Friday, 18 January 2013

Buy a slice of Studio 54

I haven't done a round-up of links this week, mainly because most of my 'spare' online time has been taken up by a new time-consuming hobby: looking at auction catalogues online. Thrilling, huh? I can only conclude I get some kind of voyeuristic pleasure of scrolling through pages of other people's stuff and speculating about their lives. An auction of a collection of someone I already knew a little about is happening in Palm Beach tomorrow, in a sale called 'Studio 54 - Steve Rubell & Important Modern'.

Steve Rubell was the charismatic co-owner of the legendary Studio 54 (along with Ian Schrager): the place to party in New York between 1977 - the top image is the poster for its opening - and 1980, and this sale gives a fascinating snapshot into this infamous brief hedonistic period.

There are lots of black and white photos for sale revealing the great and the good and the not-so-good who visited the club, each photo with suggested bids of around $200. There's Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Brooke Shields, Halston and many more, snapped in some brilliant juxtapositions (almost as good as awesome people hanging out together). I particularly like Lot 57, Bjorn Borg and Bianca Jagger, taken in 1978 and Lot 372, Salvador Dali and the model Apollonia, visiting the club. There's also some Andy Warhol polaroids taken of the clientele, with suggested bids of $2000 each attached.

Warhol was also one of Studio 54's regulars and there's a fair bit of Warhol-related goods in the sale too, including a contacts book for his Interview magazine, and this metal sculpture believed to be made especially for Rubell. As you might expect, that's expecting bids of many $$$$$.

This book looks very unassuming but held great power. It's the front door's reservation book holding names of approved guests and, perhaps more controversially, who would need to pay to get in. Perhaps this will be snapped up by some Seventies star trying to preserve their pride.

There's lots more in the auction, including some fantastic bits of twentieth-century furniture design (not from the Rubell estate but wonderful anyway). You can even register to bid online and scrolling through the catalogue, if not hedonistic, at least offers a bit of escapism for a snowy day.

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