prix viagra en pharmacie Man kan säga att Viagra inte är mer verklig vid behandling av ED när det finns ett överflöd av piller på marknaden köpa viagra online net If you’re hoping to buy cheap generic Viagra online, you’ll be looking for a reputable online drugstore. It’s the best place to buy cheap viagra online!

ELATION, EXHAUSTION AND A BREAKTHROUGH AT WALKER’S

November 2016
In the early stages of Jeff Walker's fall Inuit auction, the bids came fast and furiously, setting records for some of the artists' works. Photo by Mike Levin.

In the early stages of Jeff Walker’s fall Inuit auction, the bids came fast and furiously, setting records for some of the artists’ works. Photo by Mike Levin.

It’s a strange experience to sit in a hall just off Riverside Drive and watch the guy six chairs over bid $40,000 for a piece of rock sitting at the front of the room. He’s wearing blue jeans, deck shoes, and his lumberjack shirt is untucked.

This isn’t your typical Ottawa auction where a Royal Doulton figurine breaking the $100 mark causes a stir among the crowd. This is Oz, a place where 295 pieces of art will sell for more than $1.2 million in four hours and the most vocal the small audience gets is a gentile scattered applause when a 10-minute phone-bidding war for a 13.5-inch piece of stone finally ends with a bid of $259,600.

In reality it is Tudor Hall on North Bowesville Road on Wednesday, November 16. The room is full of sculptures, prints and wall hangings that are mesmerizing even if you’re not a fan of Inuit art. The free coffee is good, but the chairs are uncomfortable. By 10:30pm Jeff Walker was holding a beer and commiserating with me about my sore butt.

The aftermath of Walker’s Fine Art & Estate Auctions’ fall Inuit sale is a mix of elation and exhaustion. It didn’t meet May’s final tally of $1.57 million, and the Ottawa auction house continued to hold its position as the world’s predominant reseller of northern art.

Walker is confused about why this fact remains relatively unknown among Canada’s media when the form has made a transition into the country’s financial and demographic mainstreams. No doubt the guy in the lumberjack shirt doesn’t want this to change.

Isa Aqiattusuk’ Smiler’s Mother Nursing a Child. Photo courtesy of Walkers.

Isa Aqiattusuk’ Smiler’s Mother Nursing a Child. Photo courtesy of Walkers.

Walker was tired so the debrief was short. “The triple-A pieces were always going to do well, and they did. Tonight we also saw the unique pieces that create a connection do well. And then there was Osuitok,” he says. Yet that doesn’t begin to explain how the auction’s first hour went from success to success, with a few tense moments.

Bids for the auction’s top piece – Migration Boat by Joe Talirunili – hit fast and hard until two phone bidders were left locked in battle as the price passed $200,000. Increments of $10,000 didn’t seem to phase either, although it took minutes between bids as Walker tried to alternately coax and admonish the bidders. C’mon people, we need a decision tonight.

Ingo Hessel, the company’s own Wizard of Oz, held one of the phone lines and feebly flipped up his paddle for the 10th time as Walker finally hammered down the sale price of $220,000 ($259,600 after an 18 percent buyers’ premium, but who’s counting). The pre-sale estimate had been $120,000-$160,00. Another Migration Boat by Talirunili still holds the world record at just under $290,000.

Another piece of Talirunili sculpture Owl and Arctic Hare shattered its pre-sale estimate of $2,500-$3,500 with a final tag of $7,670. The trend held for many other early pieces.

Jessie Oonark’s huge untitled woven panel finished at $88,500; John Tiktak’s supernatural Mother, Child and Face brought $50,150; Isa Aqiattusuk Smiler’s rotund Mother Nursing a Child cost $70,800; John Kavik’s Muskox finished at $41,300; and Andy Miki’s sublime Animal was purchased for $17,700.

There were surprises, such as Luke Iksiktaaryuk’s delightful Walking Figures that the owners had dismissed as worth a few hundred dollars but which a buyer was willing to pay $23,600 for. And Thomasie Angutigirk’s Mother and Child that set a record for her work at $28,350. Perennial favourites Kenojuak Ashevak and Norval Morriseau also had their moments, showing that the top artists always retain their value.

