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Picasso, Record Breaker

5 years ago by

Picasso, Record Breaker

We’re all huge fans of Picasso – love his work, would never deny his value! But even we were a little astounded at the new world record his artwork “Women of Algiers (Version O)” broke. Last night, it sold at auction – and the price tag definitely wasn’t pocket change.

The painting, now valued as the most expensive artwork to ever sell at auction, sold for $179.4 million. Uhhhhh. The previous title holder was Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud”.

We’re happy that the world still places so much value on art (kind of crazy value sometimes, right), and it seems to only be whirling into the stratosphere of the craziest prices you can imagine… But it’s also had us talking in the Studio about what kind of price you can put on art?

It’s a pretty big question, but what do you think? Can you ever put a price on art? And what artwork do you think is the most valued (or should be) in the world?

Photo: Wall Street Journal


Add yours
  • Léa D. May, 12 2015, 4:48 / Reply

    La valeur d’une œuvre ne se mesure pas à son prix.

    Par contre la santé du marché oui !

    Léa, une étudiante en histoire de l’art contemporain à la Sorbonne ;)

  • You can’t put a price on art, memories, experiences, music, etc. It’s worth something different to each person. Someone may be $179 million for a painting while someone else may think it looks like a 6-year-old painted it; it’s all subjective. :]

    // ? itsCarmen.com ?

  • Je trouve que parfois, mettre un prix sur une oeuvre d’art lui fait perdre un peu de sa magie. Comme si ça arrêtait une partie du rêve et de l’imaginaire autour d’une oeuvre d’art. Même si je comprends tout à fait que l’art a une valeur, il devient alors un objet comme un autre malgré les prix hallucinant !

  • juliette May, 13 2015, 5:49 / Reply

    Des Banksy (vendus comme des anonymes) se sont vendus 10 euros, 60 euros maximum dans la rue …Sur le marché de l’art, la même oeuvre se vendait 10 000 /60 000 euros.

  • Caroline May, 13 2015, 8:51 / Reply

    Il y a une bulle spéculative ainsi qu’une polarisation du marché de l’art – pour résumer, des gens payent trop cher des oeuvres ultra-visibles et délaissent le reste. Par ailleurs, le marché de l’art permet de blanchir de l’argent…
    Attendons que tout ça retombe et retournons voir les collections permanentes des musées qui n’ont pas de valeur (et, en France, sont incessibles).

  • I truly do appreciate that so much value is put on art – I think that is so important. I also think that Picasso has seen a surge in value thanks to the likes of Jay-Z dropping the artist’s name in his latest album – modern PR!

    Warm Regards,

  • Visual art has become big business because it’s ownable, exhibitable, and SELLABLE. This is all about money and not really art. I like ephemeral art. LIVE art.

    So tired of everything being money–it’s so intensely BORING.

  • Someone bought a picasso for 179 million. Crazy. Some films cost that much to make. Film or painting….hmmm which one would you spend that much on??? Personally speaking, Picasso is “kind of” interesting. Read he was inspired by african paintings. His art is “valuable”, because he and other fellow painters introduced Cubism. Is that “value” worth 179 million. IMO….no. LOL Sorry, cat’s out of the bag! I could imagine the photograph portrait of Picasso with the croissant fingers worth 179 million… =)

  • ainhoa May, 13 2015, 1:21 / Reply

    Je garde un spéciale souvenir de l’expo “Picasso et Delacroix” au Louvre il y a quelques années. Ce tableau y était :).
    PS: j’ai aimé le film “La Dame d’Or”.

  • Leslie May, 13 2015, 6:36 / Reply

    I make and sell art for a living. With or without a gallery, this is considered “primary market”; auction houses are considered “secondary market.” The monetary value of any artwork is desire plus what the market will accept as an acceptable cost. The primary market is generally about impulse; the secondary market is (mostly) about investment and/or what sort of returns a purchaser can expect in years to come. Selling a Picasso at this high price only makes the market for other Picassos that much better. I’m sure we’ll see another one of his paintings break this record in the not-so-distant future.

    Do I think it’s worth it? Let’s just say this: it was worth it to someone, and our taking notice of it means that he still maintains relevancy.

  • This is so fascinating. My interpretation of this is that the more time passes, the more the works of these greats of the late 19th to mid 20th century artists will sell for – they represent such a special time in art and important transition into the modern era.They are extremely iconic.Personally, I’d take a Rothko or Matisse any day!

  • kids dying of hunger, painting sold for millions, crazy world…

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