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International Response to Young Artists Paintings

International Response to Young Artists Paintings

By Auction night, absentee and phone bids had arrived at the Warwick Henderson Gallery from Sydney, Singapore, LA, NYC and London as well as all over New Zealand. Those who had registered for bidding were after one of only twelve works up for Auction by the young art star Rozi Demant.

By 7pm, when the Auction was meant to commence, anxious bidders were still circling the block looking for a park. It’s lucky the Auctioneer allowed several extra minutes for clients to find one, as it was one of those clients who ended up acquiring the first lot. Tension in the room was palpable by the time the Auction kicked off, approximately 10 minutes late. The first lot up – a painting called “The Forest” had been a popular choice amongst buyers and as a result a bidding frenzy ensued. Estimated value for the work was $12,000 - $13,500, but in just a few short minutes the hammer had gone down closing the sale at $19,500.

Extra phone lines had to be installed at the Gallery to manage the number of phone bidders and at one stage a bidding war broke out between two phone bidders - both from California. Bidders left many alternate bids; in the event they missed their first, second or third choices, they were determined to get a piece - any piece !. Many, including a London Bidder missed out despite leaving seven absentee bids.

The highest price achieved for the evening was for a large work which depicted a procession of girls stepping through a field of black lilies, which sold to an American currently residing in Sydney. The painting, which was estimated at $14,500 -$15,500, achieved a price of $22,000.

Gallery Director Warwick Henderson said “the international interest was exceptional and justified his gamble of auctioning the paintings”.

As the Auction concluded and all works were sold, a great sigh of relief was shared between the artist and her family who had spent a nervous few weeks preceding the Auction. The Auction was believed to be a first for an Artists exhibition in New Zealand.


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