Katya Kazakina got a little time with Paul Allen to hear his views on art collecting as he promotes the Seattle Art Fair that he has developed for the tech-rich city. Allen comments on whopping gains he made on a Rothko he bought at the height of the last market only to sell again last year for a gain North of 50% (depending on guarantees and fees, of course.)
Oddly, and even though Allen made another huge gain on a Barnett Newman painting he bought privately during yet an earlier market boom, Allen now cautions that prices are too high:
Buying art turned out to be “a very, very good investment for me,” Allen said. “I didn’t go into it thinking this way. I thought some of the prices were very substantial when I bought them. But the market has been on such a tear” that their value increased even more than anticipated.
In 2014, Allen sold one of his Mark Rothko paintings at auction for $56.2 million. The work was acquired for $34.2 million in 2007, also at auction. Allen said he sells in order to purchase another artwork. He declined to say what he bought with the Rothko proceeds.
“In today’s market, things are very fully priced,” he said. “You have to be judicious to make sure what you are buying are very high quality works.”
Paul Allen Lures Tech Billionaires to Seattle With Art Fair (Bloomberg Business)