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World NewsBlockbuster art week sets record with more than $2.6 billion in sales

Blockbuster art week sets record with more than $2.6 billion in sales

Art handlers cling Claude Monet’s “Coin du bassin aux nymphas” at Sotheby’s on November 5, 2021 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The fall art auctions in New York set an all-time record, as a surge in international wealth, rising inflation fears and the continued collectibles craze boosted demand and costs.

Sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Philips totaled $2.65 billion over the course of the 2 weeks, smashing the all-time record for fall sales of $2.59 billion in 2014, based on Pi-eX, an art information and analytics agency. Collectors battled over all the pieces from traditional Cezannes and Van Goghs to a video sculpture tied to an NFT.

A record 32 works bought for more than $20 million, based on Pi-eX, and 54 works bought for more than $10 million. The whole for Christie’s was $1.14 billion, at Sotheby’s $1.34 billion and at Phillips over $170 million.

Crypto wealth was on full show. Crypto “whale” Justin Sun paid $78.4 million for Alberto Giacometti’s “Le Nez” sculpture. A bunch of crypto buyers referred to as ConstitutionDAO misplaced out to billionaire Ken Griffin for an authentic copy of the U.S. Constitution that went for $43.2 million.

“Art market sentiment is sky high at the moment,” stated Evan Beard, head of specialty segments at Bank of America, “driven by low interest rates, stock market wealth effect, inflationary monetary policy and new crypto wealth that needs to be parked somewhere.”

The sale of two large collections — the Cox Collection at Christie’s and the Macklowe Collection at Sotheby’s — created a trove of high quality art trophies for rich bidders.

The sales from the Cox Collection, which was owned by the late Dallas oil tycoon Edwin L. Cox, totaled $332 million. It included Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece “Cabanes de bois parmi les oliviers,” which bought for practically $71.4 million — twice its estimate. Another van Gogh went for six instances its estimate. The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles purchased Gustave Caillebotte’s “Young Man at His Window” for $53 million.

The Macklowe Collection, a product of the developer Harry Macklowe’s bitter divorce, introduced in $676 million. It was led by Mark Rothko’s “No. 7,” which went for $82.5 million. Along with the Giacometti sculpture that was acquired by Sun, it included a Jackson Pollock that went for $61.2 million and a towering Cy Twombly piece that fetched $58.9 million.

Sotheby’s workers take requires off-site bids, in entrance of Andy Warhol’s “Sixteen Jackies”, throughout an public sale of The Macklowe Collection, at Sotheby’s on November 15, 2021 in New York City.

Yuki Iwamura | AFP | Getty Images

NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, additionally made a cameo on the fall sales. An “NFT-powered” sculpture by the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, higher referred to as Beeple, went for $29 million at Christie’s. The sculpture is a 3D, 7-foot-tall digital lightbox made of 4 LED screens that reveals an astronaut strolling by way of ever-changing landscapes. The purchaser was crypto-focused Swiss enterprise capitalist Ryan Zurrer, who on Twitter praised Beeple for the “visionary innovation, amazing new energy and hilarious positive vibes that you’ve brought to both crypto and art.”

It turned the second highest worth ever paid for an NFT after Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days,” which bought at Christie’s earlier this yr for $69 million.

The crypto crowd was not as lucky with its efforts to purchase a duplicate of the Constitution. A bunch of more than 17,000 crypto buyers and fans, referred to as ConstitutionDAO, raised over $40 million to purchase a primary version of the U.S. Constitution. They have been outbid by billionaire hedge-funder Ken Griffin, who paid $43.2 million for the piece of historical past. It will probably be displayed on the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas.

On Twitter, Beeple praised Constitution DAO and stated, “I think this is the start of something big.”


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