Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Q for A
or Extreme Sport English Edition: Queuing
or Queuing for Art

I went last weekend to the Royal College of Arts' Secret 2007 sale. It's a secret not because no one knows about it, but because you don't know the artist's name till you've bought the piece. Each work is postcard size and costs 30 pounds. It could be anyone from art student to famous designer (Sonya Rykiel, Paul Stewart...) to famous artist (Damien Hurst, Tracey Emin). You first go to the preview to pick off a few that you like. Then on the day of you arrive early. By the time I reach at 6.30 am - let me repeat 6.30 am - there were already 300 people - let me repeat, 300 - ahead of me. Note also that it was -4 C.

Though the British may lack something in hihowareyou chitchat they make up for it in stiffness of the upper lip. We were all joking about the mild weather and professing our ignorance about the event (This queue - happened to be walking by and decide to join in). Extreme conditions (think the Blitz) also seem to break down social barriers and you can smile and chat with your queue neighbor. Someone lent me a chair for a while. A long while, since we were in the cold for about 4 hours.

Then after a heartbreak hill moment (being just at the edge of the door but having to wait another 15 minutes while being unable to feel my legs below the ankle), the real sport began. As you entered, you began crossing off items that the previous 300 people had already snapped up. Many of these included pieces I had guessed were by some of the famous artists in the show, but also many pieces I happened to like:

(a little bit textbook but very pretty)

Gone, all gone... And this one too which I didn't love but recognized as Tracey Emin:

When it came down to my turn, I was left with a few numbers on my list. Here's what I scored:

by Thomas Winstanley a (I hope!) promsing art student at the RCA.

by Johnny Miller (what you can't see in the picture is that there is palimpsest effect, where you can see the lines to the Lone Ranger theme etched in the paper).

by Karoly-Zold Gyongyi, a Roman artst (also subtle features not seen in the picture). And finally my quasi-coup:

Of course you recognize it. It's by what's his name. (See comments.)



What would you have chosen? Take a look at the RCA Secret 2007 web site.


Bombay Beauty said...

Oh yes. Terrance Conran.

sashi said...

I am jealous. Oh! yes. And the Conran you scored is beautiful.

Doc said...

What now, you trade in your Conran mini-painting for a lamp? Doc

P.S. But well scored!

Bombay Beauty said...

Thanks Sashi - jealousy is a constructive emotion! I feel it all the time walking down Bond Street here in London or Madison in New York... But I did stand in the cold for 4 hours.

Doc - no plans for a trade! My children can eBay it 30 years hence, by which time hopefully I will have had some and they will care about me enough to riffle through my possessions while I've nodded off!


Anonymous said...

ooops! forgot to sign:
PS: I didn't sign the previous comment, did I?

Anonymous said...

I think that queuing 4 hours in the cold does make you a honorary Brit.
Apart from this, love the secret sales idea! why don't we never, ever have something as brilliant as that?? I am jealous too, you see...

Bombay Beauty said...

Thank you .... I think ;-)

We were also proper about the queue... I am applying for a passport next!



Related Posts with Thumbnails