If you were an art dealer at Armory Week with expensive paintings to sell, you probably went home disappointed, like David Zwirner, whose Bernie Madoff portrait didn't find a buyer. "I went there with low expectations, said Zwirner gloomily "and they were not met." According to New York's Alexandra Peers, the works that sold at the Armory Show and its satellite fairs like Volta and Pulse were cheap (meaning under $25,000) and tended to look "homemade, handmade, self-conscious."
So everyone knows that the art world's in the doldrums, that even deep-pocketed collectors are holding off buying, and that the only reason people even show up to art openings anymore is to quaff the free champagne. But you'd think that a seven foot-wide portrait of a smirking Bernie Madoff, priced at a mere $100,000, would have some takers, right? Strangely not: Disappointingly for the artist Yan Pei-Ming, his masterpiece, on sale at the Armory Show which kicked off yesterday at the West Side Piers, has so far attracted no interest.