A few weeks ago, a friend invited me to be her plus-one at a VIP event hosted by Park West Gallery. The weekend-long event took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey, California and included a free Ritz stay, excellent food and drinks, art auctions, raffles, exclusive previews of works from Peter Max, Autumn de Forest, and Godard, and artist introductions with de Forest and Godard. All of which translated into a posh, sea-side weekend filled with art, food, and wine.
Despite the fact that I run an online art magazine and have been involved with the arts in one way or another most of my life, prior to this trip I had never attended an art auction. A cattle auction, yes (what can I say, I’m originally a small town gal), but an art auction, no. I’m happy to report art auctions are way more exciting than I would have guessed: it’s kind of amusing to watch two people attempt to outbid one another while pretending they aren’t annoyed the other person hasn’t given up yet. And seeing someone spend tens of thousands of dollars in mere seconds is rather thrilling. It was hard not to get in on the action myself, but at this point I am about out of wall space until I get a larger place.
While the auctions were good fun and browsing art is always a brilliant time for me, I think my favorite part of the entire weekend (besides discovering that there is a drink called the gingerberry mojito and it’s about the best thing ever) was meeting the artists. Godard was hilarious and definitely knows how to work a crowd. He could have been a stand-up comedian just as easily as a painter. And listening to the young de Forest explain her creative journey with testing out various mixed media was intriguing.
Part of the reason I interview artists for my TreeHouse Arts site is because learning the process of how their work is created – whether that art form be painting, photography, music, writing, or anything else – makes a huge difference as far as appreciation and understanding are concerned. Learning about the artist behind the art gives people a vested interest in the work. Getting to know Godard and de Forest, even on a superficial level, had that effect on me.
To see some of the work shown at the event, take a look through the slideshow below. And if you get the chance to attend an art auction in the future, I highly recommend it.