JT Jackson was David Foster Wallace’s friend and occasional muse at the University of Arizona MFA program they attended together in the nineteen eighties. Or he was Wallace’s old pot dealer, who is now cashing in on the late writer’s legacy. It depends on whom in the inner Wallacesphere you ask. “If JT was a more successful writer,” one person said, “we wouldn’t be having this conversation.” Another described him as “a real character” at the beginning of our conversation, but by the end, he was using words like “charlatan” and “erratic.”
If I had $29 million, I would fly to London and go to next week's Sotheby's auction and buy Picasso's "La Lecture," the 1932 painting that first depicted the face of his young muse Marie-Therese Walter, and take it home and hang it on the wall and just stare at it and stare at it until it struck me that I could make something so beautiful, too, and I would. And if I was in London already, I would go to the place and just snap a quick pic with my cellphone and do it that way.
Hello, would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale in New York City… fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.
On April Fool's Day in 1896, the Musée du Louvre issued an announcement: For 200,000 francs, they had acquired an ancient Greek tiara that once belonged to the Scythian King Saitapharnes. It was decorated with scenes from the Iliad and bore an inscription experts at the museum dated from late 3rd to early 2nd century B.C.E.
The Louvre proudly placed the Tiara of Saitaferne [...]
The "fire sale" of the Lehman Brothers art collection went so-so. Some serious bargains were grabbed; some things-this Richter lithograph-went for well above estimate. The big Julie Mehretu painting (everyone, where everyone is Goldman Sachs and their like, has one!) seems oddly like a bargain at a million dollars. The Neo Rauch, at half a million, mid-estimate, seems like a great buy. The John Currin went for a very low price. And so the circle of boom and bust continues unabated etc.
The ten-month lockout of workers at Sotheby's has ended with a new contract! It is not so dramatic, at all, and you really wonder for what the management was holding out? The three-year deal, reached in the last week, boosts wages 1% in each year, lifts the starting salary to $18.50 an hour, and maintains the workers' benefits, according to Jason Ide, president of Teamsters Local 814, which represents the 42 workers. Sotheby's had sought to permanently replace some of the union art handlers with temporary nonunion workers, but the deal protects the positions as union jobs, Mr. Ide said.
Sotheby's started its own line of diamond jewelry three and a half years ago and for the first three years it performed tremendously. Much less so now! It is a partnership between the auction house and Steinmetz Diamond Group, which is DeBeers' number one customer.