Be careful where you leave your car in case artists find it and take it over, with a 1953 VW beetle turned into a giant Beetle Sphere by Ichman Noor (now worth far more than the original car) or, in the case of an unregistered Fiat 500, having characteristic images applied over it by Tracy Emin.
These are just two of the artworks for sale next week at Phillips’ regular ‘New Now’ auction, a mixture of work by artists who are well known, and others who are less known, with works of great beauty contrasting with others which are taking a huge gamble. The focus is on work that is international, unusual, new, fresh and different and has been executed in the 21st century, though there are few works that slip in from the late 20th century.
Ai Weiwei is here with his wooden architectural ‘Structure’, Antony Gormley with a similarly geometrical ‘Exposure Maquette’, Stik with ‘Big Mother’ in his minimalist style originally painted on a brick wall, well-placed alongside Secundino Hernandez’s large canvas, and Julian Opie with his amusing ‘Self Portrait’. Egor Zigura’s bronze woman is, in comparison with many of the other works, almost traditional. Thomas Saraceno’s ‘Connectome’ is fun, with its mirrors reflecting other art on the walls around, as is Sobodh Gupta’s bucket of polished stainless steel utensils.
Perhaps the work with the greatest classical beauty is Dmitriy Grek’s marble ‘Contiguity’ where the man fuses into the woman
But, oh dear, please explain to me why Cildo Meireles ‘Fontes’, comprising hinged metal rulers which I have in a drawer at home, interesting as it might be, should command a reserve of £15,000 and why you would want to buy Karla Black’s bundle of painted cellophane wrapped with sellotape entitled ‘Apart from Actually Blushing’ (with a reserve of £2,000).