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I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon)

In early 2005, Richard Polsky decided to put his much-loved, hard-won Warhol, "Fright Wig," up for auction at Christie's; the market for contemporary art was robust and he was hoping to turn a profit. His instinct seemed to be on target: his picture sold for $375,000. But if only Polsky had waited . . . Over the next two years, the art market soared to unimaginable heights with multimillion-dollar sales that became the norm and not the exception. Buyers and sellers were baffled, art dealers were being bypassed for auction houses, and benchmark prices were on a sharp ascent. Had the art market lost all reason?. In "I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon)," Polsky leads the way through this tumultuous time in the art world when the market took off to meteoric proportions, when "a day late, a dollar short" were the words on everyone's lips. He delves into the behind-the-scenes politics of auctions, the shift in power away from dealers and galleries, and the search for affordable art in a rich man's market. Unlike most in the art world, Polsky is not afraid to tell it like it is as he negotiates deals for clients in New York, London, and San Francisco and seeks out a replacement for his lost "Fright Wig." This compelling backdoor tell-all about the strange and fickle world of art collecting will leave you nostalgic for the days when SoHo was an art mecca, interested in contemporary artists making their mark today, and knowledgeable about auction house strategies and the current market stakes.