Monday, May 15, 2006

Bidding on (somewhat) garden-related art while intoxicated



Actually, there were more direct expressions of floral subjects (though not many) at Saturday’s CEPA photography auction, but what you actually end up bidding on at an event like this can be rather arbitrary, if not random. First, there are the 3 glasses of wine (or so) with dinner. Then there are the nice young people walking up and down the aisles with bottles ready to refill your glass—if not pour the wine directly down your throat—during the auction. Then, there’s the side room where they keep the hors d’oeuvres and all those pretty blue bottles of Bombay Sapphire.

BWI, indeed. In any case, we had a delightful, rather raucus time. This is not the first of these I’ve attended, so the event has kind of an “old home days” feel: many of the usual suspects bidding, with some new faces.

The truth is, I don’t connect gardens and flowers with my art collecting, such as it is. I have several plaque-mounted Garden Walk posters in the kitchen; that’s perhaps the most direct connection. But as I look around the house, I do notice a certain percentage of landscapes and still lifish works that contain images of flowers, trees, and other vegetation. Not too many.

In the case of the piece I bought at CEPA, it is by a pair of artists who collaborate under the name of MANUAL. Their work often contrasts the real and the virtual and is always digitally produced. I like the early spring green of the grass and trees, which are located in a Moscow Park, according to the title: On the Verge:MoscowPark/Untitled. With these auction donations, you are usually getting a relatively minor example of a particular body of work, so I’ll have to look them up to see what the rest of them look like. I’m happy with this, though.

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