“The combination of outstanding provenance and gold-standard quality in this sublime work by this blue-chip artist made for an historic auction moment,” said Alex Branczik, senior director at Sotheby's and head of the sale.
I'm pretty sure that's the main factor. I don't know who that guy is, but he's pretty famous.“Abstraktes Bild (809-4)”, from the collection of rock guitarist Eric Clapton, was sold to an anonymous buyer after five minutes of bidding late on Friday, triggering a round of applause.
Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
Makes me think of this master artist:
The results look pretty much the same anyway.
So it's a celebrity artifact by a celebrity artist. Two for the price of one? AND I bet it's tax deductable.
Dunno, makes sense to me. This stuff is bought more as an "investment" than as "art" anyway - hence the stock market language ("blue chip artist"... uh huh. Artists are just another stock option to the Sotheby's/Christies crowd, apparently.) And for the people who buy these kinds of things, $34 mil is lunch money... Added bonus, once you invest $34 million into it and it makes headlines, it becomes MORE famous for that fact alone, and the value goes up.
Rich people. They live on another planet.
Not sure whether one should resent them too much though: they do after all buy art, and now and then even buy some good art. :-)
At least buyer won't have to worry if his kid spills something on this thing. It could add a little more value to it though.
As someone once eloquently said "It's been a tough century for modesty, craftsmanship and tenderness".
What do you buy for the man who has everything?
I misread the thread title and thought it was about earthquakes and artists.
It looks like it was painted during an earthquake.
I smile. We are so predictable here. I guess it's impossible that someone actually likes and has a passion for Richter's work and is not an idiot?
I've asked myself if I were smart enough to be a bazilionaire would my taste lean toward something else like this. Guess I'll never know. I'll always be a hundredaire at best.
He's an interesting fellow. He was schooled in communist East Germany and defected to West Germany in the Cold War era. His contemporary work also includes many realist works based, largely, on photographs, whatever anyone might feel about that.
I do find obscene amounts of money to be interesting! Hell, I like money! Call me an un-American Commie, but I find our National Pastime, baseball, to be deadly boring. But. . . the obscene amount of money involving billionaire owners and millionaire players-- running around in stylized pajamas playing a kid's game-- that's fascinating!
The Gagosian Gallery in NYC is major seller of Richter's works. Browsing Gagosian's website I found another artist-- a Realist, who may be more to the CA community's liking--Richard Phillips. He appears to be doing well and paints monumental pictures of photorealist swimsuit glamour stuff:
I find all kinds of art interesting. The stuff that sells in NYC, LA, and London, I find VERY interesting!
I don't really get abstract... but I've looked into it a little and some of it is really nice, and others, like this one, I don't really like.
I actually quite like it.
It would look cool over my couch.
Not 33 million level cool, but yeah, I'd probably have that on the wall.
I'm completely serious, I kinda like that, I'd hang it in my living room.
And for the record, I quite like the painting as well as many of Richter's other paintings. There seems to be a ridiculous bias on this website towards abstract art, regardless of how it actually looks. Perhaps some of you would like his photo-realist paintings?
Last edited by OldJake666; October 14th, 2012 at 12:10 AM.
Last edited by JFierce; October 14th, 2012 at 03:36 AM.
You know, which art people choose to buy and how much they choose to pay for it never really bothers me (beyond the slap-in-the-face of knowing there are people who can drop millions on one small luxury commodity...) People can buy whatever they want, that's their business. What bothers me is the way the Sotheby's/Christies crowd and their ilk treat art as an "investment" with apparently no thought for the actual art.
I swear, it's never about whether a piece is aesthetically pleasing or interesting or exciting in itself. It's always about how "valuable" it is. Their language is all about potential monetary value, rarely about the quality of the work itself, and their evaluation of a work usually seems to be based primarily on how much the artist's work has sold for in the past and how much will the value appreciate in the future... "Rare/unique", "Important", "Valuable", "Genuine/undisputed provenance", "Established/blue chip artist", etc. etc. etc...
I suppose that's to be expected. They are art "dealers", after all. Art hustling is their business.
I always wonder about these things, though: if you took that same Richter-touched-by-Eric Clapton (or Munch, or Van Gogh, or whatever,) and sold it as a new work by an unknown art student, not previously owned by anybody... Or if the artist and provenance were unknown... would it sell for millions? I doubt it. Sure, it might sell to somebody who likes it enough, but not for millions.
Last edited by QueenGwenevere; October 14th, 2012 at 12:45 PM. Reason: "artist", not "artit".. Though artit is rather amusing...
This is what I meant by predictability. Having a well informed opinion is one thing but using the "my five year old could do it" argument is something I fight against when teaching.
The truth is we all live in a very different world than Sothebys et al and will probably never really understand it. I get that it can be fun to make fun of what we think is ridiculous but maybe there is something to learn too. If someone would pay me 34 million to package my shit in a can I would.