Christie’s is the world’s most famous auction house. Dan Purjes is always fascinated by their final list of pieces to be auctioned and follows their main story in the New York Times religiously. Indeed, even Barrons wrote a report on the works by Christie’s. For many, the auctioned items are classed as an asset, paid for through an investment fund. People like McTague have seen pieces of art in particular take pride of place in galleries in Rockwood and NYC, but others are purchased by private investors for their own collections. But Christie’s isn’t just about auctioning works of art for the rich and famous. They also have an important role to play in the community, raising funds for various charities each year. Dan Purjes was fascinated to see that, this year, they were auctioning works of art by their own members of staff.
Dan Purjes on Christie’s Personal Auction
Christie’s has asked its employees to create their own works of art. Around 100 pieces were created and they all featured on an online auction of the businesses. The employees came from all sorts of departments as well. Part of the proceeds will go towards the Art Therapy Project, which Christie’s supports.
The employees have took the challenge very seriously. They created jewelry, sculptures and other works of art. All were on display at the Rockefeller Center galleries in NYC between July 27th and August 2nd, which was the day the online auction closed. The art show was called “Close to Home” and is part of the business’ social responsibility initiative. The Art Therapy Project, meanwhile, is a firm favorite in NYC that runs creative art programs to help people who have survived trauma.
The works of art all had individual starting bids, ranging from $100 to $1,000. Beach Landscape was a painting on wood using acrylics, which was created by sales coordinator Elise Rise. She is part of the World Art department and a Princeton University graduate with a BA in Art History and Visual Arts. Her history is about using contemporary interventions, such as digital tools, to layer historical arts. It was expected that the piece would get between $200 and $400.
Meanwhile, Katelyn Kraunelis, who is a Christie’s communications association, was also expected to get between $200 and $400. Kraunelis is no stranger to art installations, having completed the 2015 Harbinger as well. She wanted to create a dystopian view of the earth through her art. Kraunelis has a BA in Art History obtained from New York’s St. Lawrence University.
The Staff Art Show has been a part of Christie’s since 2015. Back then, the show had a partnership with a local charity and an online auction element. In 2017, Christie’s partnered with Creative Time, which is another charity in New York that supports socially-engaged, site-specific, innovative works of art, bringing them into the public realm. More specifically, they focus on spaces of architectural and historical interest that are vacant.