I've been saying to friends, as well as in my recent post on original art, that I feel slightly collected into a corner. The pieces I want are literally moving further and further out of my grasp with every day, and while I'm incredibly happy to get the recognition over the artwork that I love so much, I hate that it's moved beyond people like me. That hurts. The fact that David Mandel, producer of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" owns the original Kane cover to Giant Size X-men #1, a Miller Daredevil cover and the last 4 pages of the Killing Joke, says two things to me:
1 - the man has excellent taste and I'd love to meet him sometime and
2 - I must be nuts to think that I can play in this art market anymore.
I recently finished a book on big time art frauds over the last century written by a former curator and "fraudbuster" for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and I found many of their detection methods as well as the description of the art market fascinating. As recently as two years ago, I spent more money than I had ever spent on a single piece of art, purchasing a twice up Kirby FF page from Heritage Auction. Upon discovering that the Kirby signiture on the art is a fake (while the page is indesputably real), I had a discussion with a representative from the Gallery over the need for provenance for this art. She brushed me off rather nicely, but I tried to make my point enough for it to stick: the art is starting to move into real money, not just a couple hundred bucks here and there, and we need to know what is up with these originals.
This article just illustrates, in very black and white terms, that four pages of the Killing Joke together represents more than $120K. I'd say that the insurance company likes knowing that these originals are in place and properly ID'd.
And, honestly, I have dreams where I see the pages that I could have had back in the day when I bought my first pages (1988 I would guess). Why the hell does it mean so much to me?