Art auctions bring together an eclectic group of people that all want to do one thing: spend money on art. This list is based on modern and contemporary art auction sales at large auction houses such as Sothebys and Christie's.
  1. The Businessman
    These are the wealthy finance businessmen, Steve Cohen types collecting art for investment purposes but pretending to have a passion for it. Most likely to walk out with: an abstract expressionist work with a stable high end market such as Gerard Richter.
  2. The Married Couple
    Usually an older married couple with the wife dripping in Chanel. The husband will do all the bidding but in the end it's the wife that decides which art they want. Most likely to walk out with: a modern master, Matisse or Picasso, to add to their collection.
  3. The Foreign Collector
    Whether European, middle Eastern or Asian, the foreign collectors dominate the auction scene. If they aren't there in person, most likely they're the mysterious one on the phone. Most likely to walk out with: the highest selling contemporary work such as Francis Bacon.
  4. The Young Collector
    Always overdressed and a little eager, you can tell which ones are the rookie. They'll show up to the evening sale to try to seem wealthy and important but most of the art is wayyy out of their price range. Most likely to walk out with: A Rauschenberg print they purchased at the day sale.
  5. The Art Dealer
    The dealers are hard to notice but always present. Usually older, attractive men, Gagosian and Zwirner types sitting or standing in the back. They won't bid or purchase anything but they've got hidden agents making sure their artists lots reach the reserve.
  6. The Art Advisor
    If a wealthy collector can't make it, they'll send their art advisor. Usually a middle aged woman with a haggard assistant at her side. They'll be aggressive in the bidding process to win that lot and get their 10% commission. Most likely to walk out with: a contemporary artist with a recent retrospective, such as Christopher Wool.
  7. The Celebrity
    Hard to find, usually with a posse of security guards and art advisors and wearing lots of outdoor wear. But when you spot these Leonardo diCaprio's it's glorious. Most likely to walk out with: post war art such as Andy Warhol.
  8. The Rapper
    Way flashier than the celebrity and always with a crew. Only show up to contemporary auctions cause bitch please gotta stay ON FLEEK. Most likely to walk out: a piece by a black contemporary artist such as Kehinde Wiley.
  9. The Student
    Easy to spot cause they are so obvious. Purchased a catalogue, taking notes of every single lot and bouncing up and down with giddiness dreaming of the day they can bid. Most likely to walk out with: every catalogue and pamphlet that could fit in their backpack.
  10. The Auctioneer
    These seems obvious but they are the most captivating person in the room. They entertain you, make you laugh, make you nervous, and somehow always convince someone to spend just a million more dollars.
  11. The Phone Bidder
    Always elusive, there are the phone bidders off to the side making one fantasize who these millionaire collectors could be. Instead in their place, are the auction employees on the phone sweating profusely trying to listen as they spend the clients millions of dollars. Better not mess up that one...
  12. The Security Guard
    Standing towards the entrance or near the lots, rolling their eyes wondering why the hell someone just dropped millions of dollars in one sitting.