Some Stuff is Selling

by Paddy Johnson on November 11, 2010 · 11 comments Newswire

Roy Lichtenstein,"Ohhh...Alright..." sold for $42.6M at Christie's

Ohhh…Alright. That’s the title of Christie’s big seller yesterday evening by artist Roy Lichtenstein. It sold for $42.6 million, which according to Lindsay Pollock’s reporting for Bloomberg, had New York art adviser Stefano Basilico saying “The patient has made a full recovery.” Well, sort of. It was likely the auction house’s tripling of sold goods that made him say that. As a reader points out in the comments, the buyer had agreed to bid on the work in advance, and was the only interested party.

If the patient is Roy Lichtenstein’s avid collector I suppose he’s right, but I have to wonder about the stability of these results. It’s not like I open up the front page of the Times every day to great economic forecasts, even if I’m continually reading about how much richer the rich have become over the last thirty years. I suppose I should be rooting for the buoyancy of the market, but I’d rather the art market suffer a little in exchange for a more even distribution of wealth.

Abdi Farah's Baptism

Abdi Farah's Baptism

In more frivolous news, Work of Art winner Abdi Farah sold his piece “Baptism” at Phillips de Pury Auction house last week, over the estimated bid of 6-8,000 for double, $16,000. I assume Bravo reaps those awards as they own all the work made on the reality show, so I’m not sure this is a giant win for Farah. Speculation about how the sale would effect his career would be pertinent were he over the age of 23.


Matt November 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

on Abdi – haha!

Steven Mesler November 11, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I was told by producer for Little Elves that they own all the work produced during the show.

As for the Lichtenstein going for 42 million as a sign that “the patient has made a full recovery”, the article goes onto say that this price was generated by a lone bidder who was contractually obligated to pay that price. Sounds like that person overpaid as they had no other interest at that price or higher.

Recovery? Maybe but let’s not put the champagne on ice just yet.

Anonymous November 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I was told the same thing so unless there’s some special loop hole for Abdi’s work, I think Bravo made some money.

As for the Lichtenstein, I updated the post so it reads more accurately.

Hypothete November 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Meanwhile, Zombie Lichtenstein roams Manhattan, unchecked and hungry…

Steven Mesler November 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm

The Little Elves producer told me they are reconsidering the ownership issue because they are on the hook for all the subsequent storage for work that has questionable vaulue. Hope they give up the ownership of the work as it is bad enough that the contestants aren’t paid a dime outside of room and board. It’s an extra stick in the eye that they don’t retain their artwork.

Anonymous November 11, 2010 at 8:08 pm


Steven Mesler November 11, 2010 at 7:40 pm

oops I meant Magical Elves all along.

Wil November 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I’m actually backstage at the afternoon auction right now (art handling gig) and the prices are pretty solid. Last night over 90% of the work sold and the bids were also about 90% of estimates, both of which are outstanding numbers. “oh alright” was a disappointment, as was a large Warhol, but the overall results were great.

Judith Braun November 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I’d definitely like my work back, and Abdi should get the auction price. Geez.

Pjsmalley November 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

That is a great drawing by Abdi! Lets hope he gets some of that money, certainly Bravo doesn’t need it.

e jerry powell December 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Something that confuses me:
If all of the work that Abdi made for WOA is considered “work made for hire,” was there some sort of special arrangement with Bravo for him to include those pieces during his solo show in Brooklyn?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: