Title: I BOUGHT ANDY WARHOL - Rare Pristine Copy of...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 2003
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 256 pages. Published in 2003. The author's breakthrough debut account/memoir. One of the single best books on Andy Warhol as the American artist most coveted by collectors, an "icon of global desire". The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Richard Polsky's "I Bought Andy Warhol". Recounts in the most engaging, riveting, and accessible manner the inner workings of the art world by one of its most active members. The title is a sly allusion to the cult classic film, "I Shot Andy Warhol" (1996). Richard Polsky has been a private art dealer most of his adult life and helped found the biggest website for contemporary art. Polsky's book is about two things: His all-consuming personal quest to own a Warhol and the lasting impact the artist has had on the art market, which continues undiminished to this day. Polsky set aside $100, 000 to own a decent Warhol but over the decades, the price just kept going up, way beyond his means. The story of how he finally nabbed his much-coveted Warhol, which became the focus of his life (it's the one shown on the book's cover), is candid, self-deprecating, and oddly touching. Polsky also shares with the reader/would-be collector the secrets he learned along the way, the principal one being the most banal and obvious one: That the longer a collector holds on to what he knows is a valuable piece, the more he will probably come out on top. If he is lucky, as canny collectors seem to be, he can become rich beyond his wildest dreams. The highest price a Warhol has fetched at auction has surpassed $100 Million, an incredible sum for a late-20th century artist, and the smart sellers have been collectors most people thought were crazy to hold on to their pieces for so long. Collectors have one decisive advantage over dealers: They can afford to hold on to their acquisitions. Every dealer, no matter how successful, needs to sell in order to stay in business. Dealing is about buying and selling. Collecting is about finding and timing. Polsky cites numerous examples to prove his point (which collectors themselves overlook again and again). Warhol himself stands out as perhaps the best example. When he gave up his successful career as a commercial/advertising artist, Warhol struggled to get his work as an artist accepted and took whatever money he could to survive. He sold his "Campbell's Soup Can" silkscreen multiple (there are 32 in all) in 1962 to a collector for $1000, which was paid to him in monthly installments of less than $100 over a period that lasted two years, resulting in lifetime enmity between artist and buyer. The collector held on to the set and finally sold it to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 1996 for $15 Million. What would "Campbell's Soup Can" be worth today in the unlikely event that it ever became available in the art market? The conservative estimate is between $100 and $150 Million. One of the best books on life, art, and collecting, this is a "must-have" title for Andy Warhol collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Richard Polsky. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is now collectible. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Please note: Most copies avilable online have major flaws or are remainder-marked. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest artists of the 20th century. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ANDY WARHOL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0810942712. Bookseller Inventory # 16025
Synopsis: In 1987 art dealer Richard Polsky set aside $100,000 to purchase for his private collection a painting by famed Pop artist Andy Warhol - a process that took him 12 years. His journey, spanning the art world of the go-go 1980s to the recession of the 1990s, is recounted here. Artists, gallery owners, auction houses and collectors all play a role in this tale that illuminates not only Warhol the person - and his place in art history - but also the machinations and marketing that fuelled his celebrity, driving the price of his paintings to the top of the market. As an industry insider, Polsky reveals the relationships that make the art world go round. This book presents a behind-the-scenes look at that world - a look that reveals it to be filled with humour, hypocrisy, gossip, greed, manipulation and money.
Review: So what was it like to be an art dealer in the go-go ‘80s? California-based private dealer Richard Polsky drops some juicy anecdotes into an account of his quest to add a Warhol painting to his personal collection. The title of his book, I Bought Andy Warhol, is a wink-wink reference to a film about a disgruntled Factory member who shot the artist in 1968. Polsky’s attitude is wryly bemused as he recounts tales of practical jokes, petty grudges, peculiar dining experiences, and other indignities that befall a little guy in a world of sharks. The cast of characters includes heavyweight New York dealers Ivan Karp, Jim Corcoran, and Larry Gagosian as well as mid-range collectors and artists better known in California than in Manhattan. Warhol himself makes no personal appearances, though Polsky assiduously tracks fluctuations in the superstar’s market value. Along the way, there are useful nuggets ranging from questions a potential art buyer should ask a dealer to typical auction house pricing strategies. The author is a likeable character who demonstrates surprising candor about trying to make a living in the early ‘90s, when art prices plummeted. While some readers may be taken aback by Polsky’s relentless stress on the monetary worth of a work of art as opposed to its aesthetic value, his book is a gossipy account of running a unique kind of business, selling one-of-a-kind products in a highly volatile market. —Cathy Curtis
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