The most interesting revelation in Robin Pogrebin’s Inside Art column was the estimates for two of the lots in Loic Gouzer’s “Bound to Fail” sale. Gouzer has a Koons Equilibrium piece from Peter Brant with a $12m estimate and Maurizio Cattelan’s Him with a $10-15m estimate.
The last two Equilibrium pieces to sell at auction, according to Artnet’s database, made $4.2m in 2011 and $6.8m two years ago. That suggests Christie’s—who made both of those previous sales—believes these works are on a trajectory to increase in value by 50% or more every two years. Though market participants point out that the single basketball work is in a category all its own. The work has never been on the market before.
All of this takes place against the background of talk in the industry about estimates being pushed by consignors to a point that might provoke something of a buyer’s strike as collectors balk at the ever-larger numbers.
Here’s Pogrebin on the the works:
The basketball, consigned by Peter Brant, is “perhaps one of the most important art objects since the Duchamp urinal,” Mr. Gouzer said. “It became viral because it was taken from everyday life and put on a pedestal.”
The Cattelan, which came from David Ganek, is controversial. Who, after all, wants to keep a life-size Hitler in the house? (The sculpture prompted outrage when it was placed at the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto in 2012.) In fact, the collector Stefan Edlis, a Holocaust survivor, owned an edition of the sculpture called “Him.”
Update: As one comment we received notes, by “life-size” one would have to mean life-size for a 10-12 year old. The work is not scaled to Hitler’s own body size.
Christie’s Auction: a Rock, a Basketball, Hitler on His Knees (The New York Times)