ARTS & CULTURE

'A Song For Andy: The Joy Of Collecting,' A Christmas Poem

12/24/2011 06:36 pm ET | Updated Dec 24, 2011

A Song For Andy

The Joy of Collecting

Words + Pictures By Anthony Haden-Guest

On the first day of my Art Binge
My consultant offered me
Seven emerging artists
She knows just where my heart is
Gamechangers, firestarters!
Most of 'em called
Ryan Not one of 'em a shy 'un
Can't blame 'em for trying
Each has every conceivable skill
With their media kits and the rumor mill
And they like to work big, there're big spaces to fill
Now she's shopping for a Warhol
For an eye-popping Warhol
A jaw-dropping Andy Warhol
Forget that old committee
We'll soon be sitting pretty
In the lap of luxury In a beach house by a bright blue sea

On the second day of my Art Binge
My consultant offered me
Six savvy dealers
Power players, player stealers
No more need to put out feelers
Now I'm one of the guys
When some artist's star is beginning to rise
Up into the blue chippy skies
I'll be there picking out the cream of the crop
You folks moved slowly?
You feel a bit lowly?
Like you're way, way down the totem pole-y?
That's okay, fellows!
Buy mine at the top
Because she found a Warhol
A dandy Andy Warhol A super-branded Warhol
Factory fresh and so utterly spesh
Andy, you'd swear, was right there in the flesh In my beach house by a bright blue sea

On the third day of my Art Binge
My consultant offered me
Five creative curators
Globetrotting first-raters
Who can make my art look terribly smart
Adding digits to my worth at the mart And getting me off to a greased lightning start
As the coolest of art operators
Check out my holy Warhol
My bullet-holey Warhol
It's a trophy, not a trifle
An enviable eyeful
Now she's found another
Andy A spare will come in handy
Good Lord, she's snagged a foursome!
Peter Brant will think us awesome
The art world's in a tizzy
If that's Gogo, say I'm busy In my beach house by a bright blue sea

On the fourth day of my Art Binge
My consultant offered me
Four museum de-concessions
Expect no True Confessions
They're just 'honing the collection'
By natural selection
They're offing their Old Masters Box office disasters
El Grecos, Goyas, Guardis
Bunch of fuddy-duddies Raphael?
Hallmark Card-y!
But there's nothing underhand here
I'll just promise them an Andy
They'll be kids handed candy
And the deal will be
That it stays with me
Until sometime between now and
Eternity In my beach house by the bright blue sea

On the fifth day of my Art Binge
My consultant offered me
Three writers to buy or rent
The dough, she says, will be very well spent
Jerry Saltz, John Richardson Schjeldahl and Viveros-Faune
She says cannot be counted on Dave Hickey and Roberta Smith
Should likewise not be tangled with
But she says she has the means
To place stuff in magazines
Where I'm the force behind the scenes
I'll make the Power Lists, trust me, baby!
With Pinault and Arnault, with Eli and Aby.
Stevie Cohen and the clan Mugrabi
And those top of the line Warhols?
Those unutterably fine Warhols
Those indubitably mine Warhols
It's just the way I dreamed that life could be In my mansion by a bright blue sea

On the sixth day of my Art Binge
My consultant offered me
Two professional collectors
Either could have wrecked us
But they're dealing me in
The game's Auction, not Gin
A Basquiat, a pair of Rauschenbergs, a Bacon straight, a Rothko flush
That'd make the Marlborough blush
And a full house of Martin Kippenbergers
Whoa! We've set off the house's smoke detectors!
But quite soon I'll have my Warhols
I'll feast to my fill on Warhols
Not over the hill but utterly chill, totally brill Warhols
Head of the bill, in at the kill Warhols
Tra-la! I love this ditty
I'll set up a new committee
Fellow princes of the city In my compound by a sterling silver sea

On the last day of my Art Binge
The DA sandbagged me
One federal swoop!
Says I'm in the Campbell's Soup
And like the soup, you'll be in the can
Read my lips! I am The Man
You're another art world also-ran
There'll be no extraordinary Warhols
Not the most ordinary Warhols
Not one solitary Warhol
Just imaginary Warhols
In your cellblock quite some distance from the sea.


Anthony Haden-Guest is a British-American writer, reporter, cartoonist and art critic based in New York and London. Financial Times, The Art Newspaper, Vanity Fair and The Daily Beast are but a few of the notable publications that have carried his byline. He also is the news editor of Saatchi Online.

Check out Haden-Guests merry illustrations below:

Xmas Poem

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