WSJ’s Crow: Basquiat at Christie’s could break auction record – UPDATED
Complete coverage of the sale here: Silvery $58.3 million Jackson Pollock painting leads Christie’s $495 million Record Breaking Contemporary Art Sale
The Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow reports that London-based collector Tiqui Atencio is selling Jean-Michel Basquait’s Dustheads at Christie’s May 2013 Post War & Contemporary Art sale in New York. The 7-foot tall painting, which Atencio purchased in 1996 from dealer Tony Shafrazi, is estimated at $25-35 million. The current record for a Basquiat at auction is $26.4 million.
According to Crow:
The Basquiat’s chances at auction could be helped by the fact that Ms. Atencio hasn’t shopped the painting privately, dealers said, so collectors may be surprised to learn it is up for grabs now. Christie’s also said it has secured an outside investor who has agreed to bid at least $25 million for it.
The article also contains this entertaining observation by a Christie’s specialist:
Christie’s specialist Loic Gouzer said Basquiat enjoys an enviable, global following, particularly among Baby Boomers and Generation X collectors who can’t afford a $50 million abstract expressionist masterpiece by Jackson Pollock yet crave a work with more gestural vigor than Pop provides.
If I’m reading this statement correctly (and somewhat cynically), the essence of this marketing pitch is: “there, there Mr./Ms. multi-millionaire … we know you can’t afford a $50 million trophy, so why don’t you buy this $25 million consolation prize … feel better now?”