On Wednesday night, Vincent and Shelly Fremont refused to break the unspoken and golden rule of an auction: to not tell anyone what you’re bidding on. “We’re not giving that secret away,” remarked the Fremonts from the 23rd annual Artwalk benefit at Spring Studios, presented by Max Mara. The couple were being honored at the event for their longtime support of Coalition for the Homeless. “I haven’t even had a chance to look at the silent auction. I generally like to bid on a number of different things and see which ones you get,” added Vincent.
An array of donated works by artists including Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Russell Young, Stephen Bliss and Shepard Fairey were up for grabs during a silent and live auction to raise funds for the organization. Guests were treated to an array of food as they jostled to outbid one another on their favorite pieces, with restaurants such as ACME, The Odeon, Celestine and Mission Chinese Food, among others donating to the cause.
Abstract painter and the night’s artist honoree, Louise Fishman, also had trouble taking in all of the pieces up for auction. “I’ve been a little scattered because ever since I walked in I’ve been accosted,” she said. However, Fishman did have time to pick a favorite: Marina Adams’ “Gouache and flashe on Arches,” a not surprising pick given that Adams was a student of Fishman’s at Columbia.
After moving to New York from Philadelphia in the Sixties, Fishman was confronted with the issue of homelessness and the need for action. “Since I have been living in New York, I have been living in close proximity to homeless people,” noted Fishman. “Artists, especially artists who don’t have a lot of funding, tended to live in neighborhoods like The Bowery, and the Meat Market in the old days, where it was like they were right outside the door and living in boxes down the street.”
When Fishman discovered the impressive work that Artwalk was doing in 2004, she felt compelled to become involved, and has donated artwork for the auction ever year since. “I thought it was very important that I participate,” she added.