Carol Vogel’s profile of artist Glenn Ligon in The New York Times points out the dramatic effect on his reputation made by the Obama’s choosing his work to hang in the White House residence:
Mr. Ligon slowly started gaining prominence in the early ’90s along with a generation of artists like Ms. Simpson, Gary Simmons and Janine Antoni. But he hit a kind of artistic jackpot when the Obamas chose “Black Like Me #2” for their private living space at the White House. It came as a total surprise to Mr. Ligon, who said he was “very flattered.”
The rise in prominence also gave a boost to Ligon’s auction prices. In the years before 2008, a number of Ligon’s works were sold at auction with his prices rising to a peak of $90,000 in 2007. However, and perhaps coincidentally, since his work entered the White House his auction prices have jumped with six works selling publicly last year for a total of $1.737m.
The average price was $289,500 but range of prices was from $100k to a peak of $434,500.
The Inside Story on Outsiderness (New York Times)