The art house, Christie’s auctioned off a Mark Rothko abstract painting titled No.10 for a whopping $82 million. This was in response to Sotheby’s sale of a painting by the same artist worth $46.5 million.
Sotheby’s made a killing of sorts by selling a bluish-yellow number by the famous painter Mark Rothko. The price at which it got auctioned was $46.5 million which is a lot. But, Christie’s was not to be left behind in the stakes game. It made a transaction of the russet painting titled No.10 by the selfsame painter and the selling price was $82 million.
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The reason behind the astronomical price of the painting was that it was tinged with the pain-filled, dejected mood of the artist. The brown shades matched his melancholy disposition unlike photography where none of the photographer’s feelings enter the photograph. Someone had matched the price on the telephone and so it went to the highest bidder.
All this occurred at the same time as Christie’s saw a spike in sales this week. Over eight paintings worth $20 million per head got sold. The overall Rothko bids on the auctioneer’s block amounted to $658.5 million, according to WSJ. The total incoming revenues were a humongous one billion dollars. It just goes to show you the enthusiasm and gambler’s addiction most rich art lovers have for collecting rare and unique masterpieces by tormented artists.
Another painting by Robert Rauschenberg sold for $18.6 million and it contained nothing special except for a shaving brush and a picture frame. Modernity and post-modernity have their own logic which defies the normal day-to-day rules of sense and sensibility.The late Andy Warhol, that enfant terrible of anti-art, had one of his works titled Colored Mona Lisa sell for $56 million.
Then there was a portrait of a fat naked lady by Lucian Freud that some lady with a lot of money purchased for $56.2 million. She claimed later on that she had purchased it on behalf of another person who preferred to remain anonymous. There were several Asian art aficionados present on the occasion as well.
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A few paintings however remained unbought. The bidding pace which was fast and furious in its tempo caused a lot of profits to accrue to Christie’s and the bidders who romanced the artworks got their hearts’ desire as well. After all, as some philosopher said, there is only one thing above truth and that is art!