2016 – ‘Brilliant Ideas’

This years Bloomberg series ‘Brilliant Ideas’ has made it easy for us to see into the minds + works of our top successful global artists. From India to the USA you can see how artists work on  a grand scale and what makes them tick. Bravo ‘Brilliant Ideas’!
See videos below.

The one Art Book to read

‘Art as Therapy’ by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong. Finally, a brilliant book tackling on the Question “What is Art for?”.

The answers given are valid and illuminating and questions like ‘Why have I just left this museum and feel underwhelmed or bewildered and / or inadequate and why the big experience I thought I would have didn’t happen’.

I know you have had these thoughts and whats wrong with me liking ‘pretty pictures’. Read the book!

“Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness” – Alain de Botton


Click on the names for the video of the artist.

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Zhang Huan

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Simon Denny

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Lee Bul

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Xu Bing

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Theaster Gates

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Abraham Cruzvillegas

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Subodh Gupta

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Jaume Plensa

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Ellen Gallagher

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Francesco Clemente

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Bharti Kher

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Danny Lane

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Luke Jerram

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Mariko Mori

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Yinka Shonibare

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Michael Joo

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Cornelia Parker

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Grayson Perry


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Violence hits Miami Art Fair – Art Popup Show Zurich

Violence hits Miami Art Fair

Violence comes to an Art Fair. This shouldn’t happen. Art fairs are like libraries and Museum … Safe areas. Were they fighting over an art work? I hope not. But one art lover (a woman) stabbed another. Some people thought it was a performance piece.. It is true  I was annoyed with a Gallery that sold an artist I have been following and thought I could buy it on the spot and ship to a close address instead of buying it in a very far away country and adding on pages of taxes  and mysterious shipping costs but not enough to punch him.  But instead the Art Dealer surprised me with a first time show of an artist that I was taken with. And that is the best part of art. When the scales drop from your eyes and you are elated because the soul of that artist has woken you up. No I am not going to tell you who it is. It will stay my secret for a while  and I will walk around with a smile because I know he has the makings of an   important artist, deep thinking, original  with a tremendous grasp of his media.

Maybe the sales were so dynamic because the rain in Miami was torrential  and the beach was not possible but the Fairs  have improved. No more empty bling. South Africa sent some terrific galleries with very original work  Check out the Gallery Stevenson. Lots of Chinese this time buying.What was an exceptional show was UNREALISM presented be Larry Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch. The whole 4 floors of the Moore Building was filled with the best oil painters out there 64 in all. Dan Colen, John  Currin, Swoon, Zeng Fanzhi, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Clemente, Fischi … the list goes on.

Art Popup Show Zurich

What was a big success is the pop up art show I made in a  house being converted into   lovely apartments. Some how the art I showed on bare walls with tubs exposed was a big hit with the Swiss.It was in collaboration with one of the most forward thinking real estate companies, Simmo in Switzerland. Music, wine, rough walls collided with contemporary works of well known artists . Next show will be in spring. As the Donald says HUGH !  God even I am quoting him.I am looking for works of art done with 3-D printing. Artists that are working with that media please contact me.


More pictures here!


Cult of the cute…. A form of rebellion through Japanese fashion and  artistic expression.against the current society made by adults.Examples are Takashi Murakami, Sabastian Masudas installation of girls room at the Salone del Mobile in Milan ,girls dressed up like a sweet Lolita.. Look it up online and go to the Kawaii Monster Cafe in Tokyo.This also includes the Hello Kitty  obsession . Why grown women are collecting Hello Kitty beats me.

CUBAN ARTISTS … insider buying

Yoan Capote, Diana Fonseca Quinones,Alejandro Campins Los Carpinteros, Carlos Garaicoa Jorge Pardo, Agnes Varda and read Cuban Art News put out by Howard Farber…He was right about the Chinese now its the Cuban artists.

