$20M Picasso, $4M Banksy sales juice red Art Basel Miami market
Sales at Art Basel Miami Beach were boosted by a nearly $20 million Picasso sale — plus a key piece by British artist Banksy that went for $4 million at Art Miami.
Art dealers reported a red-hot market, with gallerist Helly Nahmad selling Pablo Picasso’s “Mousquetaire et Femme a la Fleur,” 1967, for just under $20 million to an undisclosed buyer on opening day at Art Basel Miami Beach on Tuesday.
At Art Miami, a work by British graffiti artist Banksy — “Charlie Brown” — sold for $4 million on opening day at Jay Rutland’s Maddox Gallery booth.
Their collection of other Banksy pieces, including “Tank with Leopard on Target” — plus artworks by David Yarrow and George Condo — drew big crowds.
Among the crush of rich collectors, art aficionados and advisors, celebrity buyers spotted this at the Miami art fairs this week included Leonardo DiCaprio, Randy Gerber, Pharrell Williams, Sofia Vergara and Channing Tatum.
Also shopping at Art Basel Miami Beach were Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and his supermodel wife Miranda Kerr, spotted with their kids at the White Cube Gallery booth with their kids.
Said a source: “The couple fell in love with a sculpture by Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum.”
The flat, round sculpture features a turning blade that creates a pattern on the stand as it spins and then erases itself.” The artist’s other work also includes a 6-foot tall cheese grater.
The couple apparently wanted to bid for the Hatoum piece — but was disappointed to find out it already sold to another buyer for $175,000.
Meanwhile, gallery Hauser and Wirth said it had sold 18 artworks in the first few hours of the fair, ranging from a Roni Horn sculpture for $1.2 million to a $250,000 painting by Henry Taylor.
And Pace Gallery reported over 30 sales of multiple works over $1 million on opening day including paintings by Beatriz Milhazes and Jeff Koons.