairs in different cities each month, often with different specialties; for example The Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Art Basel in Hong Kong, Design Miami/ Basel, and Frieze Week New York, among others.

Jessica Silverman, owner and director of Silverman Gallery, noted that as a result of the Artsy Armory Show 2013 feature, she had many people come to her booth and see the work after seeing it first on Artsy. She does six to seven art fairs a year and in the process, is able to have another gallery program in addition to her shows in the San Francisco space.

5. Will the roles of the artist, curator, and gallery space become obsolete as a result of a technology disruption?

No. The way we look at art and the way artists create art will continue to change but will not render these roles obsolete. It will still be important to experience art live as well as for artists to create work in an exhibition space.

The panel speakers consisted of Sabrina Buell, art advisor; Ron Johnson from Wells Fargo; Jessica Silverman, owner and director of Jessica Silverman Gallery; John Berggruen of John Berggruen Gallery; Sebastian Cwilich, President and COO of Artsy, and moderator Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie’s.

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