A rarely -seen Pablo Picasso painting of his mistress sold for $106.5million (£70.2million) at auction last night, a new world record.
‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’, which had a pre-sale estimate of between $70million and $90million, went to an unidentified telephone bidder at Christie’s in New York.
There were nine minutes of bidding involving eight clients in the sale room and on the phone, Christie’s said.
The final bid was $95million, but the buyer’s premium took the sale price to $106.5million.
I think it is interesting that nudes consistently set records in sales at auction. it says something about the high end world of art collecting.
a lot of speculation has been made about this work and this auction over the past few days, I often wonder if the hype over an auction becomes a self fulfilling prophecy where the bidders seek to live up to the hype and create the records that have been the subject of speculation. I also always wonder, with high end art auctions, how much the art really plays a part. if a piece has been publicized this much isn’t the owning itself a status symbol? will the art be purchased and enjoyed or will it go into a vault somewhere to gather dust and ducats? will it be appreciated as a work of art or as a status symbol? or both?
there has also been speculation that this heralds the end of the dry art market and is a sign of the end of the recession. I think that we can’t read too much into it. in any market a Picasso is a good investment.