I was flicking through Christie’s catalogue for the April 5th contemporary/post-war auction during a fag break the other day when a lot caught my eye – “Wrapped Couch” by Christo (1973). Estimate £30,000 to £50,000. Cheap for a piece by Christo, I thought. A closer look told me why – not a sofa wrapped by Christo, but a multi media piece on card (roughly 3 feet by 2) created by Christo of a proposed project entitled “Wrapped Couch”. I didn’t check the provenance but later, back at my dull employment which requires no brain power, I had a vision. Picture the scene:-
Christo’s office. A slow day. Probably Friday afternoon. Christo sat at a desk with his feet up, texting his mates. An assistant idly rummaging through a map chest.
ASST: Christ, you haven’t half got some old tat in here.
CHR: Tat? What do you mean tat?
ASST: Well this for a start. (He holds up a large, dog-eared sheet of card) Are we ever going to make this fucking wrapped sofa or what?
CHR: Nah. Scrapped the idea. Not monumental enough.
ASST: That’s my point. Why’ve you still got the old sketch cluttering up the place? Any use or not?
CHR: Not any more. Sling it. No, hang on…send it to Christie’s. Some fool’s bound to cough up for it.
ASST: OK. Any estimate? Reserve?
CHR: Let’s have a look…$80,000?
ASST: Thank you and good riddance. Now what other crap we got in here?
CHR: (Suddenly alert) Hold on, hold on! Don’t pack any more off for auction, you’ll fuck up me market!
ASST: Keep your hair on, I wasn’t born yesterday.
Or how about this? (I do have a LOT of time for daydreaming some days))
Damien Hirst saunters into a workshop in the grounds of his manor. A bit grumpy. A bit hungover. He cracks his shin against a low lying lump of art by the door.
DH: Ow! Shit! Kev? I’m fed up tripping over this fucking thing.
K: Well don’t look at me – you made it.
DH: Fair comment. But can’t we get rid? When did we last ship out to Christie’s?
K: Ooh, now you’re asking. Six months ago? Eight months tops?
DH: That’s no good then. How about…got it. A charity auction. Set up some kind of…celebrity…charity…fucking…auction thing. Bung it in that. And those pictures under the window. And that ugly great thing propped up behind the compressor.
K: Righto. What charity do you fancy?
DH: Fuck knows. Use your initiative. Autistic kids? Orphaned hedgehogs? Summat with no politics in it.
K: AIDS in Africa?
DH: Are you deaf or daft?!
That’s the art market sorted. I’m more interested in the forthcoming photography auction in New York, to be honest. Robert Doisneau prints are dirt cheap right now and he’s been one of my favourites since childhood. So if you’re one of those people who can’t decide what to give me for my birthday and you’ve got $10,000 to spare, you might be in luck.