Art World Players Rethink The Auction Marketplace
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Art World Players Rethink The Auction Marketplace

A new peer-to-peer digital platform lets high-end collectors buy and sell without the middleman.

By Kelly Crow
Thu, May 6, 2021 4:35pmGrey Clock 3 min

Collectors have long enlisted dealers or auction houses to help resell their art holdings because such insiders typically have up-to-date pricing data and access to potential buyers.

Now, in the latest challenge to the art world’s status quo, a team led by former Sotheby’s rainmaker Adam Chinn plans to launch a peer-to-peer digital marketplace later this month that will invite collectors to sell high-end art to each other, directly and anonymously. Listings in an early version of the site, called LiveArt Market, include an Andy Warhol “Rorschach” from 1984 valued around US$200,000 and Jack Pierson’s 2009 sign, “Glory,” valued around US$85,000.

The move comes as all sorts of art-world players rethink the traditional ways art gets traded online, from former Christie’s auctioneer Loïc Gouzer’s Fair Warning auction app to the proliferation of digital platforms selling NFT artworks. Even as the art world’s attention increasingly pivots back to in-person art events including fairs, online sales of luxury goods remain robust and some top industry dealmakers see a bigger market opportunity in finding fresh ways to sell art to collectors accustomed to shopping for art online.

“Collectors go to gatekeepers because they need pricing info, but we want to put collectors in control,” said Mr Chinn, Sotheby’s former chief operating officer. Late last year, he teamed up with artificial intelligence experts and former auction specialists like George O’Dell to buy and retool Live Auction Art, then an auction-tracking data site. The new owners have now equipped the site, renamed LiveArt, with machine-learning technology so it can analyze auction data and give users free, real-time estimates of their collection’s likely market value. The key to success will be convincing collectors that LiveArt’s pricing and provenance services are as reliable as those collectors would get from the auction houses.

The architect behind the tech is Boris Pevzner, a graduate of MIT known for creating and selling several companies that use AI-driven algorithms, including one that resolves freight-shipping issues and another that manages art collections, Collectrium, that he sold to Christie’s in 2015.

Starting later this month, LiveArt will add the marketplace component to double as an online platform for private art sales. People can upload artworks and specify any details they want shared or kept from potential buyers, including their own identities. Once listed, an artificial intelligence bot on the site will help them sift offers or field questions from potential buyers—like bots on retailer sites already do—as well as mediate deal terms so both parties remain discreet, if they choose. Once under contract, the seller will be asked to ship the work to the company’s clearinghouse in Delaware, where conservators and former auction specialists will check its condition and vet provenance before sending it on to its buyer, Mr. Chinn said.

He added that LiveArt has hired a team of provenance researchers, including some from Phillips, to vet work and if there are provenance disputes between buyers and sellers, the site will offer mediation. (LiveArt only charges buyers a flat 10% fee for any sales versus the big auction houses which can charge more than 20%.)

Christie’s and Sotheby’s didn’t immediately comment on Mr. Chinn’s new venture.

New York art adviser Alex Glauber, who isn’t involved with the venture, said the matchmaking element of a peer-to-peer digital marketplace could “solve a practical problem” for collectors who want to sell middle-market pieces without paying steeper fees to an auction house or wrangling a gallery to promote their consignments ahead of the gallery’s own inventory or artists.

Mr. Glauber said he plans to upload a few pieces to test the experience before he suggests it to his clients. He said the challenge will lie in persuading a “critical mass” of sellers, who typically prize discretion, to reveal the art they’ve got in storage. “Even with all the security assurances, some people may be reluctant to push their pieces online,” he said. “It’s going to take some convincing.”

David Rogath, a Connecticut collector who owns pieces by David Hockney and René Magritte, said he also has no ties to the venture but said he has bought and sold plenty of art through Mr. Chinn during his tenure at Sotheby’s, so he’s intrigued by the platform. “I have things I want to sell and things I don’t want anyone outside my family to know I own, and Adam understands discretion is key,” Mr. Rogath said.

