Sages say we should learn something new every day to build our knowledge bank and to keep the mind fresh and active.
As we did one night this week when we were informed about “chandelier bidding.”
Disturbing to discover that this is an art fraud and corrupt ploy by an auctioneer when auctions not pulling in any bid for an major work of art with an established “reserve” figure.
No bid, and our auctioneer looks up at the chandelier or ceiling in his crowded room and fakes a bid that is close to the desired price. Suddenly the action bidding begins!
We were at the screening room of the London Hotel in West Hollywood where Canadian director Barry Avrich, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and producer Jonas Prince, the Canadian realtor/financier genius invited a tony bunch of gallerists and art followers.
The reaction to Barry’s documentary was swift, with much praise and strong applause to Blurred Lines: Inside The Art World. Which, in fact, will serve as a classic Baedeker about the Who and the Who of the international art scene. Barry’s cast of critics and galleries zero in on secrets within the art business functions. Including Art Basel, the most prominent art fair in our time.
Various artists speak out. Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, performance artist Marina Abramovic, etc.
For those new to the art world and interested in collecting, Blurred Lines is a Master Class about the yeas and nays of contemporary art. Ninety minutes of revelatory insights.
The dealers are here, with the documentary exposing their chicanery about who they will sell to.
Collector Michael Ovitz, who many remember from his Creative Artist’s Agency partnership with Ron Meyer and Bill Haber, discusses his first visit as an 18-year-old to the Museum of Modern art in Manhattan and was “blown away,” experiencing a life-changing cultural moment.
Within time, Michael begins investing in art, and is now an impressive collector of contemporary works.
“Blurred Lines is a documentary I have long wanted to make,” claims producer Jonas Prince. “The journey of making this film … led us to the epicenters of power. London, New York, Basel, Miami and Los Angeles … the film is an unprecedented exploration of an exciting new market that defies market norms.”
Renowned for his fabled documentaries, Barry’s directed and produced The Last Mogul about Universal titan Lew Wasserman, Unauthorized about filmmaker Harvey Weinstein, Filthy Gorgeous about pornographer Bob Guccione, plus others. His 2016 memoir, Moguls, Monsters And Madmen, is a bestseller.
About Blurred Lines, screened at the Tribecca Film Festival and the Hot Dos section of the terrific Toronto International Film Festival, Barry says he aimed to expose “the geniuses, eccentrics and power players within the provocative art community.”
After the London Hotel screening, Barry and Jonas invited viewers to Jones Café in Hollywood. Recommended by Jonas’ beautiful daughter Lauren for pizza and pasta and Chianti.
Guests included Toronto hotelier Hans Gerhardt, whose tell-all memoir Hotel Biz, is a must-read. Hans commandeered the Sutton Place Hotel in the heart of Toronto for many years. The favorite of cinema stars the likes of Sophia Loren who considered it her Toronto habitat.
Sipping his wine, Hans was amused hearing that author David Leavitt assumed Ariana Grande was a new specialty item on the coffee menu at Starbucks.