April 22, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

An Art Collector’s Perspective

By Libby Lancaster


Longtime Santa Monica resident and photographer Michael Grecco knows a bit about art collecting. Being a photographer, Grecco said he focuses on photographic works because he knows that area of the market well. “I also collect paintings and sculpture that I have followed for a longtime so that I can understand the pricing. His collection includes two large Ed Moses, a large Retna and several Man Ray pieces.

Grecco frequents auctions several times a year. “My ex-wife and I started collecting together and we have left the collection intact in trust for our three kids. We think it’s a beautiful thing a family can eventually leave their children,” he explained.

Grecco started attending the Santa Monica Auction events at Bergamot Station 15 years ago and has his eye on several works in this weekend’s scheduled sale.

“I purchase things I love that I also believe will appreciate in value. If I get a good offer from an auction house in NY or a collector, I might sell something at a profit and then buy new work,” Grecco said.

Santa Monica’s Auction’s fall event takes place Saturday, Nov. 18 and features the work of many Latino artists who fall under the umbrella of the Getty Museum’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA which explores Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

Several works by well-known Latino artist Carlos Almaraz with be up for auction, including the famed Hawaiian Nocturne, which is currently on view at LACMA. Additional artists whose works available for bidding include: Andy Warhol, Ed Kienholz, Peter Alexander, Patrick Nagel, Llyn Foulkes, Keith Haring and more.

Grecco stressed the importance of research prior to attending the auction and prior to re-selling the art work. He bases his decision to bid on an item while considering two factors, first he must love the artwork, next he must purchase it below retail.

As a successful commercial photographer Grecco has developed many relationships with possible buyers, which has helped him, but he insists with the proper research anyone can do the same. He said that people should trust their gut…Use your eye and love of art, then buy low and sell high!!”

You may bump into Grecco at the Santa Monica Auctions event this week. All types of media will be available: paintings, photography, sculpture, drawing, prints multiples and more.

Works for the auction are on view now at the Santa Monica Auctions Gallery (A-7) or The Robert Berman Gallery at B-7 through Friday Nov.17 until 8 p.m. Staff are onsite to answer any questions. All of the works are on display now and ready to view with new consignments being added daily. The continually updated online catalogue may be viewed at smauctions.com.

The Fall auction will take place Saturday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. at the B7 gallery space at Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica 90404. For additional info call 310.315.1937, www.smauctions.com

Andy Warhol; Flowers, 1970; Silkscreen’ From the numbered edition of 250; Signed in ballpoint pen on verso, stamped on verso; Sheet: 36 x 36 inches; Framed: 36.5 x 36.5 inches; Provenance: Acquired from Ronnie Greenburg Gallery by Frank Jacobs ca. 1975
Estimate: $20,000/$25,000
– Carlos Almaraz (NOW on view at LACMA); Hawaiian Nocturne, 1983; Pastel on paper; Signed and dated on recto; 18.75 x 24.5 inches; Provenance: Acquired directly from the Artist by present owner; Currently on view/on exhibit at LACMA’s Playing with Fire; Illustrated: Playing with Fire, Paintings by Carlos Almaraz, p. 37; Estimate: $25,000/$30,000

For more on Grecco go to: michaelgrecco.com.


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