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Art Popup Show Zurich – Pictures

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Upcoming projects


I will be hanging this show in a very unusual way. Do come and see. One of Miami’s best artists.Roberta Gonella…all of you stop looking at your iPads. Look to the Horizon!

flyerRoberta Panorama

There is something very intimate and at the same time expanding of our souls when we look at a horizon. How can that be? Many great artists have tried to capture this mystery. In this exhibition I have gone one step further, I have lined Sheila’s powerful horizon pieces as an assemblage, connecting the disparate horizons together regardless of their size or medium to make one continuous horizon line.

Roberta Gonella

December 12, 2015



Visionaryarttrends presents the first Swiss ART POP UP SHOW featuring boutique apartments to rent! Patrician sized, great view of the lake of Zurich in District 6. Together with simmo.ch an open house Apero at Huttenstrasse 36, Zurich starting on the 11th of December from 17.00 to 20.00 pm. Saturday 12th  from 10.00 am – 6.00 pm and Sunday 13th from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm.

Artists being featured: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Zara Hadid, Wu Yiming, Ma Liming , Dimitri Horta, Harald Naegeli,  Guo Jin, Tom Fellner, Alex Herzog, Julia Sheppard, Ladina Frey-Durisch, Andrea Bertotti and more …

A chance to see a wonderful collection of contemporary art and beautiful apartments, what else do you want?



Art unlimited at Art Basel 2016

For information to follow!


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Concrete / Generative photography

A new movement in photography, rediscovered now….an important link in the history of photography
An important group of photographers which have been overlooked by the art world has been re-discovered and will be shown at the Paris Photo at the Grand Palais Nov 12-15 by the Gallery Scheublein +Bak. 1This rarely happens but I am excited to tell the story and also happy to inform you that the photographs are reasonably priced a chance for a young lover of photography to get in.This movement started in 1967  at the Galerie Actuelle in Bern with a group of avant-garde  Swiss photographers René Mächler, Roger Humbert, Rolf Schroeter and Jean-Frédéric Schnyder. Unfortunately the show leaves little traces and the response at that time was not what the artists hoped for since they were hoping to be accepted within the framework of Max Bill.  Breier and Pierre Cordier then a year later in 1968 Kunsthaus Bielefelder opened the pivotal show Generative Fotografie with works by Gottfried Jäger, Hein Gravenhorst, Kilian Breier and Pierre Cordier. Generative photography or Concrete, both names have been used for these types of photographs.  The idea of generating forms out of a mathematical context instead of depicting forms as part of a naturalistic program, predicted  a link to computer art and a bridge between light and data image. In laymen terms these were before digital photographs using analog cameras. These photos possess a certain signalling effect. They demand attention,they are fantastic, cosmic inspired ,sharp, cold , well look below and see for yourself.
And  a bit about the artists. All of them (there weren’t so many ,list below) practically built their own machines to aid their visions. Herbert W. Franke, a pioneer of computer art combined rational physics and mathematics and photographic experiments. His vintage oscillograms from the 1950’s and 60’s are pioneering examples of computer art aesthetics. In them, graphic vibrations-were programmed on an analogue computer system and then photographed from the screen of a cathode ray oscillograph.
Heinrich Heidersberger adapted experimental forms of Kinetic op-art built on a pendulum machine which helped him t..o produce three-dimensional light-drawings on negatives. These breathtaking images were highly acclaimed at the time. Cocteau claimed these photos were ”the connection between man and machine as being characteristic of their time”.
Then there is Gottfried Jäger who created a self constructed multiple pinhole camera obscura and titled using a numeric programming system. His mathematical creativity is shown below in his “Pinhole Structures”. Since 1966 Jäger and Karl Martin Holzhauser have continued given yearly symposium in Bieleld which have become legendary. These photographers will be seen in the upcoming Fair I mentioned. Historically and creatively important don’t let this  go.
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How Art Became Irrelevant & The Watch Fund

