London is a city rich in history, in culture and also rich in art. Galleries and museums are a dime a dozen in various parts of the city and the exhibitions showcased at some of these places are not to be missed. One such gallery is Sotheby’s.
My last trip to an exhibition in London was based on the History of Modern war. This time, I decided to try something different and visit an art based, contemporary one instead.
The Late Night View exhibition at Sotheby’s was an event I had been looking forward to for weeks after I received an invite from a friend. The historic global auction house is home to various world-class art pieces that unites collectors and art lovers alike. Tickets were on sale for private auctions and guided tours within the event and free tickets were also available for those of us who just wanted to view, admire and appreciate the works of art being showcased.
Sotheby’s is located in the heart of the West End, right off Bond street so it was easily accessible by public transport. Established in 1744, the institution is the epitome of elegance and sophistication from the first step through the door to the very last gallery in the contemporary art department.
The collection for this event was guest curated by fashion designer, Erdem Moralioglu and what a collection it was. Marilyn Monroe portraits were my first sighting as I entered the main gallery, other pieces by the likes of gifted artists such as Glenys Johnson, Terence Donovan and Damien Hirst brightened up the stone-white walls of the gallery.
Some of the artists are not familiar to me but their work was appreciated nonetheless. More familiar artists’ names such as Banksy and Andy Warhol were also represented by one to two pieces in the East and West gallery respectively. The crowd was a mixed one here at Sotheby’s which made me feel a lot more welcome than I would have been at the private tours upstairs with the wealthy bidders. You could clearly see the different groups of people present such as the well-off people who make visiting fancy art galleries a past-time for Friday nights, the art students who were here solely for the sake of some extra credit and the rest of us – art lovers, tourists, or those that were just plain curious to have a look at a Sotheby’s collection.
The music playing in the background is mellow with a hint of pop in it. Resident DJ, Sara Mackaill played one of her deep house music sets to keep people interested and engaged as they strolled from one room to the next, champagne glass in hand, admiring paintings, photographs, jewellery and installations. I had a little chat with her just to understand how her music relates to the show and the people. “I have been working here for a year now. So I have come to a lot of these shows and I plan my sets on the type of people who walk through the door. The type of people who come here are a mix of the old and the young so I find an in between that will be appreciated by both age groups and so far so good.”
Sotheby’s being a world famous art collecting franchise, sometimes invites some famous artists/respected experts to give a talk on their field. Today, my friend and I were fortunate enough to meet celebrated photographer, Terry O’Neill. He was here doing a book signing of his new book, ‘Celebrity’- a portfolio of some of his most famous shots throughout his career. He also gave a short talk on his life as a celebrity photographer, allowing the audience to ask some questions and engage with him for about an hour.
Photographs are allowed in the galleries but the security is extra cautious in the room containing the Jewels so you may want to try avoid photographing anything in there. Exhibitions at Sotheby’s can go on for just a weekend while some last an entire week. Future events can be found on their website – www.sothebys.com
Below is a snippet of the Late Night View exhibition (pardon my shaky hands, I’m new to the filming world!)
Photography by Diana Odero unless stated otherwise on individual images
Feature image source