I’m slogging through Lulu Meets God and Doubts Him. It’s something of a Devil Wears Prada for the New York art scene. This normally wouldn’t be my first choice, but I’m reading it as research for a story I’m working on. For what it is, not bad.
Two and a half months after the idea arose, the project has come to a conclusion. SoHo artist Nelson Diaz finished his last $1 art auction on eBay at 7pm. The painting, Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #10, sold for $355 to a collector who had already participated in this series.
Diaz considers the project a success, having put 10 paintings in the hands of the art collecting public for a fraction of what they would have to spend normally to enjoy his work. The propagation of the aesthetic has occurred.
But, the work is not over. Diaz is currently exploring new ideas for making art accessible to those who are not absurdly wealthy. New ideas are coming, and you’ll see them here first.
Please see below for coverage of Nelson Diaz’s $1 art auction project on eBay. The world, needless to say, has been quite interested in this project.
News Coverage of Nelson Diaz’s $1 Art Auctions
My first article for Saatchi magazine has finally been published!!! Check it out >>
I am pretty fucking psyched to be writing for such a prestigious publication. The Saatchi Gallery has cranked out some big name artists, including the reclusive nutjob Damien Hirst (who, like Nelson, operates in the tradition of Francis Bacon).
The story is quite interesting. It covers Diaz’s frustration with the current state of the art market and his show of protest. In order to make the aesthetic attainable to those who are not incredibly wealthy, Diaz has been selling paintings on eBay for starting prices of $1. The results have varied, with the first piece, Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #1 reaching $745, though several have only barely cleared the $100 mark.
The final piece, Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #10 is currently on the block, and the auction closes tomorrow. Place a last-minute bid >>
Keep an eye on Saatchi magazine for more coverage of the art market from me. Pretty soon, I hope to see my piece on Julio Aguilera’s “Prometheus” sculpture project.
The auctions for Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #7, 8, 9 closed last night with a flurry of last minute activity on the last of them (which I lost). All but #9 sold for less than $100. So, it looks as though the action has been tapering off. Early bids don’t matter, and buyers come in at the last minute, willing to go as high as the proces will take them in a very short period of time. It’s a prudent approach. I think I know who bought these three, and I’m glad he won. I know that the paintings will make them happy.
Now, the 10th paintings is under the virtual gavel, and it’s probably the best of the series. You can see the detail that typically characterizes Nelson Diaz’s larger portraits. I love this painting, and I know that another collector does, too. So, I put in my now ceremonial first bid and plan to back away. I got my painting earlier in the process (#2), and I don’t want to interfere with the story any more.
This will be the last painting in this experiment, so get ready to bid! After #10, Nelson will go back to selling his work for higher, much more appropriate prices.
When artist Nelson Diaz put three paintings up for auction this week, I was a bit worried. Pushing two paintings in one week seemed difficult enough, but three seemed aggressive. As of yesterday, none had a bid of more than $1. I have a lot of confidence in Nelson and in this project, but I was a bit frightened. What if they only went for a buck each?
Well, it looks like I was getting ahead of myself. The action has picked up today. Prices on all three paintings have shot up. Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #7 is up to $100, reflecting just one day’s action. #8 is now at $76, and #9 just made it to $81.
And, the auctions have three days left.
Historically, the action has come on the last day of the auction, so these paintings could wind up north of $400. Nelson’s goal has been to keep the auctions under $300, to make sure they remain affordable. But, my sense from the auction action is that these bidders are pretty committed.
The most recent bids on all three paintings have come from the same person, obviously interested in portraying them as a tryptich (reminiscent of Bacon’s work). The hat-trick could be spoiled though, as that bidder now has only two of the three. But, there are a few days left until the auctions conclude.
[Note: the paintings in the photo are not up for auction]
Art revolutionary Nelson Diaz has just completed his sixth $1 auction on eBay. The latest installment of Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 sold for an appropriate $203.50. I know who bought it, and I’m happy that it wound up with a collector who will enjoy the work of art.
This sale, essentially, met Nelson’s two most important criteria. The painting had to sell for less than $300. And, it had to sell to someone who would enjoy the piece rather than view/treat it as a commodity. This buyer addresses both.
This week, Diaz is stepping up the pace a bit. He has put three paintings up on eBay, all with the starting bid of $1. After this week, there will only be one chance left to purchase a Nelson Diaz original from this series. I’m not pitching, just stating fact.
Here are the latest from Nelson, with links to help you participate in this new movement. For a change, art is defining history rather than merely recording it!
Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #7
Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #8
Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #9
Somebody searched for “migrant blogger new york city nelson diaz”. Hell, if you want to find Nelson, just ask me. I’ll let you know. By the way, his sixth painting is now being auctioned on eBay, and it is amazing. The bidding is currently at $51.
It is interesting to see how the colors have evolved through this series. Installments #5 and #6 are considerably more vibrant than their predecessors. Also, the colors used in #6 remind me of the “negatives” of #2 (which I own).
I am interested to see where this one winds up. Painting #5 from this series fetched close to $400, making it the second most expensive so far in Nelson’s “grand experiment.”
If you are at all interested in art and appreciate Nelson’s work, I’d encourage you to participate in these auctions. You won’t regret it. Few have the opportunity to hang a Nelson Diaz original in their homes, and at these prices, it’s virtually impossible. Take advantage of this situation.
For some reason, the voting for Julio Aguilera has been pushed back two weeks. So, the voting will start at 9 AM GMT on July 28, 2008. Don’t worry; I’ll remind everyone the day before and the day of.
The Saatchi Gallery Online, the internet presence for one of the most prestigious art galleries in the world, is holding a competition, with success determined by votes. I would love to influence this process. Julio Aguilera deserves to win because (1) he is a kick-ass artist, (2) he is a nice guy and (3) I have several of his pieces; his winning would make their value increase.
So, I’d appreciate it if you would vote for Saatchi and spread the word. Voting starts at 9 AM, so click here to vote eary and vote often!
This piece is “Geometric Mona,” a variation of Leonardo DaVinci’s “Mona Lisa,” painted in Aguilera’s signature geometric/cubist style. In fact, this is the review photo that Aguilera sent to The Saatchi Gallery to secure their interest in displaying his work on the website.
Self-Portrait with Pipe, 2008 #5 is on fire!!! The latest painting in Nelson Diaz’s $1 auction experiment is already up to $285, and there are still 5 1/2 days of bidding left. I have no idea where this is going to wind up, but I have a feeling that this auction might be able to pass the $745 price tag that #1 fetched. I don’t want to discourage anyone from bidding, though. Keep in mind that #2 and #4 went for just over $200, and #3 sold for only slightly more than $100. But, this one could go nuts! Only this morning, the bidding was at a hair over $100. Now, it’s shot through the roof.
I have to admit, I am jealous. I do think this is the best of the series so far, and I’m not shocked to see that the bidding has shot up so quickly. I just hope that whoever buys it does so because he loves it.