It’s been a fairly open secret this season that the young Malaysian social figure Jho Low has been a big seller of art in London. But Katya Kazakina reveals the extent of his short-term buying and selling. She traces more than $160m in art sales to Low. (With the additional reports of his having set the record for a Basquiat with ‘Dust Heads’, his total art holdings were in excess of $200m at some point.)
In London, Low seems to have sold £37m worth of art bought in the last four years:
This month, his 1935 painting by Picasso — a portrait of the artist’s lover, Marie-Therese Walter — fetched 18.9 million pounds ($27.6 million).
Basquiat’s 1982 oilstick drawing “Untitled (Head of Madman)” garnered 6.2 million pounds.
The third work offered by Low, Monet’s painting of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, sold for 11.6 million pounds, falling below the bottom end of the presale estimate. Sotheby’s catalog shows the consignor acquired the piece from a Swiss collection.
Kazakina also traces Low’s ownership to another $110m sales over the last year or two:
Last February, his 10-foot-tall Gerhard Richter abstract painting fetched an artist record 30.4 million pounds in London, selling to billionaire Ken Griffin, the founder of hedge fund firm Citadel. Low made money on that painting, according to a person familiar with the sale.
In May, Low’s 8-foot-tall yellow and blue Mark Rothko painting sold for $46.5 million, the top lot of Sotheby’s contemporary art sales in New York.
In October, Low’s black, punctured, egg-shaped canvas by Lucio Fontana fetched 15.9 million pounds in London
Flashy Malaysia Financier Said to Sell Picasso, Basquiat at Loss (Bloomberg Business)