Clearly, I'm not on the right email lists, because I just found out about last Saturday's auction of Von Dutch art and memorabilia in LA about 15 minutes ago.
Not that it would've done me any good. Forget for a moment, if you can, that most people know the name Von Dutch because it's been pulled taut across Tara Reid's braless, malformed rack. And that it's plastered across a Hot Topicful of licensed merchandise, thanks to some greedy heirs and garmentos. [And yes, that includes infant clothing, and no, I'm siding with the hot rodding purists on this one and saying make it if you must, but you shouldn't buy it.]
No, the real Von Dutch, the man, was a pioneering car-modder and pinstriping artist and hugely influential figure in the custom car culture of the 1950's onward in LA. His work has attracted a huge and moneyed following, and at auction, the prices for even the most mundane painted sign or hammer outstripped my passion [and hence, my budget. The master's own pinstriping paintbox sold for 270,000 freakin' dollars, for example.
So while I would like to think I'd have had the vision and guts to buy this one-of-a-kind children's rocking chair, made from wood scavenged from Movie World, the car collector's paradise, and decorated with pinstriping and hand lettering by Von Dutch, I have to admit, I would not have bid $2,950 for it.
But at least if I had been there, I could have read the fine, lettered print of the sonofabitch's "handpainted Warning Label on the side," the "small Dutch social commentary on governmental restrictions," and then tried to search out the "cryptic and cleverly hidden message on the rocking chair's underside." Because this photo doesn't show much at all.
Lot 0111: Von Dutch - Child's Rocking Chair/Cradle, est $4,000-8,000, sold for $3,320 with premium [rmauctions.com or ebay.com via jalopyjunktown]
Related; The OC Weekly on the Von Dutch auction, c. today, and the Von Dutch phenomenon, c. 2004 [ocweekly.com]