LOS ANGELES – The gallery space at Sotheby's Los Angeles hosted no less than 390 people over two days' events at a first-ever charity art exhibition benefiting Iranian artists. The heat wave did nothing to dim the enthusiasm of the visitors to Magic of Persia's groundbreaking initiative to bring 22 works by Iranian, Arab and top Western artists to the attention of art-loving Angelinos.  

With typical energy and aplomb,founder Shirley Elghanian forged the way to demonstrate that the West Coast of the United States boasts as many art enthusiasts and supporters of art from the MENA region as other places closer to hand. A cocktail reception was followed by a dinner at Soho House where some brilliant auctioneering by Aileen Agopian assured a 100 percent sale of the 10 lots up for sale - at twice the estimated value! The rest of the lots will be auctioned as part of the Sotheby's Contemporary Day Sale on 12 November in NYC. Do not miss it!

aileen-auction-2Auctioneer, Aileen Agopian accepts bids for Mohammad Bahabadi's Red for Red , 2014.
Photo by Mark Heayn.

The following night a larger crowd arrived for a second reception to view the exhibition and see the remaining lots. Artists, museum personalities and collectors mixed in what was undoubtedly an eclectic and elegant crowd. Who knew there would be so much interest? Many queries were already being addressed to Sotheby's staff about the upcoming Contemporary Art/Doha sale, and the Ali Banisadr's The Chase generated much interest.

Benedict Carter, head of Auction Sales Middle East who was also present, commented that news of our October Islamic and Indian sales had created quite a buzz and catalogues were being widely requested.

S_2_gallerySotheby's gallery in Los Angeles attracts a crowd for the Magic of Persia charity exhibition.
Photo by Mark Heayn.

It was an unequivocal pleasure to receive such a warm welcome from Los Angeles - and I don't mean just the weather!

Roxane Zand joined Sotheby’s in 2006 and has been responsible for developing the firm’s presence and implementing its new strategy in the Middle East and North Africa.