As the major auction houses gear up for their big autumn sales, it appears that despite the recession the art market is picking up steam again. But while Lichtensteins and Warhols are being tipped to sell for tens of millions, those with an eye for a bargain can bag themselves a Tracey Emin or a Grayson Perry for just £45.
Surely there must be several zeros missing from that sum, I hear you cry. But no. The postcard-size gems being purveyed later this month in London’s Kensington include pictures by the aforementioned Emin and Perry, works by Peter Blake, Jake Chapman, Yoko Ono, designer Paul Smith, photographer David Bailey – not to mention a host of other illustrious names – and all for under 50 quid.
But there is a catch. The 2,500 original artworks on sale at the Royal College of Art in three weeks’ time, each costing £45, are part of the college’s ‘secret sale.’ Collectors buying art will have no idea until after they’ve handed over their cash by whom the painting or drawing they purchased was made.
Each postcard is signed on the back, so eagle-eyed experts will need to hone their talent-spotting skills to sift the Turner Prize-winners from the art students. Potential investors will be able to view the works on certain days in the week running up to the November 20 sale.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund. To date, previous ‘secret sales’ have raised more than £1 million.
RCA Secret 2010 is open 12 & 14-19 November, 11am-6pm daily, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, rca.ac.uk/secret