Art Papers Auction
Collectors’ preview: 7-9 p.m. Fri., Feb 5. $100. Limited slots. Call ahead for tickets.
Silent auction: 7-10 p.m. Sat, Feb 6. $25 in advance; $30 at the door.
For tickets and information: 404-588-1837, www.artpapers.org.
Mason Murer Fine Art, 199 Armour Drive. 404-879-1500.
By Catherine Fox
For one weekend every year — this one — Art Papers Auction is the crossroads of the art scene.
The annual event, which brings together 300 works from local, national and international artists at Mason Murer Fine Art, attracts as many as 1,700 people to bid on pieces ranging from $75 to $13,000.
It’s an important weekend for the bimonthly publication devoted to contemporary art. It counts on raising one-quarter to one-third of its $700,000 budget through auction sales, entrance fees and Friday night’s preview party.
Art mavens will recognize many sought-after Atlanta artists on the roster as well as such international art stars as Carrie Mae Weems, Mel Chin and Odili Donald Odita. A preparatory drawing from Italian artist Luca Buvoli, made for his piece in the current exhibit at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, is a bit of coup.
“They believe in what we do, and they want to help,” said editor-in- chief Sylvie Fortin.
The auction is also a party, of course, and a networking opportunity.
The artists, who can choose to donate between 65 percent and 100 percent of the sale price to Art Papers, participate to support the publication and, hopefully, to introduce their work to new potential clients.
That is not to say, some don’t feel ambivalent about it. If buyers can get a piece cheaply at auction, will they go to a gallery or seek out the artist for another work at market price? And there are so many auctions.
Fortin understands the drawbacks and advises artists to think strategically about which and how many such events to which they contribute.
“We’re very conscious of these things,” she said. “We try to make the minimum bids based on the artist’s prior sales records.”
Ideally, it’s a win-win-win event: Artists make sales and meet new clients; buyers get a snapshot of a wide array of artworks and take some home; and Art Papers makes the money it needs.
Catherine Fox blogs about art and architecture on www.ArtsCriticATL.com.