February 19 2011
Friday – I wake up at about 7.15am with the karaoke songs of the night before still buzzing though my head, along with the bids that I was taking in the auction. I should also admit to feeling slightly hungover! It would be nice to be able to rest and relax but that will have to wait one more day for the weekend. Having all of the specialists from our field around the world in London gives us a great opportunity for an “offsite” meeting to discuss the current shifting state of the market and how we best align ourselves globally over the coming years to create the strongest sales possible. The meeting takes place at the Sanderson hotel in a very grandly dressed room which includes a huge stained-glass window and some of the largest curtains I have ever seen.
Lots of weary heads join for a day of discussions and presentations which will shape our collective futures. Beginning with a presentation from our relatively new CEO, Steven Murphy, the most interesting aspects are those presentations on the Middle East, Russia and Asia. It is extraordinary to hear how these parts of the world which have such distinguished cultural histories are so passionately and actively embracing the art of today. An interesting statistic of the evening auction was that there were bidders from 21 countries, against 12 at our nearest competitor. All in all we are extremely pleased with the way the week went.
There is always a great focus on the major sales of contemporary art, particularly since the global financial crisis, and it is always a relief to know that the estimates were right, that clients are still hungry to bid and that the market is strong. Focus is turning to the next major sales in New York in May and in London in June. By the end of the day my attention starts to drain and my focus starts to turn to the weekend – I’m exhausted and I’m looking forward to catching up with my wife and child who are heading back from Switzerland. I’ve missed them – this is always the best Friday feeling of the year.