Phillips viewed its ability to land the Fiterman collection of Pop art classics a turning point in the boutique house's campaign to become a meaningful alternative to its two full-service rivals. Last night, that collection sold well enough but without much in the way of fireworks and at times treating estimates as if they were aspirational rather than meaningful sales guidance. Some of the other marquee works like Mark Bradford's Helter Skelter II and Jean-Michel Basquiat's Self Portrait sold well but on little or no competition. That doesn't mean the evening lacked excitement. Despite the presence of numerous works by KAWS around town, Phillips was able to keep its pole position on the artist's market by selling The Long Walk Home, a Sponge Bob work, for just shy of $6m or 10x the low estimate.
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