Young , beautiful women are good for art award. The same is red. Philip Hooks look at the art market with a sidelong glance . Anna Franck Interview!


4 This page is split 4 times . See tweets.
Share on email
Share on print

- The relationship between art and money is sexy. After all, no potatoes we sell here . There are fantasies.
Philip Hook hurried through Sotheby's galleries, so the tassels on his loafers polished dancer. Hook the auction house's senior specialist in impressionism and modern painting, and has spent 35 years in the art market .
Now he has written the book " Breakfast at Sotheby's ," where he serves his experiences with a dose of dry British humor .
- Sotheby's is a combination of a chapel and a nightclub , he said.
The accent is noble . Her mouth pursed into a smile .
- We work with art , and art is spiritual and appeals to the soul. But while we have a little bit of night club glamorous excitement, where anything can be bought for the right amount of money. It is the contrast between those who fascinates me. What makes a painting sells for a high price ? How can we sell which on one side is a piece of canvas with paint but which on the other side is invaluable ?
Death and anxiety
Hook has many theories.
- We have the obvious . Who painted the picture ? Is the artist known ? A bohemian , turbulent and often tragic, short life has financial value, he says .
Hook recalls Vincent van Gogh as the prime example of how tragic, short life is good for demand.
Van Gogh's paintings , which no one would have while the artist was living , is now sold for several hundred million. The drama is important.
- There is a theory that Van Gogh actually took his life, but was killed by a stray shot from a rabbit hunter. If the theory had been proven to be true , it is possible it could reduce the value of his works with millions since suicide is so dramatic and associated with how van Gogh suffered for his art , says art expert and adds:
- But the rule of thumb is that any premature death is always good. It is tragic , romantic, and limits the number of machines on the market .
Sun and summer
Hook has also noticed that some designs have more appeal than others, especially in the more mundane art market , notch below elite.
- When it comes to landscape , selling sun better than rain . Just think of the Impressionists ; delicious sunlight , idyllic , joy . There is a reason why copies of them hanging on medical and dental offices around the world. They are simply visual antidepressants.
Still has , according to Hook, this hierarchy : flowers , fruit , vegetables . But dead animals not sell .
- I once tried to describe a still life of a pantry as " vegetables on a border with the sleeping hare " in the sale catalog. None was fooled . Haren was dead , and the estimated price was not reached.
Portraits should preferably be of pretty women for maximum commercial potential , says Hook .
- Elegant women are more pleasant to look at than ugly men and sells better. Unless the ugly men are painted by Rembrandt, of course , says Hook, who has also found that it helps that the pictured smiling.
- I once had a Matisse for sale . The painting had it all: a great interior, colorful background , elegant female figure . But alas , the lady in the picture had mouth down in a sour grimace .
He admits it very tempted to postpone for some creative photo restoration.
- A neutral mouth could double or triple the price. A smile had resulted in quadrupling . Anger and acidity gives simply distaste of the buyer . Anxiety , however . Anxiety is the money in.
spring 2012 there was much ado at Sotheby 's. One of art history's greatest icons, "Scream" by Edvard Munch, was to be sold .
- It was without doubt the highlight of my career , a wild fantasy come true . It was like selling " Mona Lisa ."
The experts at Sotheby's crowding together , with easy shaking in your hearts . How would they put a price on such a priceless work of art?
- This painting gives insight into the modern human mind and has triggered thousands of therapists. There is a trophy . The whole world knows it . Ah , we discussed what the price would be, remember Hook .
After twelve minutes bidding at Sotheby 's in New York dropped the hammer : Total price was 689 million . The 230 million over the estimated price and a new record for the painting at auction .
Trophy Hunting
Hook 've often pondered what gets customers to fork out staggering sums for a single artwork. What exactly are they paying for?
- Four factors come into play. Investment , status , spiritual and aesthetic appeal or intellectual pleasure . Sometimes aesthetics strongest motivation , sometimes status or investment , he said.
