Friday, November 14, 2008
Hold the Bacon
A Francis Bacon self-portrait failed to sell at auction in New York this past Wednesday, in what many in the art world says is another sign the souring economy is having a crushing effect on fall season art sales.
Bacon’s 1964 “Study for Self Portrait”—billed as a highlight of Christie’s contemporary art auction—was estimated to take in some $40 million. But when the bidding stopped at $27.4 million the esteemed auction house halted the proceedings, to a chorus of gasps.
Seventy-five contemporary works were on sale Wednesday. Among the most important lots was a Jean-Michel Basquiat painter of a boxer, owned by Metallica co-founder and drummer Lars Ulrich, which fetched just over $13.5 million but short of the record $14.6 million for a Basquiat.
Experts claim that the global financial tsunami has not spared the art market, and sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary works since the fall season kicked off November 3 have been well below previous levels.
The number of unsold works has often exceeded 30 or 40 percent of lots this month, and barring a few notable exceptions the sales prices are on the whole lower than the estimates for the majority of pieces.
I don’t know. Is it just me? Could it be the reason the painting didn’t go for more was the fact that it is absolutely ugly! Who, in their right mind, would want to hang that painting on display? I’d have nightmares if I had to look at that painting all the time!
Okay Mr., Mrs., or Miss “Art Critics”, tell me what you think. Am I missing something here?