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.

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