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(Still) Mulling it over with Millennials

(Still) Mulling it over with Millennials


21 February 2019

Once again, we sat down with some of the younger members of the Rago Auctions team to explore a few of their favorite pieces coming up in Rago’s Unreserved Auction on February 23-24. Here’s what they had to say, in between bites of avocado toast, of course…

Lot 1519 – Damien Hirst
Shark Spin Painting, 2009; Estimate: $1,000 – 1,500

Laura Nash
Cataloguer; Unreserved Department

The richest living British artist, Damien Hirst became a household name in the 1990s for a series he created featuring animals suspended in formaldehyde. One of the best known, the modestly titled “The Physical Impossibilities of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” presents a 14’ tiger shark, gaping mouth frozen open in menace.

It’s fascinating that the artist who made that menacing creation is also inspired by the cheery and brightly colored child’s play of spin art. This shift from one end of the visual and emotional spectrum to the other is central to Hirst’s exploration of life and death.

But what I like most about this work is that it’s just so easy to look at. Outside the context of life and death and dark and light, it’s fun. It’s simple. It’s nostalgic. Looking at it makes me happy, and what more can we ask from a work of art?

Lot 506 – Chinese – 21-drawer Apothecary Chest
Estimate: $400 - 600

Olivia Tornick
Asst. Director; Digital Marketing

The lot I’m most excited about in the February Unreserved Auction is lot 506, a Chinese-style 21-drawer apothecary chest that is the perfect candidate for a fun repurposing. Personally, I would line the drawers with velvet and turn this into a one-of-a-kind jewelry chest. With twenty-one little drawers, it provides easy organizing and great storage, and not just for jewelry! This could be used in an artist’s studio to hold supplies, or in a bathroom to keep medicines and toiletries in order, or in a child’s room to tidy up small toys. I could even see it on a sun porch, topped with plants and stuffed with knick-knackery.

I like to decorate my home with a blend of old and new, and the handsome distress of the paint gives this piece a shabby-chic look that would work well with contemporary or classic décors. Further, it’s a sturdy piece, built to last. I’d love to hang a mirror over it and use it in my bedroom.

Lot 1342 – Philippe Starck; Kartell – Set of 6 “Louis Ghost” Armchairs
Estimate: $500 - 700

Lauren Della-Croce
Jr. Specialist; Fine Jewelry Department

Conceived by French designer Philippe Starck and produced by Italian firm Kartell, these “Louis Ghost” armchairs are a stylistic and structural reinvention of the classic Louis XVI armchair. The original design, popularized during the reign of Louis VXI and Marie Antoinette, has here been translated into a single unbroken form of molded polycarbonate. Its transparency and simplicity make it suitable for any home, patio or office, agreeing with any modern or eclectic décor.

I imagine these armchairs framing a teak boat-edge or plastic-coated metal tulip dining table. They serve as the perfect vehicle for textiles that would bring warmth into a 20th c. style dining room. Perhaps a few sheepskins draped over the backrest, or hand-embroidered pillows that tie together a room’s color scheme. Regardless of their placement, these elegant and versatile armchairs are a great buy for anybody looking to bring excellent design into their space at a modest price.

Lot 1206 – Industrial Medical Cabinet
Estimate: $600 - 800

Brielle Cameron
Administrator; Fine Art and Appraisals

Though art is my greatest obsession, clothing is a very close second. After all, clothes are just another art form, one we use to express ourselves through decoration. As a visually minded person, I like to see all my clothes at once so I can better choose my outfit, and this Medical Cabinet would be ideal for exactly that purpose. Though I’d typically advise against altering a piece, I would install a straight industrial pipe to the inside to create a hanging rack and transform this cabinet into the perfect “frame” for my wardrobe.

View more “Millennial-approved” property in the online catalogs for Rago’s February Unreserved Auctions.