Beauty / Money / Art / Beauty…


“Art market history was made at Christie’s last night when a Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, coming from the collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, sold for $106,482,500 (₤70,278,450 €81,991,525) to an anonymous bidder, setting a new world record for any work of art sold at auction. The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale realized a total of $335,548,000 (£221,461,680/Є258,317,960), and also achieved world records for Braque and Rafaelli.” Christie’s New York

In a world where financial markets are in turmoil it is hardly surprising that those at the top of the financial pyramid are looking for alternative investments and are putting their money where they can see it (and enjoy it). The astounding results from this week’s Impressionist & Modern Art sale at Christie’s in New York are testament to this concept of alternative investments providing more satisfaction and a safer return long term than the traditional markets.

For those interested in luxury the art market provides a thousand case studies in one – what makes one artist or composition so much more desirable than another? What drives an individual to spend almost $107m on an object (albeit a very beautiful and unique one). What makes a seller choose a particular auction house? This result is certainly a huge triumph for Christie’s expert marketing.

Not being in this league of art acquisition myself, I do nevertheless have a secret wishlist which currently comprises two works of fine art I would dearly love to own.

Le Moteur Fernand Leger, 1918
This truly captivating painting was part of the Rene Gaffe Collection, and one of several works of art forming a very generous bequest to UNICEF made in 2001. Christie’s handled the sale coincidently, generating $70m in total and making it the largest single bequest from a private individual in the charity’s history. I was honoured to attend a reception at Christie’s HQ in King Street at which the collection was presented to buyers and UNICEF VIPs including the great and dear Roger Moore CBE (he hadn’t yet been Knighted at that time) and Michael Palin. I was totally smitten by the beauty of this composition and of all the paintings I have ever had the pleasure to see up close, this is by far the one I would choose over all others.

Half Face with Collar, Roy Lichtenstein 1963
I don’t know much (if anything in fact!) about this fantastic painting, other than it is by a favourite artist of mine Roy Lichtenstein. I really must undertake some research when more time presents itself but regardless of the painting’s background or “story” I just cannot help but absolutely love it. I read (somewhere) that Lichtenstein’s technique of painting his large compositions with a series of dots (look closely at the face) abstracted him from painting the “thing” he was representing as a whole, as his hands and tools were merely creating a circle of colour; until the image was viewed from further away, as far as the artist was concerned he was just painting a series of single dots on a canvas.

My perspectives, poor referencing and limited knowledge compel me to learn more about these artists, their lives and politics, and about their work.

All copyrights are acknowledged and fully respected and the images belong fully to their respective owners who’s permission has not been sought.


One Response to “Beauty / Money / Art / Beauty…”

  1. […] year I posted about art I would like to own (in a parallel and vastly richer universe) and this post is no exception, but excitingly this […]

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