How Art Became Irrelevant

It takes an outsider like Michael Lewis who exposed the modern worlds insanity in the Financial world (those of you who haven’t read  The Big Short, Panic and Flash Boys are missing  one of the best reads ever)To take on the Art World. And what a splendid job he does. Anyone that is interested in understanding why we are where we are in the art market. With paintings costing fortunes, blockbuster  Museum shows pulling in masses of people   and a fair on every corner well that should be ok  but…..and there is always a but You know something is very wrong but can not put your finger on it. Please I implore you to read this Everyone that is serious about civilization, there, I’ve said it CIVILIZATION. Below is the article. I would  love some feed back on this take a long minute not a like or not. What do you think?


The full article by Michael  Lewis on commentarymagazine.com



Attention collectors of mens watches!
You can now wear the watches your fund invests in and make a profit at the end of the year. Dominic Khoo turned his passion for watches into a business. THE WATCH FUND. He buys ultra high end watches at steep discounts and then sells them for profit, to benefit the funds investors. The two year old fund now has about 29 million Dollars worth of assets under management and 60 investors, each of whom has contributed a minimum of 250,000$ according to Mr. Khoo, the funds sole buyer and largest stakeholder. He has also seven other partners who are invested. There’s nothing like a company where the owners have skin in the game. The fund is private managed account so that investors can self-regulate, each investor generally gets a selection of watches-sort of the investors portfolio the same day the investment is received. The investors have two options. One guarantees a fixed 10 per cent annual return, while the other offers a variable rate which so far has generated a higher return. One portfolio soared 54 percent in three months time. Mr Khoo said he buys only investment-grade watches, timepieces with prices are expected to produce a profit beyond the purchase cost and management fee. So…. if you’ve been lusting after the Ulysses Nardin Genghis Khan or a Bulgari Carillon Minute-Repeating Tourbillon or a Celsius pocket watch look this fund up its based in Singapore..




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Time to immerse yourself in an Art Hotel

Hotel Alexander Museum Palace Hotel, Pesaro, Italy

Count Alessandro Nani Marcucci Pinoli “Nani” to his friends 11227035_1635998756639783_6974196593659900816_n has one of the most unique Art Hotels in Europe. His hotel is nestled along the Adriatic Coast in the charming city of Pesaro. In October 2004 Nani dedicated four years to develop his greatest Art piece. Nani gave 75 artists the chance to transform ordinary guest rooms into 63 works of art.

Each hotel room announces its artist by a painting on the door to your room. You can go on-line and see the variety of styles. Once in the all enveloping spirit of the artist is felt and changes you.Some are simply spectacular. A fresh breath of air away from the relentless architecturally designed rooms we are used to.

The main public rooms of the hotel exhibit works of 11150793_1635998689973123_2265016390998091958_nfamous artists such as Mimmo Paladino, Enzo Cucchi,Sandro Chia alongside lesser well known artists.

His underground art gallery is reserved for showing emerging artists .His own paintings and sculptures have been exhibited 12002936_1635999189973073_6905893762300936393_nworld-wide and reside in important collections and Museums.   His current installation pieces “Turba”, “Isis” and “Four Races” are grouped outside near the entrance powerful and provocative. Nani , a true Renaissance man, Poet, writer, artist,lawyer, diplomat knight in the classic style of the great Italian Families dreamed of a great Art project, not just for himself but for the general art loving public to enjoy and in so doing supported many young artists. Bravo!

More pictures on facebook!





Count Alessandro Nani Marcucci Pinoli – the owner of the Alexander Museum and myself – Roberta Gonella.


Other Art Hotels in Europe

I have not visited them myself but reports from friends recommend these hotels, Boutique Soho Hotel – Budapest, Hotel Roomz – Vienna, Novus City Hotel – Athens, Hotel Ku’Damm 101 – Berlin, Hotel Yasmin – Prague, and Hotel Bloom –  Brussels.


