02/15/2013 09:34 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Art Market Behind The Scenes View And Other Arts News

Have you ever wondered what it feel like to be a key player in the high rollers' art market game, in which hundreds of millions of dollars are exchanged in a whirl of cocktail parties, art world bartering and high-stakes auctions? According to a behind-the-scenes look reported by the Wall Street Journal, it's unimaginably stressful.

The five-part narrative explores the auction experience from the points of view of seller, auctioneer, adviser, artist and gallery director. Seller Ingvild Goetz, a Munich based seller, divulged her habit of ditching her front-and-center auction seat to hide where telephone bids are fielded. "Otherwise, I think people would look at me during the auction to see if I was happy or not," the seller, in her seventies, explained to the Journal. But don't sympathize too much with Goetz' plight... the art collector "spent several days vacationing in Spain" to deal with pre-auction anxiety.

The in-depth piece, compiled almost like the backstory of a murder mystery dinner party, effectively conveys the complexity and drama of the roles involved. It is difficult to predict who will win and who will lose, especially when factoring in the art market oversight the New York Times took down last month.

The unimaginable wealth and risk involved in art market politics will forever remain intriguing to us humble outsiders, who will have to express our desire to bid on Van Goghs in other, less costly fashions.

The Biggest Art Auction Sales of 2012


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edward steichen

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