Art world rolls eyes as Sotheby’s makes Robert Pattinson curator


It seems that Robert Pattinson is no more compelling as a curator than he is as a vampire.

Sotheby’s has named the ‘Twilight’ actor the latest celebrity to curate an exhibition for the auctioneer as part of a program called ‘Contemporary Curated.’

And it goes down like Marina Abramovic at a bachelor party.

After insider art website Artnet announced on its Instagram that Pattinson — or “Art Patz,” as we like to call him these days — had been tapped by the auction house, art industry officials across the country flooded it with scathing reactions, with one Read property comment: “This must make the actual curators feel valued.”

One prankster even quoted former President Donald Trump’s infamous “dressing room talk.” “When you’re a star, they let you do everything. You can do anything,” they wrote.

Another said: “Hmm… how about art teachers? Or working artists?”

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Meanwhile, an art insider told Page Six that even Sotheby’s is unlikely to buy its own shtick.

“[Pattinson] maybe pick a few [of pieces] off – but that’s about it. No major auction house will trust a non-art specialist to put together an auction,” they said.

“You’ve done this before. It basically means they put a prominent name on something that a specialist puts together there,” they said, comparing the bold name that sits on “a hosting committee for an event — they don’t really do anything!”

According to Artnet, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Aoki, and Margherita Missoni have put together shows for the program in the past.

Robert Pattinson
Artists across the country appear skeptical of Sotheby’s decision to appoint Batman star Pattinson as its curator.
WireImage

The week-long exhibition of the Batman star runs September 23-29 at Sotheby’s New York. A live auction will take place on the 30th. Pattinson chose six pieces, including works by Willem de Kooning, Richard Serra and Lynette Yadom-Boakye.

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“Curating this group of paintings has been a really exciting process and an honor for me,” Pattinson said in a press release.

“Acting made me realize that all art forms are interconnected and it made the process of curating the sale a fascinating and fun experience for me,” he added.

About his curatorial process he said: “What I look for is when a piece has its own language.”

He added, “It doesn’t necessarily feel like it just exists for its own sake and has a presence that hums with a bit of life. It has the ability to communicate with you on some kind of primal level.”

When we asked Sotheby’s about the unenthusiastic response, a representative told us: “Fostering new perspectives by collaborating with guest curators is nothing new and we look forward to welcoming you to our exhibition, which opens this weekend at 1334 York Avenue opens.”

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Meanwhile, a source familiar with the series has told us that the auction house picked Pattinson in part because he’s a passionate art collector rather than an experienced curator.

Robert Pattinson
A source familiar with the series tells us they chose Pattinson because he’s an art collector.
sothebys/Instagram

“The entire series is designed for an outsider to curate that … The specialist works with the culture figure to ask them about their favorite works and goes out and sources the works for sale,” they said.

In fact, they said, the whole point is “that they are not art-world people or cultural figures, [Sotheby’s staff] think, are interesting and are collectors.”

“They don’t pretend,” they added.

Despite the scathing comments from the art community, we noticed that Katie Holmes was one of nearly 10,000 people who actually liked the post.



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