Art – the price of good ART

Overheard at Christie’s auction house in New York City last week – “Will you give me 160, 160 million?” Even if I had the money I would not be so sure, but how nice to even be able to be in the running. Worth it, not Worth it – What is the value of good art?picasso-women-of-algiers_garance-dore-770x513Last week a Picasso painting broke the world record as the most expensive artwork to sell at auction when it went for a mere $179.4 million. While the final sale price was actually $160 million, a 12 per cent buyer’s premium was added to the astonishing total.
Definitely not pocket change.

The painting “Woman of Algiers” (Version O) beat out the previous title holder which was Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” in 2013. It made me wonder about what kind of price you can put on art and also who is buying these paintings? I believe that the identity of the buyer is not yet known.

While I admire the work of both of these major artists and love the paintings I somehow can’t get over the prices. Even so, I wouldn’t mind having a substantial painting gracing a wall in my home.

The Picasso oil painting is a vibrant, cubist depiction of nude courtesans, and is part of a 15-work series the Spanish artist created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A to O.
This is an absolutely blockbuster picture – it’s one of the most exciting pictures that we’ve seen on the market for 10 years,” said Philip Hoffman, founder and CEO of the Fine Art Fund Group.

“Yes there are one or two [Picassos] that could even smash that record but it has a huge wall presence, it’s a big show-off picture.”

“For anybody that wants to have a major Picasso, this is it – and $179m in 10 years’ time will probably look inexpensive,” said Hoffman.

I don’t know, it seems pretty exorbitant to me right now. Imagine? Never say never but that probably leaves me out of the running for ever owning a major player painting.

Photo: Wall Street Journal