Need to Know

Iman Afsarian, Iraqi artist One of the best artists long waiting list Assar Art Gallery represented, Hito Steyerl German artist her video HOW not to be seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational.Movie File (2013). If there is one video to see this year that will blow your mind with enjoyment its this one.


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BANK ART – What they buy and why – Ben Vautier , Danny Lane

According to  Global Corporate Collections  a book published last month by Deutsche Standards there are around 600 groups which have collections and many of the big groups are focused on contemporary art. Just to give you a feel for the amount of art they collect UBS has about 35,000 works  Deutsche Bank 60,000 works   to smaller collections such as Statoil a Norwegian oil and gas producer who has 1,350 works, Shiseido, the Japanese cosmetics company owns 2,500 modern Japanese paintings, sculptures and installations. Why do they buy specifically contemporary art. First financially Contemporary art has increased 600% in the decade to 2014 and businesses try to align themselves with cutting-edge, innovative and creative work it reflects on their business and also art has finally become more apart of our lives. I think the Pop artists made it comfortable for normal people to live with and buy the work of these artists,  it was like taking off a billboard and putting it in your house, it was familiar, a Campbell soup can easy…. The good news for artists is that this group buy direct from the artists and hold their work. over a long period of time  they rarely sell at Auctions  When they do sometimes it is due to mergers or their public image has changed. Sotheby’s sold $75m of corporate art in 2014 (minus buyers premium). Also Banks art related activities have expanded in recent years, international art fairs have increased dramatically and Banks will put on their own shows. UBS has held shows at MOMA in New York, The Tate Modern and Beijing’s National Art Museum of China.In the end corporate collecting remains what it has always been;good for business .As in the Renaissance the big banking families could show their power through their patronage in Art but here’s the real reason I think by supporting the artists of their time in glorifying the Church they thought that would be a plus for them at the Pearly Gates. Just maybe St Peter would not judge them so strongly for what they did in their business when he saw the beautiful paintings of Michelangelo in Heaven….ok ok but Our companies and Banks are not angels and Art gives a cultured veneer to all….#bankbigartbuyers



I think Danny Lane is the most important Stacking Chair, Danny Lane, 1999, Edition 1986, Glass, steel, H110 x W62 x D59cm, Exhibited 'Breaking Tradition', Mallett, London 1999 Photographer: Peter Wood www.dannylane.co.uk Ref: 598.21_P.tifglass sculpture artist the western world has. Baroque, massively innovative, what he is doing now in 3 dimensional glass designs, is simply groundbreaking also furniture in glass , a lounge chair in strips of glass sensational…and undervalued …He has done wonderful corporate projects. Look on his web site.

Stacking Chair, Danny Lane, 1999, Edition 1986, Glass, steel, H110 x W62 x D59cm
Photographer: Peter Wood


Just bought a Ben and2015-08-07-155226_529x841_scrot wanting to buy a Danny Lane glass sculpture  both major artists and wondering how by not living in their own countries if this affected their true value price potential.  not being promoted that much from their own countries., Ben (Vautier) has been living for years in France but is Swiss and Danny Lane is American and has been living in England for a long time. Maybe it hasn’t made a difference..just thinking…so many platforms..so little time…maybe Instagram wins…Collectors use it to sell…and Auction houses..we will see. Enjoy August




The award winning author Jonathan Harr has written a spellbinding journey on the search for the most sought after painting by Caravaggio”The Taking of Christ”. Set in todays  insular world of art historians ,art scholars and restoration masters we fall into the chase. A true story. By the end of this entertaining mix of art history and scholarly sleuthing you will have caught “the Caravaggio disease” I promise you and by the way Caravaggio fell out of fashion in the art world for around 300 years and finally around the 1960s prices on the neglected Italian Baroque had come back into fashion.Thats a long time …

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The secrets how Art Basel works – The inside story

