An Object of Beauty: A Novel by Steve Martin

By Steve Martin

Lacey Yeager is younger, attractive, and impressive sufficient to take the NYC artwork international by way of hurricane. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to maintain mountaineering the social and occupation ladders placed sooner than her, Lacey charms women and men, young and old, wealthy or even richer along with her magnetic aura and liveliness. Her ascension to the top ranges of town parallel the hovering heights--and, from time to time, the darkish lows--of the paintings global and the rustic from the overdue Nineteen Nineties via at the present time.

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Seven hundred thousand. The picture crossed a million, then a million five, and then once again in fifty-thousand-dollar increments, finally selling at two million dollars. Was this a one-off, or was the art recession loosening? Was Acosta smiling because he had known of secret bids aimed at the Tissot? Auctioneers often knew in advance what someone was willing to bid. Lacey noticed that as the pace of the bids picked up, she felt a concomitant quickening of her pulse, as though she had been incised by an aphrodisiacal ray.

At one table was Cherry Finch, head of American Paintings, while at another was Heath Acosta, head of European Paintings and natty in a gray suit and tie, sitting with an obvious client. Obvious because of his black hair that hung in short ringlets and was laden with product. His Mediterranean skin and open silk shirt said clearly that he was not an employee. He was mid-thirties, foreign, and handsome enough that Lacey’s inner critic did not object to his playboy rags. With regularity, the client’s eyes strayed to Lacey.

Saul grinned at Lacey. ” Then he turned his attention back to the painting. “Avery knew Rothko and Gottlieb. ” Cherry Finch, slightly harried, opened the door. Cherry knew the Nathansons, so Lacey figured they must be regular customers. Everyone milled around the picture, and Cherry explained that it had never been on the market, which made Saul nod, pleased. ” asked Saul. “Next Tuesday,” Cherry said as they began to exit the room. ” Cherry glanced at Lacey. After the Nathansons left, Cherry turned to Lacey.

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