I had a strange day last Tuesday. Before I left for the Sierras a friend called and said that he had bought a large cache of modernist paintings from a listed artist with a benefactor and was I interested in buying or marketing the group?
The money man agreed to hold them for me until 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon.
It takes time to properly market an artist, slowly bringing the numbers up, I was thinking of a two year plan with a split with the owner but was prepared to buy the whole group if we could agree on a good wholesale price.
But it was a definite project, so much of the work in poor condition and pretty mediocre.
Anyway, the work was located about two hours away, in Huntington Beach and I drove up there and met the man at his factory Tuesday afternoon at the appointed hour.
He seemed like a nice enough guy, told me he had sold his last company for forty million and then told me that there was a slight hitch.
He had made a deal with a guy from Laguna on the paintings that very morning. I was a bit taken aback, two hours there meant driving two hours back, empty handed. I told him that I would have never gotten involved if I had known that he was contemplating a bidding war or that he had already made a deal. Why didn't he call me? He apologized and said that the deal was just so sweet he couldn't pass it up. Guess he was too busy to call.
Honestly, after seeing the work, I really didn't want any part of it anyway. Very mediocre and a lot of work to market with little upside. And really, the numbers the new suitor were throwing around were ridiculously high and not something I would have been close to paying. He was smart to jump on the deal.
No biggie, you win some and you lose some. Never trust a rich guy who says it is not about the money, it is always about the money with them. That is how they got rich.
Anyhow, I am leaving, no point stewing over paintings that I didn't even like when I saw this one leaning against a wall.