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June 26, 2008

Show me the Monet....!!

Claude Monet's Water Lilies painting, "Le Bassin aux Nympheas," sells for a record of $80.45 Million this week.

Monet_Le_Bassin_aux_nympheas_1919 (Photo # 1, Claude Monet, Le bassin aux nymphéas,

signed and dated 'Claude Monet 1919'

oil on canvas,

39½ x 79 1/8 in. )

OK.. so the art world is not totally crashing yet... and clearly quality is always in strong demand. Here's a story by Scott Reyburn about this Claude Monet Sale.

Download Monet_record_waterLilies.txt

But the real question is.. Do high end record sales like this one, translate in to higher prices for more "affordable" contemporary art?

Well..here's an interesting lot coming up in one huge Contemporary photography sale at Phillips in London on Monday, June 30.

 Lot 52.  Vik Muniz

Waterlilies, after Claude Monet (Pictures of Magazines, Still-life), 2004
Colour coupler print, flush-mounted to aluminium. 185.4 x 180.3 cm (73 x 71 in).  Signed and dated in ink, printed title, date and number 4/4 AP on a gallery label affixed to the reverse of the frame.

Vik_Muniz_Waterlilies_Monet_a Estimate... 12,000 - 18,000 Sterling, or

$24,000 - 36,000 US Dollars.

Here's the Phillips description about this lot :

Muniz works from the premise that art and popular culture strive to create the illusion of reality, whether of glamour, coherence or physical space, through suspension of disbelief. With gleeful perversity, he flings a monkey wrench into the gears of that verisimilitude, setting out to create, in his words, the worst possible illusion. He begins by using unexpected materials to re-create familiar, iconic images from art history and popular culture – paintings by Monet, Goya and Warhol, well-known photographs from Life magazine, images of film actors and characters. He then documents his re-creations in crisp, vibrant photographs.

So, If you didn't have a spare $80 million, and missed your chance to buy an original Monet painting...

Maybe you can still buy a much more hip cool contemporary photographic interpretation of it...

Here you go..my little MAO-ettes..get your auction paddles ready!

So what do you think the final sale price for this beauty will be??

MAO's uneducated guess : $50,000


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MAO asks: "But the real question is.. Do high end record sales like this translate in to higher prices for more "affordable" contemporary art?"

Interesting to think of the direct connection with regards to the June 30 auction. In particular, will the popularity of one body of work translate into more interest in work referencing it? I guess that will tell us something about whether the love was for Monet or the Waterlillies per se.

I love the connection you've made MAO.

And I say.. most certianly..
With all the media hype around the record Monet sale this week, the Vik Muniz will definetly participate (a bit).

I guess the Vik Muniz photo will sell for atleast $60,000

Sorry to say guys.. you are so wrong on this one..

Giant over-sized photography is dying a well needed death.

I say... The Water Lilies by Vik Muniz will fail to meet the low end..and not sell.

So my guess it a big ZERO.

Hey.. Doesn't MAO own one of these Muniz Monet photos!!


I'm still more optimistic about Muniz's work: $65.000. We will see later on...who has the hot prediction

I'd rather have the Muniz on my wall. But what do I know.

'Over-sized photos' may have jsut peaked but dying? Doubt it. Unsold? No way this won't reach the low estimate, that's crazy talk.

I agree with Eeyore... The time of big huge photography is over.

But I do think this Muniz work will sell well...
he's a hot artist..over-hyped by the snobs at Sikkema Jenkins.


I also think it will go for $65K, but my question is, How many artist proofs (APs) does Muniz make? This one is 4/4 AP. What's the point? 4+ APs seems excessive, especially if the regular edition is 5 or 6.

I think Muniz will do very well. One of his diamond series (Elizabeth Taylor portrait ) sold for $175,000.00 at the Armory Show this past spring. This is from an edition of 10 that originally were priced a couple of years ago between $18,000.00-$20,000.00.

My bet is $70,000.00-$75,000.00. The photo and the whole creation process is just brilliant. Also...think Euro not USD folks.They have the money now to spend so lavishly!

It ended up making 22,500 pounds = $44,740 USD. Our expectations were high. It sucks when auctions occur on days where the stock market is plummeting, oil is rising, and middle east tensions are growing. If/when Obama wins on November 4, the big sales the next week should do very well out of global jubilation. If McCain wins, the world - and art world - as we know it will end.

Wow ...that is rather dissapointing!
The market was down this morning due to the increasing oil prices.
This is a true result from it. I was hoping for a lot more. Where are the Russians to save the Art Market?

You really think Obama is going to save our markets and country?!?!

In a symbolic fashion, like JFK before him, Obama's presidency will serve as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world, and will improve the USA's "brand." More people from other countries will want to travel here, move here, and buy our products -- and artists. While the president's actual power, like any city mayor, is somewhat limited, it's the perception that this country is back on the right track that will make the international community love us again. While money and capitalism are always more paramount to US companies than politics, I do believe -- call me naive -- that there will be more progress and technological advances from companies that will do their best work to support an administration that they believe in in a more philosophical way. It's obviously impossible to predict, but YES, I believe Obama will save our country. It's not about him so much personally, but what he represents...which is, quite simply, the spirit of America.

I'm not sure the big-ticket art buyers are Obama supporters. I am, though.

On a separate note:

MAO, please GOD stop doing the strikethrough text thing. It's annoying, you suck at it, it's not funny and it's about 3 years too late in coming. Christ have mercy.

Now then, as you were.

The cult of Obama. I've never seen such a bandwagon. Maybe Europe will be a little impressed that we voted for a *gasp* minority person but the rest of the world is still going to hate the US. If Obama is elected I will be shocked and absolutely dumbfounded if he really changes anything of significance. He's just another cog in the machine.

The whole sale was a bit of a disaster because they scheduled it at the same date as the Eurocup final.I was on the floor and could not recognize a single person except for Simon. Besides, as Ruben pointed out, the sale occurred on a weekend right after some worrisome news about the economy. I was not that worried about this piece but I was disappointed that another piece that I put up for sale to benefit one of my charities in Brazil (A portrait of Marat, after J.L. David) did not cross the high estimate line. it went for about 60.000 US. well, at least it sold and they will get the money they need. 60.000 Dollars can save a lot of trouble for people who live in a garbage dump. Lately, that's how I am evaluating my work. Can't care less about diamond skulls (Vivienne Westwood knockoffs), It just feels more real to think of the price of food and water than tho think of auction results..

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