Mr. Rogath said he used LiveArt’s pricing tool to test the values for several works he’s owned over the years and said he found them accurate. Mr. Rogath also said the site appears to smooth out some “speed bumps” that have historically dissuaded top collectors from brokering major sales to each other, including the logistics of hiring third parties to research and vouchsafe a piece’s condition and authenticity. If a platform can take over those real-world hassles, he said, “For a collector, there’s an allure to cutting out the middle man.”

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: May 5, 2021



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Anger Does a Lot More Damage to Your Body Than You Realise

We all get mad now and then. But too much anger can cause problems.

By SUMATHI REDDY
Fri, May 24, 2024 3 min

Anger is bad for your health in more ways than you think.

Getting angry doesn’t just hurt our mental health , it’s also damaging to our hearts, brains and gastrointestinal systems, according to doctors and recent research. Of course, it’s a normal emotion that everyone feels—few of us stay serene when a driver cuts us off or a boss makes us stay late. But getting mad too often or for too long can cause problems.

There are ways to keep your anger from doing too much damage. Techniques like meditation can help, as can learning to express your anger in healthier ways.

One recent study looked at anger’s effects on the heart. It found that anger can raise the risk of heart attacks because it impairs the functioning of blood vessels, according to a May study in the Journal of the American Heart Association .

Researchers examined the impact of three different emotions on the heart: anger, anxiety and sadness. One participant group did a task that made them angry, another did a task that made them anxious, while a third did an exercise designed to induce sadness.

The scientists then tested the functioning of the blood vessels in each participant, using a blood pressure cuff to squeeze and release the blood flow in the arm. Those in the angry group had worse blood flow than those in the others; their blood vessels didn’t dilate as much.

“We speculate over time if you’re getting these chronic insults to your arteries because you get angry a lot, that will leave you at risk for having heart disease ,” says Dr. Daichi Shimbo, a professor of medicine at Columbia University and lead author of the study.

Your gastrointestinal system

Doctors are also gaining a better understanding of how anger affects your GI system.

When someone becomes angry, the body produces numerous proteins and hormones that increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can raise your risk of many diseases.

The body’s sympathetic nervous system—or “fight or flight” system—is also activated, which shunts blood away from the gut to major muscles, says Stephen Lupe, director of behavioural medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s department of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. This slows down movement in the GI tract, which can lead to problems like constipation.

In addition, the space in between cells in the lining of the intestines opens up, which allows more food and waste to go in those gaps, creating more inflammation that can fuel symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating or constipation.

Your brain

Anger can harm our cognitive functioning, says Joyce Tam, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. It involves the nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex, the front area of our brain that can affect attention, cognitive control and our ability to regulate emotions.

Anger can trigger the body to release stress hormones into the bloodstream. High levels of stress hormones can damage nerve cells in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, says Tam.

Damage in the prefrontal cortex can affect decision-making, attention and executive function, she adds.

The hippocampus, meanwhile, is the main part of the brain used in memory. So when neurons are damaged, that can disrupt the ability to learn and retain information, says Tam.

What you can do about it

First, figure out if you’re angry too much or too often. There’s no hard and fast rule. But you may have cause for concern if you’re angry for more days than not, or for large portions of the day, says Antonia Seligowski, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who studies the brain-heart connection.

Getting mad briefly is different than experiencing chronic anger, she says.

“If you have an angry conversation every now and again or you get upset every now and again, that’s within the normal human experience,” she says. “When a negative emotion is prolonged, when you’re really having a lot more of it and maybe more intensely, that’s where it’s bad for your health.”

Try mental-health exercises. Her group is looking at whether mental-health treatments, like certain types of talk therapy or breathing exercises, may also be able to improve some of the physical problems caused by anger.

Other doctors recommend anger-management strategies. Hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness can help, says the Cleveland Clinic’s Lupe. So too can changing the way you respond to anger.

Slow down your reactions. Try to notice how you feel and slow down your response, and then learn to express it. You also want to make sure you’re not suppressing the feeling, as that can backfire and exacerbate the emotion.

Instead of yelling at a family member when you’re angry or slamming something down, say, “I am angry because X, Y and Z, and therefore I don’t feel like eating with you or I need a hug or support,” suggests Lupe.

“Slow the process down,” he says.

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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