Sony’s streaming service Crackle joins the fray of original series this week with a look at a world seldom portrayed on television.
“The Art of More,” dropping with 10 episodes on Thursday (Nov. 19), delves into the surprisingly cutthroat world of premium art auction houses, one filled with hustlers, smugglers, power mongers and collectors of the exotic and the esoteric.
The story is told through the experiences of Graham Connor (Christian Cooke, “Magic City”), a blue-collar Brooklynite and junior executive at leading Park Ave. auction house Parke-Mason, whose connections to an artifacts smuggling ring he encountered while a soldier in Iraq gained him entry into this exclusive arena. Mentoring him is antiquities collector Arthur Davenport (Cary Elwes, “The Princess Bride”), who sees potential in this diamond in the rough. Self-made millionaire Sam Brukner (Dennis Quaid, “Vegas”), who sees himself in Graham, also takes a liking to the upstart. Kate Bosworth (“Beyond the Sea”) plays Roxana Whitman, Graham’s competitor at rival auction house DeGraaf.
“We both come from lower middle class backgrounds,” Quaid, also an executive producer, of his and Cooke’s characters, tells Zap2it. “We were both in the Army. We’re both rough around the edges yet we’re playing in a society that we always feel like doesn’t really want us.”
“And I think that’s why Graham feels that he can secure the Brukner account for Parke-Mason,” Cooke says, “is because he can relate. He knows that Brukner can relate to him, that they have comparatively similar backgrounds. So I think he uses that to try and lure him to the firm. That’s his in, the Army connection.”
“And Arthur,” Elwes adds, “his relationship is sort of like Pygmalion in a way. He sort of sees this guy who’s a little rough around the edges and likes the idea of teaching him about art and the art world. He comes knowledgeable but he wants to help refine him and help him build himself up the ladder of the auction world. And he also sees an element of danger in this guy. He’s a guy who definitely has an edge to him and I think he’s attracted to that. He suddenly brings some excitement into Davenport’s life that wasn’t there before.”
But while all are plying the waters of this sea of exclusivity for their own ends, none feels very comfortable on it, no matter the size of their bank accounts.
“I think all the characters,” says Bosworth, “what’s maybe a little bit connecting is that I think there’s something about them that all feels like an outsider. Like she’s a woman in a man’s world. You know, she has to prove herself far more than anybody else, and I think that there’s that feeling of insecurity in probably everybody in that sense. And I think that’s why they’re all drawn to each other.”