Collection On The Move

Sunbaker-Max-DupainThe infamous Sunbaker picture by Max Dupain from 1937 will be on the move after Minter Ellison, the owners of a large collection will be transferring fantastic pieces to the highest bidder. The law firm Minter Ellison has had marvelous artwork hanging in their Sydney office for over fifteen years. Unfortunately, the firm is moving to a warehouse styled office, which means they will not need artwork hanging around the office. The company owns 56 pieces of artwork, estimated roughly just under $2 million US dollars.

Even though the collection consists mostly of Australian photographs, the collection is still one of the top collections in all of Australia. It includes work from Tracey Moffatt, Bill Henson, and as mentioned earlier, Dupain. Minter Ellison is not the first company to sell a great collection of artwork. A few years back Foster’s Art Collection sold a collection for over $13 million US dollars. These collections are not uncommon with larger, prominent companies who use artwork to woo and get clients in the door, and show off success.

Although artwork is not a main facet for organizations, Sotheby’s Australia explains, “Large art collections of big companies to assess whether they should remain dormant on their books, as businesses look for new premises.”

Australia and Europe are known for their love of expensive artwork, and companies are joining this group by constantly owning collections which can be then sold for a great profit. The collection by Minter Ellison is expected to be sold July 21st.

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Swiss Cracking Down On Art Market Laundering

auction-dayAfter the recent FIFA scandal emerged, the Swiss government is now looking to crack down on the laundering of money and even art.

According to some sources, Russian leader Vladimir Putin bribed a FIFA executive with a Picasso painting in order to have Russia be a future host for the World Cup. The Swiss government already passed a law in parliament limiting the amount of cash that can be traded in a transaction as well as the ability to freeze assets in Swiss Bank accounts. The once highly trusted bank accounts in Switzerland, commonly used to smuggle or launder money, are now getting a major face lift due to the recent number of crimes gaining publicity.

The new law, which will be implemented in the beginning of 2016, only allows 100,000 CHF ($104,000) to be transferred in any cash transaction. This change directly targets the art market, since many auctions have pieces which sell well over the 100,000 CHF limit being imposed.

As the head of the Swiss Money Laundering Office, Stiliano Ordolli explains, these transfers are:

Payable by credit card or the seller must carry out due diligence obligations. Either the seller does not accept it or they must ask additional questions to be sure of the legal origins of funds.”

The reason for the change is not to make it difficult, but rather to protect people from laundering and other forms of extortion which can fly under the radar when cash is changing hands.

This move is expected to put a stop to fraud since all auctions must be made public and leave a paper trail. Recently, Freeport leader and art leader, Yves Bouvier was arrested for fraudulently selling paintings which were not done by the artist.

For more about Etienne, please visit Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Official Website.

Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers’ Sold!

BRITAIN-ART-AUCTION-PICASSOThis past weekend in New York, 35 lots of artwork went up for auction including some of the most prized art paintings and sculptures in history. Of the 35 lots sold, 34 of them racked in a total of $706 million.

One painting which was most coveted at the auction was Pablo Picasso’s painting Women of Algiers which sold for a record $179,365,000. The extremely high prices were driven by artworks investment value and by the wealthy collectors looking for the top artwork in the world.

Also sold at the auction was the Giacometti life size sculpture Pointing Man, which sold for an astonishing $141,285,000. These two pieces of art are some of the most expensive ever sold at an auction.

Fox News reported,

Pointing Man, depicting a skinny 5-foot-high bronze figure with extended arms, has been in the same private collection for 45 years. Giacometti, who died in 1966, made six casts of the work; four are in museums, and the others are in private hands and a foundation collection.”

The piece by Picasso, Women of Algiers, once owned by the American collectors Victor and Sally Ganz, was inspired by Picasso’s fascination with the 19th-century French artist Eugene Delacroix. It is part of a 15-work series Picasso created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A through O. It has appeared in several major museum retrospectives of the Spanish artist.

These pieces are just some of many which sold for millions this past weekend in New York.

For more about Etienne, please visit Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s official website.

Former Goldman Chairman – Art Collector Jackpot

portrait-of-beatrice-hastings-1915Former Goldman Sachs’ employee John Whitehead sadly passed away earlier this February, leaving behind a vast fortune including real estate, automobiles, and even art. For art collectors, Whitehead’s collection was a jackpot. John Whitehead possessed a total of 90-pieces in his collection, including rare pieces by Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet, and Amedeo Modigliani. His collection is valued at over $40 million.

It is reported that Whitehead had a few pieces valued from $7-$10 million, including the Portrait de Beatrice Hastings by Modigliani from 1916.

Whitehead began working at Goldman Sachs’ in the late 1940’s and worked his way up the corporate ladder. On the way he picked up a few tips and developed a love for the arts. John’s own art advisor Achim Moeller explained,

Naturally, I have always esteemed the relationship between the collector and his art advisor. For this reason alone, I regard my own with John Whitehead as an achievement, akin to noteworthy collector-advisor associations that have existed through a great part of art history.”

Both Whitehead and Moeller hoped the vast collection would be sold in a lot to keep the art together, but it is evident that the pieces will create a greater profit if they are solid separately.

Besides the Beatrice Hastings piece, he also has a Claude Money from 1888, Paysage de matin, which is expected to bring in anywhere from $6-$8 million alone.

Whitehead used his Wall Street wits to land him most of his collection, but he did get lucky in some scenarios purchasing the Modigliani for only $10,500, now worth over $10 million. Whitehead explained in his biography,

This sort of appraisal was entirely new to me, nothing like anything I’d had to do at Goldman Sachs or any other aspect of my life … but I remained enough of a financier that I took an interest in the prices, and I tried to predict what price an individual piece would go for at auction.”

Rather then going for the main auction at the show, he would go for the ones which he believed would increase in value overtime. This strategy worked leaving him close to $100 million in art work.

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China Reveals Top Collectors of Art

Christie’s Asia+:First Open 2014, Hong Kong, October 2014In recent year, art collectors have been popping up over the world, many spending millions to secure collections of art which are deemed priceless around the world.

Forbes claimed the top three collectors in China as,

Eric Chang, Deputy Chairman of Christie’s Asia and International Director of Christie’s Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art Department; Nick Simunovic, Director of Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong and Bao Yifeng, co-founder of Art021 art fair, and of the Chinese Young Collectors’ Council, an upscale organization connecting young collectors in China.”

These three are expected to spend anywhere from $100,000 upwards to $1 million on their art collections. They are also gaining notoriety as credited art collectors who are buying up collections which until recently seemed invaluable.

All three collectors explained that over the past 18-24 months, the youth has gotten extremely involved in purchasing art collections in China, and the numbers investing is still on the rise. Even though art buying has a social standard attached with it, it is still a family discussion and decision at the end of the day. The judgement and respect of elders still plays a major role before any purchase, but the youth is beginning to gain more power in buying.

Even though the youth has a tight budget compared to their elders when making a personal buy, they are becoming smarter in terms of buying and sending the art to exhibits to display. They understand the value and are slowly beginning to grasp what is popular and what is a good buy for the price.

The potential for youth to grow out of their families shadows is growing daily, and the youth could run the collection game very shortly once the reigns are handed over from the elders.

For more about Etienne, please visit Etienne Kiss-Borlase‘s official website.