Sotheby’s is feeding KAWS fever with a cache of works from Ryan Brant’s art collection that are being sold across a group of art and design sales. Earlier this year Phillips featured four KAWS works from Ryan Brant’s collection in their London Evening and Day sales. The group made a total of £888k or nearly $1.1m. That’s not a bad haul.
The founder of Take-Two Interactive, the pioneering video game producer, Brant died of a heart attack at 49 earlier this year. KAWS isn’t the only artist represented in Brant’s collection. Today in New York, a few KAWS works and a Francisco Clemente will be sold in Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale.
Next weekend in Hong Kong, three more KAWS works, a Josh Smith and a Kenny Scharf painting will be offered. More works from the collection will follow as Sotheby’s explains in their press release:
Sotheby’s is pleased to announce that we will offer 130+ works from the prescient and playful collection of pioneering video game executive Ryan Brant across a series of sales beginning in September 2019 and extending into spring 2020.
Led by a selection of more than 25 works by KAWS, Game On! Property from the Collection of Ryan Brant features works by many of the most innovative and celebrated artists and designers of the 20th century, including Fernando and Humberto Campana, Ettore Sottsass and Wendell Castle.
Amy Cappellazzo, Chairman of Sotheby’s Fine Art Division, commented: “Ryan Brant was a brave and independent collector with a definitive point of view, and it’s a privilege to present his vision and collection at auction. As is befitting a successful creative entrepreneur, Ryan was ahead of the curve in his appreciation for cutting-edge contemporary artists – most especially as an early collector and advocate of KAWS, in addition to his passion for the avant-garde designs of the Camapana brothers, Sottsass and more. Together, these vibrant works offer a glimpse into the way Ryan viewed the world.”
Born into a collecting family with an illustrious presence in the arts, Ryan Brant was raised in an environment of immense creativity and aesthetic stimulation. The Collection of Ryan Brant provides perspective for collectors and admirers to experience the animated atmosphere that he carefully assembled for himself.
Brant founded Take-Two Interactive, a power-house in the video game industry that radicalized the perception of gaming in the 1990s. Take-Two Interactive, and its subsequent acquisitions, developed some of the world’s most recognized and esteemed video games – including the Grand Theft Auto empire and Red Dead Redemption.
Though Brant left the company in 2007, the tastes and interests reflected in his collection were clearly sculpted through the eyes of a video-game designer with a knack for colorful, character-driven compositions and post-pop imagery. Keeping up with a changing market, Brant’s focus shifted – he began collecting artists like KAWS and avant-garde designers like the Campanas in depth, and with a discerning eye for quality, all of which is reflected in Sotheby’s sales of works from the collection.