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Thursday, May 04, 2006
  Dora Maar Sells for $95.2 Million
pablo picasso dora maar paintingA painting of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso has sold for $95.2 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York. The estimate of $50 million was almost doubled!
The work was completed in 1941 and titled "Dora Maar au Chat".
It might have the Picasso signature on it, but is it really one of his better paintings? It is the second most expensive painting ever sold!
Picasso Portrait of Lover Sells for $95.2 Million at Sotheby's
"There is a lot of newly minted wealth,'' collector and money manager Scott Black, president of Boston-based Delphi Management Inc., said after the sale. "This is a way to confirm status, by buying a collection with a signature. New wealth doesn't know one period from the next.'' Bloomberg
The Picasso painting helped Sotheby's total auction sales for the night to $207.6 million, which passed the $180 million total of Christies the previous night.
>> Pablo Picasso, Art Auctions
BgArt News Blog Comments:
Holy cow!
I'm not a huge fan of Picasso's work...and this one is really quite ugly (sorry to say!!!!)
In an article over at Artnet, they said this about the Picasso painting..

"The Picasso, Dora Maar au chat opened bidding at $39 million, and climbed in million dollar increments to $85 million with Tobias Meyer slowly mouthing the numbers as if no one in the room spoke English. He got a bit flustered around $55 million and confused the bids, but settled in nicely for the long, hard slog through the sixties and seventies. Joyous clapping followed; all the world loves a clown.

The anonymous buyer, waving his paddle around like an amateur, was seated in the back, as if Sotheby’s thought he was just another boob. No one knows who he is, but the scuttlebutt has him speaking with a Russian accent. Whomever he is, he also bought the Monet seascape and a Chagall, bringing his auction total, with the premium, to more than $102 million."
I managed to see the viewings for both
Sotheby's (Picasso) and Christies (Van Gogh). Certainly both appeared to be first rate examples of the work of each of the artists. There was another Picasso which had one of his half-man, half animal creatures with a baton in its hand ready to strike. Were I able to afford any of the three mentioned above, I would also probably have a huge mansion on a huge estate. Were that the case, I certainly would have bought the second of the Picassos to serve as household God and Protector of the tribe. Both houses had other fine paintings and Sotheby's had really knockout sculptures by Archipenko, Lipschutz and Rodin,among others.
To the point, however, nothing aesthetic makes a painting worth 40 or 92 million or 108 million. The Van Gogh received in return for a dinner (commonplace trade for many an artist) did not become better for selling for ten or seventy million. What changes is its meaning within the social (including economic) climate of the time in which it is sold. Happily scholarship from various social scientists and some art historians is beginning to enlarge our understanding of these factors exterior which affect pricing but lie exterior to the substance of the work of art.( I believe one reporter mentioned the atmosphere surrounding the showing of the Van Gogh, it was in a small separate gallery room, with people filing into the hushed setting as if coming to a chapel.None the less, let me repeat, the Van Gogh did not disappoint, it was in no way overwhelmed by the hype...nor, should I add, was a wonderful, "straight" portrait by Picasso in the next room which, in impact terms need take no back seat when traveling with representatives from any other of his many periods.)
If only one could be a great painter, dead, and alive all at the same time.

To what extent have we moved from "art for the sake of art" to "art as a new form of money"?

Is all this newly-minted wealth eternal, or might it be a bubble? Is it possible that vast sums invested by collectors could evaporate? It has happened before, for example, The Netherlands in 1672, when the Golden Age came to a sudden end and dealers went bankrupt with Rembrandts in their collections.
I think the value of many contemporary artists that are reaching $100,000++ will drop over time. A lot is based on hype, rather than talent or the importance of the work.

But the prices of historically significant works by important artists will always command wild amount of money, unless society decides capitalism isnt the way forward. For as long as money is a measure of a person's value to society, and for as long people try to buy self importance, there will always be $100 million works of art.

I never get to see these works auctioned in real life, but I'm addicted to going through them online. Both Sotheby's and Christies have great online catalogues of upcoming auctions. I spend way too many hours browsing through them. I even save images of the works I would like to own, so I have a collection of hundreds of important works on my computer, but none hanging on my wall unfortunately.
eBay is about the only art auction I can purchase art from.
Did you know - most of those multi-million deals never completed ( bank transactions never done ).

Anyway - Picasso was a man with very pitiful drawing skills.
Picasso had excellent drawing skills. Maybe look at his earlier works? Between the ages 13-18. He just understood art better than most....
Picasso is an amazing illustrator!!! it is unfortunate and disappointing to see individuals who know nothing about the artist passing judgement. i hope these images help you out!




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