Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Money, Money, Money

I was too depressed today to be anything other than fatalistic about tonight's auction at Menzies Art Brands. I had no plans to attend – I never do. Instead, I stayed at home, in bed, and wrapped myself in a goose down duvet and a miasma of self-negating depression.
The phone call from a contact at the auction house was brief. Bids had started at $A7,000 and quickly broken through the lower end of the pre-sale estimate of $A10,000 to $A15,000, to exceed the seller's reserve. The hammer fell at $A13,000 but once the so-called 'buyer's premium' of 22 per cent (plus 10 per cent sales tax) is added , the price paid will exceed the top end of the estimate by several hundred dollars.
I allowed myself to relax and take a long, deep breath. The work had ripped throught its estimate – an excellent result in the current market, especially when one considers that it represents an almost fifteen-fold return on the $A900 invested by whoever bought it at my first, self-produced exhibition, twelve years ago, in Brisbane.
I hope it ends up in a good home, somewhere it will be seen and enjoyed every day: that's worth a lot more to me – and real art lovers – than money.


Anonymous said...

That's a terrific result. The artwork has appreciated dramatically since its purchase no doubt largely due to Hazel's self promotion/marketing skills. This will increase other buyer's interest in HD works they come across in the future & people will more actively seek them out now. Also there is a financial recovery in process. Although there is still a long way to go people are loosening up and spending more.



Gretchen Kelly said...


Monique said...

i don't understand. if the work finding a good home where people appreciate it is so much more important then why do you freak out about how much money it goes for? Even if it brought a nickel, life goes on.. you still make art, no?

Hazel Dooney said...

The reason I 'freak out', Monique, is because, unlike most artists, I don't not rely on the gallery system or grants or other traditional methods to support me. I finance my own exhibitions, in Australia and overseas (to where the transport of my work to them alone costs 10s of thousands of dollars) and I put a lot of money into high quality materials for increasingly ambitious projects. This is only possible as long as I continue not only to produce good work regularly – and I work bloody hard at it – but also get higher-than-average prices for it. My independence from a 'system' I loathe – mainly because I suffered from some of its worst abuses – is, ironically, sustained by my realistic understanding of how aspects of that system – the auction market – helps me achieve that goal. I would also remind you that I balance this by GIVING AWAY art to those whom I know will love it and being something of a pioneer in distributing free work over the web.

Septic Monochrome (Colblinder) said...

Absolutely fantastic. It must in some ways feel like your "baby" has grown up and moved on. I am certain that she is just leading the way, paving the path for many more HD works to come. Well done Hazel. Congratulations!

Andrea said...

Wow. Congrats! I totally understand your anxiety. You must be so proud of your work.

d.edlen said...

Exactly, exactly, exactly. Your comment too. I'm so glad for you that it did well. I don't like that art has to be valued monetarily for certain groups of people to even give it a look, but it is the reality of capitalism. You occupy a small, growing, vital niche revolting against from within.


Monique said...

true enough and admirable indeed. I'm familiar with the non traditional route of being an artist that you are pretty much paving yourself. fuckin awesome really. in the same respect there are many like myself who are no where near where your at or even like "most artists" - I for one am quite broke in fact (as I also know you've been in the past).. yet the work finds its way out with a lot of hard work, no matter what. freak outs happen regardless of what it's about.. and part of the process of living.. just offering a little different perspective on the issue for consideration.