Osuitok Ipeelee's Kneeling Caribou. Courtesy of Walkers.

Osuitok Ipeelee’s Kneeling Caribou. Courtesy of Walkers.

But the biggest news was the re-admittance of Osuitok Ipeelee onto Inuit art’s Mount Olympus. Three of his pieces sold for a combined $89,090. Walker says the artist’s work couldn’t sell even three years ago.

Osuitok, who died in 2005, was a Cape Dorset artist who collaborated with James Houston (the Toronto designer and film-maker who first brought Inuit art south) and reportedly helped set up the West Baffin Island Eskimo Co-Operative, the original commercial purveyor of Inuit art.

Houston recalls in one of his books: “Osuitok Ipeelee sat near me one evening studying the sailor-head trademarks on a number of identical cigarette packages. He…stated that it must have been very tiresome…to sit painting every one of the small heads on the small packages with the exact sameness…

Osuitok Ipeelee in Cape Dorset in the 1960s. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Osuitok Ipeelee in Cape Dorset in the 1960s. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

My explanation was far from successful…partly because I was starting to wonder whether this could have any practical application in Inuit terms. Looking around to find some way to demonstrate printing, I saw an ivory walrus tusk that Osuitok had recently engraved…Taking an old tin of writing ink… with my finger I dipped into the black residue and smoothed it over the tusk. I laid a piece of toilet paper on the inked surface and rubbed the top lightly, then quickly stripped the paper from the tusk. I saw that by mere good fortune, I had pulled a fairly good negative of Osuitok’s incised design.
“We could do that,” he said, with the instant decisiveness of a hunter. And so we did.” (from Wikipedia).

With Inuit art now a mainstream form, Walker’s auctions can reveal which artists are destined for greatness.

As auctions wind down to their last few dozen items, torpor sets in. You just want to get home and count your profits and losses. Yet there was one last uptick at Walker’s event when a handful of Greenland pieces from

Tupilak Eating a Human by Greeland artist Kulusuk. Courtesy of Walkers.

Tupilak Eating a Human by Greeland artist Kulusuk. Courtesy of Walkers.

the Lorne Balshine Collection (he of Vancouver Airport fame) started popping. Most were forms of Tupilak (a mythical shaman or witch) and showed a completely different style of Arctic design that had as much an African and South American look as any other.

They were playful and many sold over pre-sale estimates. Both Walker and Hessel hope this signals a broadening of acceptance by collectors and investors about what the 21st Century value of northern art should be. Contemporary Inuit artists have yet to tickle buyers’ wallets, a continuing disappointment for both artistic and commercial players.

But as Inuit art’s Mount Olympus becomes more potent, this condition is bound to change.

5 Comments »

  • Von Allan said:

    Y’know, all this makes me think of is Ian Welsh’s comment about inflation:

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/yes-virginia-all-that-money-printing-did-show-up-as-inflation/

    As well as this comment
    on that thread, too.

    “Both Walker and Hessel hope this signals a broadening of acceptance by collectors and investors about what the 21st Century value of northern art should be…But as Inuit art’s Mount Olympus becomes more potent, this condition is bound to change.”

    Uh-huh.

  • MLevin (author) said:

    My dear Von, you sound positively un-capitalistic. Welcome to the cynicism of creeping old age. It finally ends when you don’t give a crap anymore.

  • Von Allan said:

    If only it was old age! My cynicism is young* and hot. And my rage knows no bounds…well, ’til the booze kicks in, I suppose. 🙂

    * Ok, ok. Not so much, but whatever!

  • MLevin (author) said:

    I agree. It seems like it’s the only way to deal with INGSOC.

  • Von Allan said:

    Orwell is in the air, eh? Sounds about right. He damn well should be.

    Speaking of money bubbling up in the arts and collectibles, this just happened: https://sports.yahoo.com/news/mickey-mantle-topps-card-joins-exclusive-million-dollar-club-005556440.html

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.