Auction Envy

I’d buy this tonight during Phillips de Pury & Co.’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale:

Mark Grotjahn/ Untitled (Pink Butterfly Green mg03), 2003/ Oil on linen/ 36 x 28 in./ Est. $300,000-$400,000

Detail of Grotjahn's Untitled (Pink Butterfly Green mg03)

Yeah, I’ll be honest, I dog-eared a couple of contenders hoping to find something better by the time I got to the end of the catalog. This fleshtone kaleidascope by Mark Grotjahn, sadly, was the winner in a sea of, well, not winners. They weren’t losers, mind you, they just weren’t great. None of them truly made me regret not being the inventor of Facebook, like, say, a Francis Bacon work might.

But let’s not dwell, let’s work with that we’ve got. The detail of this painting is pretty sweet. I love visible brushstrokes and the precision of the angles would make any protractor and straight edge proud. I think the main selling point for me, however, is the bright green signature. Aesthetically, the colorful, loopty-loop font just looks good against this mellow background.

What worries me, though, is that considering it’s called “Butterfly” and it’s painted in several fleshy shades of pale pink, I fear that in some way this probably alludes to a woman’s nuh-uh. Either that, or I’ve been exposed to one too many geometric vaginas with green tattoos in my life. Oh my. And on that note, happy bidding, billionaires!

UPDATE: Including commission, this went for $434,500. Not bad.

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