© Rebecca Norris WebbSaturday we drove "upstate" to Mt Tremper to visit Mathew Pokoik and finally see the Interactive Landscape show. Mathew lives on an enviable slice of paradise in the Catskill Mountains. Vegetable gardens, 150 acres of forest, a beautiful house from the 1800s nestled next to a two-hundred-year-old Sugar Maple tree; it's the type of place that makes city dwellers drool. Mathew made us a lovely meal and we sat on his porch drinking wine and talking photography. Sitting there watching the sun go down over the Catskills I actually managed to shed my city skin and achieve something very close to a relaxed state.
As night arrived we decided to make the move over to Woodstock for the Center for Photography at Woodstock's benefit auction. Before we left Mathew's house it began to rain. Given the drunken spending spree we were about engage in, we should have recognized the rain as a proper metaphorical omen and stayed on the porch drinking wine.
Before the auction we reviewed the catalog and decided on two pieces we would go after if the price was right. When the final gavel hit we ended up with the highest bid on the two pieces we wanted, an Andrea Modica print from Treadwell and an Alessandra Sanguinetti from The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams, plus a third piece by Rebecca Norris Webb that appeared on the cover of her monograph The Glass Between Us. For the Sanguinetti piece we engaged in a friendly bidding war with Mathew, but in the end I think we wanted it more (or had a little bit more to drink). All three pieces went for well below their estimate price, so despite spending more than we wanted, the deals were too good to pass up.
If you want to start a photography collection, benefit auctions can be a fabulous way to get some great piece by big names at a fraction of the gallery cost. Of course, I don't recommend getting tipsy before you go or you may get a little paddle happy.