Rise of the Art Insta-Collectors: Buying Big Names They Don’t Even Love by Richard Kirshenbaum
A selection of lots from the ‘Motorcars’ session of Bonham’s Quail Lodge Auction.
For those that have a recollection of the eighties, chances are that ALF brought some moments of joy to your life. For this weekend only, you can take a trip down TV memory lane at Young & Reckless’ ridiculous pop-up show inside Known Gallery featuring ALF collectibles and inspired art by Morning Breath, Grant Cobb, Tristan Eaton, Cleon Peterson and OMENS. We caught up with our friend Roger Gastman who put the show together for a chat about all things ALF.
Why Alf? What’s your connection to this fuzzy little dude?
I have been down with ALF since ’86 when he came out! I had posters in my room, t-shirts. I was a fan. I had bootleg DVDS of the show before they got released for real. I pick up various pieces of ALF junk when I see them. A few years back in 2012 when the whole let’s vote for the president thing was going on, I didn’t really like either guy so I went out and bought “Gordon “ALF” Shumway for president badges and handed them out to friends.
A home contractor working on his own for the first time, found a copy of the 1938 Action Comics #1—”The most important comic book in the history of comic books”—stuffed in a wall while doing renovation. What followed was excitement and a heated argument with his wife’s aunt during which she grabbed the comic book. When he went to take it back, she held on, and the cover ripped, downgrading “the comic book’s condition to a 1.5 on a 10-point scale.” In-laws, they’re the worst.
Recently, a two-album collection containing 400 images of Los Angeles gang and prison photos taken between 1977 and 1993 sold for $45,000. Pete Brook of Prison Photography writes about the the journey the collection took to market, and ponders the difference between moneyed collectors and preservationists.
The first time we saw the inscription “I’m Sorry I Bet On Baseball” on a baseball autographed by Pete Rose, we felt a pang of sympathy for the guy. But now—as evidenced by these new signed baseballs—those feelings are gone.