Well It seems I am going to more and more fairs. So I thought I would investigate this secret world and since I have been to the most important Fair, Basel I  start here. There are six dealers on the jury that control Art Basel. Marc Spiegler, the director of Art Basel a Swiss company that also runs art fairs in Hong Kong, and Miami Beach choses the committee for Basel with an eye to balancing geography and taste, seeking experienced jurors of such standing that other dealers will accept being judged by them.They typically serve for five to ten years. This years jurors were Lucy Mitchell-Innes/New York, Tim Neuger/Berlin, Franco Noero/Torino,Eva Presenhuber/Zurich, Jochen Meyer/Berlin,Marc Blondeau/Geneva.And one should mention Edwynn Houk for Classical Photography. The jurors begin their work about 11 months before the fair. In a series of gatherings they and their advisors discuss their selections and larger theme questions. Once the fair starts, jurors arrive each morning at 8 to make sure galleries that have sold items do not replace the empty spaces on their walls with inferior art. If they have they can be shown the door. There is an appeals process for rejected galleries. There are 900 galleries from around the world competing for 300 booths.About 50 galleries a year appeal, about five from this get in. After all weeks are spent on the application, galleries tell the history of their exhibitions, the biographies of their artists, sketch out their booths i.e..virtual tours of their planned exhibition spaces. All to impress the fairs selection jury. accepted they are in the most exclusive club of all and then can proceed to pay $50,000 to $80,000.Dollars for their booth and that is without wining and dining their clients. After all, Fairs now account for about 40%percent of gallery sales by value.After all, 100,000 visitors come to Basel for these few days and serious money is spent in the first few days.

Do Fairs make money

Well yes but not from what you think.The Fairs don’t directly “sell art” . they basically rent out the square feet to art dealers. It is a real-estate business. Organisers although not receiving for direct sales it is their interest to have the best dealers and highest quality with Sponsors. The biggest contributors to turnover are both hire and services 60% and sponsorship 30%. Ticket sales to the public only represent 10 per cent. A day pass costs $50.00 but many of these are given away complimentary-to bring in the right people.Hard to get figures on the economics of an art fair but Georgina Adam from the FT gave it a shot and calculates taking its price per square metre and multiplying by its rental rate,rental revenue is about $14.5m. Sources intimated that the main sponsor, uBs contributes more than $4m to the three Basel Fairs.So gross turnover for the flagship event is in the region of $20m. The biggest cost for the fairs is of course the venueSome art Fairs own theirs such as the Armoury Show in New York but still rent must be paid. Many fairs hire their venues, the tent being the best solution. I have the the figures for Hong Kongs newest fair, Art Central . The cost were..Location rental $200,000 the tent was 400,000 to hire but by the time everything was included it cost$1m. They made a loss of $500,000 on that first venture. It takes a long time three to five years to establish a fair says Etchells the founder of the fair after two years you can expect to break even.. Once a fair is established then success flies to success. Art Basel doesn’t have to sell its space. In an attempt to reduce applications it charges a non refundable SFr 450-500 fee to apply, which this year with 800 dealers applying for 300 booths, yielded a tidy sum. Tefaf charges a one time fee of $23,000. for new applicants. All that is  basic costs  then you have to hire the best people to make the Fair special.In answer to my question Do Fairs make money Etchells reckons that the successful ones make a 20 percent profit on the gross revenue. Its a good business to be in. Sponsorship is key.



Kader Attia with his broken vitrines let in the real world, very powerful, and black artists were shown highlighting the violence against them.


