On Sunday, The Bavarian and I previewed some works that are to be sold over the next week at one of Berlin’s finest auction houses – Villa Grisebach in Charlottenburg – because the Bavarian has registered to bid in their Autumn Auction.
He dragged me from room to room and floor to floor, past stone statues from the Song Dynasty and 19th Century Berlin-made hanging crystals, pointing at things like this – “Kneipe” by Käthe Kollwitz, expected to fetch between €70,000 – 90,000:
And yelling things like “Shall we buy it? We can bid on it next week! Or how about this?”
“It looks like that guy from Boardwalk Empire. I like Broadwalk Empire. I’ll make a note of the number,“ he enthused at the painting above by Conrad Felixmüller, estimated at between €40.000 – 60.000, before dragging me across the road to the contemporary exhibits and settling on a Daniel Richter:
“But don’t they check whether you can afford this stuff?” I asked.
“Nah. You just have to register online,” he said – delighted.
“But what if you bid on something that you can’t pay for?”
“Ha! We’re gonna find out soon, eh?” said the Bavarian, pulling on some white gloves and studying a Max Beckmann print…
Then yesterday, a woman from Grisebach called him.
“She asked for bank references and stuff,” he said.
“So we’re out of the bidding game then,” I said.
“No. I told her that I was considering bidding for something in the under €3,000 category and she agreed that there was no point in checking our bank statements for such a small amount.”
“Oh, so you can only bid in that category,” I said, kind of relieved that at least there was a limit to how much damage he could do.
“No – that’s just what I told her. Technically, I can still bid on whatever I like!”
Great. Now my entire week has become a mission to distract him from this auction that he is set, not only on going to, but participating in. He’s even honed in on a particular piece he likes by Berlin artist Georg Tappert (1880 – 1957), called called “Clown and Girl”, which appropriately sums up our relationship:
So if you don’t hear from me again, it’s because I no longer have a computer, or a home for that matter, and the Bavarian and I are out on the street, sheltering under our newly aquired Sigmar Polke.