The “Storage Wars” franchise of TV shows has taught viewers a well-executed game plan can make buying abandoned storage units a legitimate revenue stream. An internet search will reveal numerous stories of rare, valuable or highly unusual items found in auctioned off storage units. Very rarely, however, will anyone encounter a find like the one Joe Pauletich came upon recently.
On the “Drags to Riches” episode of “Storage Wars: New York” (which aired November 8, 2013), the regular cast of bidders found themselves intrigued by a locker at StorageMart’s Brooklyn storage facility located at 50 Wallabout Street. The unit appeared to hold numerous frames, both wrapped and crated, which were speculated by most of the veteran bidders to be works of art. The bidding reflected that belief as all the stars of the show were involved, but ultimately the unit went to Joe Pauletich (better known to viewers as Joe P.) for $5200.
As Joe P. began to assess his purchase he knew he’d made a wise investment. Finding paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculpture, he was certain he’d hit it big but had no idea for certain just how big. He enlisted the help of Artnet’s Senior Specialist Heather Russell to appraise his purchase.
What Joe P. and viewers learned was he had acquired works from numerous artists, including Peter Fend, Adriana Arenas, Charlie Woolley and Nelson Leirner and included several museum quality pieces. All told his $5200 investment was valued at $163,600.
This is obviously a very rare find even among the most veteran of storage unit bidders, but it’s exactly the type of score that keeps them coming back and lures in more and more new auction participants every year.
**photo courtesy of Storage Wars: New York
AE TV, Storage Wars New York. (2013, November 8). Drags to Riches. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://www.aetv.com/storage-wars-new-york/video/drags-to-riches-62138435758
Charlie Woolley (n.d.). David Risley Gallery. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://charliewoolley.hotglue.me/
Fend, P. (n.d.) The Lawrence of Arabia of the art world. inquest.us. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from http://inquest.us/peter-fend/