Now that I’ve got your attention, welcome back to the SEX auction report.
Phillips de Pury & Company’s SEX sale, which took place on March 19 (see Friday’s post), “totalled £1,370,038/$2,057,114 (including premium) selling 75% by value and 69% of the total 217 lots, with numerous records established across categories for both emerging and established artists”. I have had difficulties trying to get hold of a few web-friendly photographic images from the sale so this post will be illustrated with two of the images that I’ve been sent. For those who are interested, the next issue of HotShoe magazine April/May (out in the first week of April) features an interview I did with the lovely Lou Proud, Senior Specialist Photography at Phillips de Pury. Since the interview, I have more questions to ask Lou, so will be keeping you updated via this blog. For now, here are some sales figures, Top Ten sales and some of my thoughts from the preview.
Phillip de Pury‘s white gallery space in London easily absorbed the large crowd wandering through the various rooms, drinks in hand, where works by Tracey Emin, David Hockney and Allen Jones rubbed up against photographic prints by Nobuyoshi Araki, Richard Avedon, Nan Goldin, Spencer Tunik and Helmut Newton. There were a few surprise pieces; Sue Webster and Tim Noble’s, Serving Suggestion, 2004 – an unassuming can of baked beans positioned on a plinth from which a sausage emerged, and Simon English’s drawing, Ed McTain falling for Humpty, 2005 which had my friend in fits. Well, it was a SEX themed auction, so what did I really expect? There was more than a smattering of bondage and fetishism, some very graphic representations of penetration and masturbation, (Sigmar Polke’s drawing, Untitled, 1974, which sold for £121,250, and Japanese photographer Noritoshi Hirakaw’s series) as well as Helmut Newton‘s unmistakeable black and white photographs of women in various states of undress, which stood out for me, particularly in relation to the rather cliched colour photographs in one room often showing beach babes running along the sand or draped across the frame.