- At the beginning of the 1900s it was to have a painting of the Impressionists on the wall a shortcut to cultural weight of newly rich Americans. So it is still . It provides status to own one of art history's great trophies.
That's why paintings are easily recognizable and typical of a famous artist top price .
- Many people do not take the risk of investing millions in a Monet and the risk that business does not immediately see that there is a Monet, says Hook .
Road tv
Philip Hook began his career in the basement at Sotheby 's arch rival Christie's in the 1970s . Here he received a shock. He had recently studied art history at the University of Cambridge and was accustomed to enjoy the best of kunstkanonens works.
In the basement of Christie's was far from Rembrandt and Rubens. His first job was to catalog the paintings of Catholic priests and cardinals .
- I had never heard of the genre before . But such religious imagery does indeed have a certain appeal , says Hook .
- They have a lot of red and burgundy in it. Red sells , you know.
In parallel with the auction business has Hook also been a regular on British television as an expert on the popular program " Antiques Roadshow ", a program where the public can price estimates on what they might have of taxes in the basement and the attic . This was far from risk -free , Hook got experience .
- Once a man came with a bunch of landscape watercolors and wanted to know how old they might be.
Hook observed that the photos were of different quality , but seemed to sense a diffuse , Dutch style . Could they be from the early 1900s ? It turned out that the man had painted them himself, a few days before .
- We are not infallible , laughing Hook .
From spark to fire
It hammered and hammered at Sotheby 's. Smells like freshly painted . An exhibition of art from the Islamic world prepared.
- Oil money from the Middle East creates a good market , says Hook .
It applies to exhibit goods in tempting , often theatrical show .
- It was in the 1950s that Sotheby's began with glamorous marketing seriously. Soft blankets and evening auctions, who see and be seen - happenings, on par with opera premieres, says Hook .
What role does the seller in the value of art ?
- It's an eternal question about the auction houses only reflect the taste or creates it. The truth is probably somewhere in between . Our job is to find an initial spark of interest and kindle it up to a big fire , says art expert.
Hook admits he is good at creating a sensation , but points out that he can not start the first spark .
It must be there already. He instantly reminds that the book " Breakfast at Sotheby's " far from being a guidebook for budding art investors, but must be read as a memoir of highly subjective considerations .
- The book should be taken with a grain of salt, but everything is based on a kernel of truth , says Hook, and comes with its recent analysis :
- As a Chelsea fan , I think it 's fun to compare the most expensive paintings with the most expensive football players . Prices of both have gone up and up in recent decades, and long were the highest art . But now, after the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to 772 million dollars and Gareth Bale to supposedly even more , it is football that takes most money. So the I conclude that art is still cheap. And so it lasts longer .
ART experts TEN TIPS
1 Dramatic , bohemian background history , usually in the form of insanity , increases merchantability . Physical disease , however, is not as good.

2 Existential angst à la "Scream" is a plus . But hard feelings do not sell . The general rule is that the smile is always preferable.
3 It helps to belong to a readily identifiable group, such as the Skagen painters in Denmark.
4 Rule of thumb before investing in portrait : Would you sit next to the person at a dinner party ?
5 Young , beautiful women sell. Horizontal sells more than vertical , with one exception : The gain for horizontal disappear if the woman in the picture is dead .
6 Still ranked as follows: Flowers are the best, so fruit as vegetables. Dead animals is a poor performances, especially if there is blood in the picture .
7 Photos of prey are sought after . However, the animals must be in full vigor .
8 Bright colors are selling, especially in abstract art. Red is the most important.
9 Landscape sell best if it comes from a specific place , usually from romantic cities like Venice and Rome , or from the BRIC countries like China or Brazil, where it is eager, affluent buyers in line. Good weather is good, a balloon floating by in the background can increase the value further .
10th Finally : Hook recalls that although the tips must be taken with a grain of salt, as they have a grain of truth