The first reports of Marina Picasso’s desire to sell works from Pablo Picasso’s estate that appeared in the NY Post was odd enough. It read like an attempt to advertise the works at inflated prices. But today’s follow up story in the New York Times is equally off. Doreen Caravajal tells us that dealers are concerned Marina will “flood the market and depress prices.” Which dealers? And is it even possible to “flood” the Picasso market?
The news of her unusual strategy is spreading in select circles by word of mouth, generating rumors and misinformation — including a recent tabloid report that she planned to sell off her grandfather’s villa and seven major works. That is leading to speculation that she could flood the market and depress prices. “Instead of having a dealer show them, it’s been an open secret that there are works for sale and people have been asking other people if they would be interested,” said John Richardson, a Picasso historian and biographer in New York. “I’ve been asked by odd people who tell me, ‘We are in on a great deal, and Marina is selling all her stuff.’ ”
Clearly her former dealer, Jan Krugier, was an important counterweight. Caravajal’s story goes on to suggest Marina Picasso has unrealistic expectations about how buyers behave and that she must have required a great deal of patience from her dealer:
She was disappointed, she said, by other sales routes, such as a 2013 Sotheby’s auction of two major paintings, including “Femme Assise en Robe Grise.” The works drew $6.8 million, according to Sotheby’s in Paris, but Ms. Picasso said she had expected more because buyers knew the money was going to support her charities.