More interesting use of photography with Humour…storytelling at its highest. Larissa Sansours Nation Estate photo series is the answer to the Palestinians situation.They have their state in the form of a single skyscraper: the Nation Estate. One colossal high-rise houses the entire Palestinian population. Each city has its own floor. Jerusalem is on the 13th floor. The seven large -scale photos take you on her journey. Brilliant

Richard Mosse

Richard Mosse series on the ongoing war in  the Republic of Congo.The luscious coloured photos that take your breath away were made by using a large format camera and Kodak Aerochrome, a discontinued color infrared film originally designed for military camouflage detection, reconnaissance and targeting. The film registers a spectrum of infrared light invisible to the human eye, rendering the green landscape and soldiers in uniforms in vivid hues of lavender, crimson and hot pink. visual pleasure bringing the invisible elements of a war that has claimed so many lives into a sharper focus.

Hong Sungdo

His Tourist series adds new dimension and more interest with him adding plexiglass, aluminium , crushed photo paper,and wires onto the flat photograph  adding excitement and texture to the flat photograph.Finally someone artfully adding a material dimension to the flat surface of the photograph.

3 D printing

Early days with this new technology I am thinking maybe not a good trend because artists will wind up giving the drawings to Robots and machines who will do it better than them. Does R2-D2 get the award for the best artistic work?


And now something wonderful for the Woman Collector

Well the Design Miami got it right. Forget the prefabricated houses at the opening which were very interesting and  the innovative furniture designs It was the booths of artists jewellery that was exciting. Take Elisabetta Cipriani who invites renowned international sculptures and painters to create exclusive wearable jewellery for her. some of the artists include Carlos Cruz-Diez, Erwin Wurm, Giogio Vigna, Jannis Kounellis, Rebecca Horn. There was one Russian lady and one French Lady that almost came to blows. Both wanted one piece so badly.This is a market that is very early days with few businesses dealing in it . I saw in Venice at the Vitraria Glass +A Museum housed in the Palazzo Barbarigo Nani Mocenigo a wonderful exhibition called ”Precious” showcasing the collection of Diane Venet . “From Picasso to Jeff Koons” , these miniature works of art have been conceived to be worn but absolutely are recognisable of the artist .You can also be Peggy Guggenheim who enjoyed to be a collector of Calder’s jewelry and wear what you buy..100 pieces were shown ending with a charm bracelet from Damien Hirst, other artists, Jeff Koons, Yoko Ono, Frank Stella, Man Ray, Max Ernst ,wonderful ….There is a beautiful catalogue try and get it for reference. Start as soon as possible and go to the next Design Miami hopefully these galleries will be there. Finally you don’t have to look at those men watches.


“Because the Night” by Richard Mosse – 2012 – digital  c print



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The_ScreamHere’s what happened as Monk would say. It started with the Dutch government which for decades had supported their visual artists with a wonderful art subsidy program. Then one day they woke up and saw they just had too many paintings in storage so they realized they had  to clean out their closet..( moving them out of overstocked storage facilities where they were just gathering dust). So local galleries were asked to assist and  the Foundation of Disinherited Goods started to clear out 5,000 works of fine art from its collections which were scattered among different storage facilities. The reason was the Museum said that they wanted people to see the works and to buy them. Most artworks that Museums have only show a small percentage of them.. Word spread. , this process called “deaccessioning” became a source of controversy throughout Europe as Museums in Britain, Germany and France discussed this. And not only them but the Foundations holding masses of paintings, the Banks with their vaults full of valuable paintings, the new storage facilities recently built for paintings bought but never looked at bought like stocks, as some collector said “well I buy a range I figure some of them will go up” well, slowly  it sunk in maybe the prices will not go up for ever, so the Russian/Chinese/Indian and  other new art  collectors of the world started giving their  art works to the Auction houses.. to be sold. More and more paintings were submitted without reserve..nobody wanted to be the last man standing I mean will the last man holding the Jeff Koons  dog plate please shut the door. The big Auction houses had trucks coming all through the night delivering the goods and slowly the young collectors who thought whatever they would buy  would go up stopped buying stopped bidding……and then…….OK Ok . You can wake up now it was just all a bad.. dream……..well almost, there is some truth in the tale I’m telling you..which part ah!  there’s the rub. ..Sweet Dreams

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