The Big Art Secret auction goes live on ebay today, Friday 14 March. Bidders who can spot one of the five original Grayson Perry postcards could stand to win a piece of art worth thousands by pledging just pennies. But as those attending the exhibition at Towner since it opened last Saturday have observed there are many more treasures that could be won in this auction with the quality of artwork exceeding expectations.
The event, in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Eastbourne art gallery Towner, is an exciting exhibition and secret auction of original postcard sized art, where the artist behind each piece will not be revealed until the end of the auction.
This year, there is an intriguing twist to the secret art auction, as one piece, contributed by an internationally famous artist, was barred by eBay because it contravenes its profanity policy. Although the artwork cannot be shown and remains a secret, you can still bid for the piece on eBay, although you will not know who the artist is or what the art looks like.
Towner has already had some VIP visitors through its doors to check out the artwork, including Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd, BBC journalist and Towner chairman David Dimbleby and Chris Difford from pop band Squeeze.
David Dimbleby said: “An astonishing amount of work has gone into this exhibition which is twice the size of the last. There is artwork from famous names on these walls, but what strikes me most is how good the non-famous names are. They’re good in their own right; it’s not easy to get art onto a postcard.”
Over 1,350 pieces of art were submitted to St Wilfrid’s Hospice, more than doubling the 600 submissions received for the last event.
Stephen Lloyd said: “An absolutely fantastic result for St Wilfrid’s after last year’s success to get double the number of artworks. I’m sure they’ll get more than the £50,000 they last achieved. A great idea, a great cause and a wonderful hospice.”
American art collector and artist Mary Lipian, who purchased all four Tracey Emin artworks at the first Big Art Secret and flew from San Francisco to be at the preview event, said: “I’m really excited about how much it has gone global. I’ve been appointed ‘American ambassador’ and I managed to bring 29 postcards from America with me for the exhibition. They [the Americans] love the idea of giving their pieces of art and helping the hospice. They were so enthusiastic – some kept coming and asking for more postcards.”
A free two-week exhibition of all the art began on Saturday March 8 and will end on Sunday March 23 (except Mondays). The online auction, hosted by eBay, will be live on March 14-23 and anyone can join in.
To see the artwork and make a bid go to Big Art Secret Auction.