Bloomberg reports former auction house department head turned private dealer Brett Gorvy’s claim to have sold a $24m Basquiat to an American client via Instagram while on his way to Hong Kong for a private showing of Christie’s works in the former city state.
The claim raises two questions: 1) is a private sale consummated through a auction house an online sale if the buyer learns of the art work through Instagram? (Answer: It probably shouldn’t be.) 2) Christie’s private sale exhibition in Hong Kong was criticized for having too many over-shopped works to impress the now-very-sophisticated Asian clientele. What does that mean for the American who supposedly bought this Basquiat boxer on Instagram?
Here’s Gorvy’s claim from Bloomberg:
“Most of my top clients are on Instagram,” said Gorvy, who joined in March 2015 and has 54,000 followers. His daily posts are a mix of art images, artist quotes, personal musings, lyrics from David Bowie or Leonard Cohen. “That’s where the future is. It’s now, it’s happening.”
The Robinson portrait was in Hong Kong as part of a private sales exhibition of Western art that was held in concert with Christie’s November marathon of auctions. The seller was billionaire British jeweler Laurence Graff, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Gorvy and a representative for Graff declined to comment.
The buyer, an American, “was ahead of the game because of the speed of knowledge and direct connection to me from the other side of the world,” Gorvy said.
Want to Sell a $24 Million Painting Fast? Instagram for the Win (Bloomberg)