Tracey Emin Bed Sells for Millions

tracey emin dirty bed for auction

The dirty, unmade bed with yellowing sheets by British artist Tracey Emin has sold for £2,546,500 or $4,351,969 USD (including buyer’s premium) at a Christie’s auction in London. I already had my fun with the Emin bed last month, so I’ll keep it short. My Bed, the iconic, controversial work from 1998 more than doubled the auction estimate by Christie’s, but I’m not surprised at all. I thought it could have made much more than it did.Continue Reading

Record Christie’s Auction

alexander calder sculpture

The auction lots may not have been surreal but the prices most certainly were. The Christie’s post war and contemporary art evening sale on Tuesday made a record $744.9 million. That’s close to a billion dollars worth of art sold in one night! If you combine the Monday and Tuesday sales there was $879,574,000 worth of art sold. An $80+ million Francis Bacon and an $84+ million Barnett Newman were the two most expensive lots to sell. How does one start a hedge fund? I think I’m in the wrong game ;-) Continue Reading

Business Manager Frank Dunphy

ArtInfo caught up with Damien Hirst’s business manager on the phone recently. Frank Dunphy talked a little about the infamous diamond encrusted skull and the $100 million price tag.Continue Reading

The Old Time by John Brack

A painting by the Australian artist John Brack sold at auction for a record price this week, making “The Old Time” the most expensive Australian painting. The painting of a ballroom dancing couple sold for about $3.3 million dollars.

When compared to the prices paid for international artists, $3.3 million sounds like a laughable amount. But very few Australian artists ever make much of an impact on the world market, so it’s an impressive price for such a small market (Australia has about 20 million people).Continue Reading

Record Prices for Paintings or Not

The ArtNewspaper has an interesting article up about the reality of the prices paid for some of the record breaking paintings that are being sold at auctions and privately. With so much secrecy and denial around the multi-million dollar sales, most of the prices are just guesses, with many of them being wrong.Continue Reading

Most Expensive Painting by Gustav Klimt

The famous Austrian painter Gustav Klimt has reportedly set a record for the most expensive painting to be sold. The 1907 iconic work “Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I” has sold for $135 million dollars.
The billionaire cosmetics heir to the Estée Lauder fortune, Ronald S Lauder snapped the painting up to be exhibited in a museum in New York.
The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1938 from the aunt and uncle of Maria Altmann. Maria only recently became the owner of the painting this year after reclaiming it. The work had been hanging in the National Gallery of Austria for the past 60 years.Continue Reading

Most Expensive Vase

The wealthy Las Vegas casino man, Steve Wynn has shocked his critics by showing that he has a caring/giving side to him. Firstly he paid a record amount for a vase (5.5 million pounds), only to give it away.
Wynn is better known for his casinos and great excesses than he is for being generous. After buying the copper and white porcelain Ming vase from a Hong Kong auction room, he gave it to a Macau museum in China.
Coincidently, Macau is also famous for casinos and gambling. I wonder what benefits could come from such a generous gift?Continue Reading

Contemporary Art Auctions

Sotheby’s mention in a recent article that contemporary art sales are reaching the heights previously only reserved for impressionist and modern paintings. Recently departed and living artists are now frequently reaching prices above $10 million at auction.
In the recent May sales by the big three auction houses (Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips) there was a total of $432,080,560 worth of contemporary art sold. That’s $432 million! I wouldn’t know how to count that high!Continue Reading