The other night I attended the “Post-War and Contemporary Art” auction at Christie’s and watched as hundreds of white people sashayed through the doors in their most ostentatious clothes, ready to grab for their paddles (and not to spank my ass, though I wouldn’t have minded). Most memorable among them was a stick-thin, liposucted woman who was somewhere between 50 and 90, in a sheer, burnt-siena chiffon ensemble and fluffy red wig, plus various handsome, tousled-haired gigolo types making sure to flaunt their shiny, new watches, no matter which angle they were cruising the room from. And they bid, kids! Millions, honey! The country may be going into a financial toilet, but the rich people are clearly doing the flushing. They just get richer, and—seeing as they’re buying art as investments, not because they have any real appreciation for it—they’ll only get wealthier still! I almost choked on my lemon wedge as a Mark Rothko splotch of red on a yellow background went for a gigunda 50.4 million smackers! It looked like a rorschach test I once made in third grade shop class! I was so agog I forgot to even counter bid! And a zany self-portrait of Andy Warhol went for millions too, though a friend of mine swears HE’S the one who took the photo. Oh, well, it’s still a nice thing to have en route to getting monkey gland injections in Switzerland. But maybe the choicest bit of art sold all night was an “oxydation painting” by Warhol, who—according to the program—liberally peed on the canvas! (It redefines “urine the money.”) I’m currently trolling the loos of various chic restaurants looking for famous fecal matter to put in a frame and ensure my future.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 19, 2008