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MAY 4, 2006 11:10 AM

NY Times article on the auction action.

I started my intenship a couble of weeks after Garcon avec un pipe set the auction record in 2004. Everyone seemed to notice the shift in buyer's tastes from the old masters to modern and impressionist works. Contemporary artists are also fetching huge sums at auction.

Yesterday, another picasso painting sold for $95 million dollars, making it the second highest price paid for a painting at auction, ever.

I have been wondering why buyers purchase the paintings that they do. I think that the recent lust for Picasso works must come from the desire to own art that is easily recognized.

What artist is known better, in terms of visual style than Picasso? Well, probably quite a few, but the fact remains, Picasso has the cache that art buyeers want and the familiarity among non-art scholars to be quite an attractive investment.

Here is an intersting Wikipedia article on paintings sold at auction with historical prices and adjusted prices.

What do you think? Are people buying Picasso because his work has a sort of recognizable "brand" or is it just time for artists of that period to be on top?

p.s. This painting reminded me of a work by one of my favorite painters Francis Bacon.


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