While the big guns like Sotheby’s and Christie’s will showcase gazillion-dollar paintings this fall, several Westchester art advisors have cleverly developed a market for investors without hedge-fund budgets. “Very few people in the art world are focused on this niche,” says @60" (www.at60inches.com) founder and Bedford resident Kipton Cronkite, who created several pop-up gallery openings this summer. “It takes a lot of legwork to find these artists, but the reward is the relationships you develop with both your artist and the clients,” he says. “It’s very personal.”
Cronkite, who has curated more than 100 events and exhibitions, focuses on emerging artists whose works sell for $500 to $50,000. Among them are New York artist Shay Kun, whose works are now auctioned at Sotheby’s; Matthew Satz, whose collectors include Prince Albert II of Monaco; Mark Freedman of Goldens Bridge; and Miriam Cabessa, who had a painting purchased by Caramoor board member MaryAnn Hawley. This art can appreciate at a higher rate than much of Westchester’s real estate. For instance, in 2008, Shay Kun’s work was selling for $5,000 to $8,000; now, it commands $18,000 to $30,000.
Also creating pop-up galleries are Bedford residents Lara McLanahan and Claire Johnston, who co-founded LOOC Art. They were in Tel Aviv investigating an artist who ultimately underwhelmed them when they heard about another artist who, serendipitously, was working in a nearby studio. While Ron Aloni had an international following, he had no New York representation. They signed him up, and his art, which ranges from $2,500 to $100,000, sold out at Art Market Hamptons with backorders requested. Other contemporary artists in their roster include Tomas Vu, who created surfboards based on the Beatles “White Album”; Caio Fonseca, whose etchings are included; and James Vanderberg, a Brooklyn-based abstract artist. “Everybody likes the idea of investing in art, but they're intimidated by the process,” says McLanahan. “What we bring is a fun way of dipping your toes in the water. Our idea is for people to see the art, fall in love with it, and not be intimidated by the prices. This means we have to move a lot more art, but we are excited by the hunt.”
LOOC is considering a presence at various West Coast art fairs this fall, and Cronkite is collaborating with Condé Nast Traveler and Emirates Airways to showcase five of his emerging artists, including Jade Doskow, Vincent Edmond Louis, and Celia Rogge. These art advisors will also be canvasing the globe looking for the next artist for Westchester residents to enjoy.
Five works From @60"
We Are Here to Stay, $24,000
Vincent Edmond Louis
A Bum in Paris, $4,500
Three Blind Mice, $17,500
Kelly/Freedman and Matthew Marks, $800
1964 New York State Pavillion, $2,200
Five works From LOOC
NET in Yellow, $2,500
NOTE 1, $4,000
(35 individual pieces of painting)
Eat at Joe’s, $2,500
NET in White, $5,000
Come Together, $8,000
In the world of collectibles and fine art, the summer months are when better-priced items come to market. Of course, in the case of most established auction houses, that means less than $1 million. In the decorative arts sales, Christie’s top-selling item was a Tiffany studio Wisteria table lamp, circa 1905, that went for $437,000.
Christie’s New York
Important 20th-century Decorative Art & Design
Untitled (tree) by Harry Bertoia, circa 1960
Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000
A Maquette for Arbre Cubiste by Jan and Joel Martel, circa 1925
Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000
A Pair Of King Cobra Urns by Edgar Brandt, circa 1921-1922
Estimate: $250,000 - $350,000
With the advent of online-only auctions, accessibly priced items have become increasingly available, as the auction houses don’t have to mount expensive shows in-house. This summer, Christie’s held its second online jewelry auction, “Brilliant Jewels,” with prices ranging from $1,500 for a pair of Cartier rings to $15,000 for a diamond pendant by Chopard. Christie’s will have another online auction in October. And headlines were made when Sotheby’s partnered with eBay for more online auctions.
Christie’s New York:
Van Cleef & Arpels Diamond and Sapphire "Zip" Necklace
Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000
Oval-Cut Fancy Vivid Pink VVS1 Diamond
5.50 carats at $1,740,545 per carat
Estimate: $6,500,000 – $7,500,000
Leviev Circular-Cut Diamond and Emerald Necklace
Estimate: $700,000 – $1,000,000
Meanwhile, nostalgia still resonates with buyers as well. Bob Dylan’s 1965 four- page lyric sheet for Like A Rolling Stone, which included doodles and sketched- out ideas for the song, was sold by Sotheby’s for a record $2 million. And ESPN.com sold Babe Ruth’s contract with the Boston Red Sox for $1.02 million. Not a bad appreciation for a contract that gave the baseball legend only $5,000 in 1918.