On the night of December 11, 2017, Sotheby’s auctioned off an original Picasso painting for $179.4 million. The buyer was Jay Leno, a comedian and television host. This is one of the highest prices ever paid for a work of art at auction.
Picasso paintings for sale are now on the Las Vegas Strip. The picasso paintings for sale is a new art installation that showcases Picasso’s work in an interactive way.
Sotheby’s intends to auction off 11 paintings by the Spanish master held by gambling behemoth MGM Resorts International in a ballroom of the Bellagio Hotel & Casino on Saturday. Their total value is estimated to be approximately $70 million by Sotheby’s.
The auction company intends to infuse a lot more pizazz than buyers would anticipate from a quiet New York event, given that this is Vegas. Sotheby’s is converting a ballroom into an auction sale room, only feet away from a sea of slot machines. However, before anybody takes up the gavel, former talk show host Jay Leno will deliver a presentation on his massive automobile collection. Following the auction, DJ Florian Picasso, Pablo Picasso’s great-grandson, will play songs at a party with cabaret dancers.
“In the past year, we’ve learnt that consumers are adaptable, but they enjoy surprises,” said Brooke Lampley, chairman and global head of sales for global fine art at Sotheby’s.
Sotheby’s and MGM added a second sale on Sunday at the adjacent ARIA Resort & Casino to pique the attention of large gamblers who would not normally attend art auctions. A pair of Nikes worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan during his rookie year in 1984 (estimated presale value of at least $1 million) and a manuscript with Bruce Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics to “Born to Run” (estimated presale value of $200,000 or more) are among the items on offer.
Fine art has had a rocky connection with the Las Vegas Strip. The Bellagio’s namesake art museum included masters such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg when it first opened in 1998, and it was featured in the blockbuster version of “Ocean’s Eleven,” which centered around criminals committing a robbery on an art-loving casino tycoon.
The Venetian Resort established its own museum, displaying pieces from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. It was decommissioned in 2008.
Before the Palms Casino Resort collapsed, brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta of Station Casinos intended to showcase a Damien Hirst aquarium-style tank with a dissected shark as part of their refurbishment plans. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians purchased the casino this April.
MGM intends to utilize the profits from the Sotheby’s auction to commission works such as this mural by modern artist Okuda San Miguel.
Photo courtesy of The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Buglewicz
The Gallery of Fine Art at the Bellagio, which is owned by MGM Resorts International, will continue to host exhibitions, according to Demecina Beehn, MGM’s curator of special projects. According to her, the gallery’s average daily attendance is about 150 individuals. The Picasso auction will take place in the Monet ballroom of the resort.
The Picasso paintings for sale this weekend have long adorned the Bellagio’s Picasso-themed restaurant, which offers “Fine Dining, genuine Picasso masterpieces, and a view of the Bellagio Fountains,” according to its website. Ms. Beehn claimed the restaurant replaced the sold pieces with other, lesser-known Picassos from its collection.
A 1938 picture of the artist’s mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, titled “Woman in a Red-Orange Beret,” is expected to sell for at least $20 million at auction, according to Sotheby’s.
A 6-foot 1969 picture titled “Man and Child” is anticipated to sell for at least $20 million, while a jewel-toned 1969 “Bust of a Man” is expected to sell for at least $10 million. An estimated $60,000 porcelain vase engraved with the artist’s cheerful marks and a 1917 painting, “Pierrot,” that Sotheby’s anticipates to sell for at least $2.5 million are among the lesser items in the collection.
The 6-foot ‘Man and Child’ by Pablo Picasso, from 1969, is part of the MGM collection, which will be auctioned this weekend in Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s
Officials from MGM claim that selling the Picassos in Las Vegas would help the casino operator improve its reputation in the modern art world. MGM claims it has the space and funds to grow its modern art collection, which presently numbers about 900 works and is exhibited in several of the casino operator’s locations throughout the world.
Sotheby’s Ms. Lampley said the house is constructing a Sotheby’s set within the ballroom with teal walls, phone banks, and a white rostrum to provide a “seamless, uniform experience.” Oliver Barker, the auction house’s renowned auctioneer from London, will handle the sale in the Bellagio’s Monet ballroom. It’s also planning to hire a cellist to play on the patio adjacent.
The sale will be livestreamed, starting at 6 p.m. local time, which corresponds to 9 a.m. in Asia, according to Ms. Lampley. Collectors from California and Texas seem to be more eager to come in for the auction, she added, and the ballroom’s 80 seats are already sold out. David Nahmad, a major Picasso dealer, said he’ll be bringing his sons Joe and Helly Nahmad to the auction.
The 11 Picassos up for auction were chosen by Steve Wynn, the casino mogul and prominent art collector who was forced out of the business three years ago after accusations of sexual misconduct were made against him, which he has denied. Mr. Wynn, who is 79 years old, stepped down as CEO of Wynn Resorts in 2018. Mr. Wynn refused to comment on the forthcoming auction when contacted via his gallery, Wynn Fine Art.
Picasso’s ‘Bust of a Man,’ from 1969, will be auctioned in Las Vegas this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s
MGM’s chief hospitality officer, Ari Kastrati, said that the company has “developed” and that a part of the sale profits would be used to purchase additional works by women and young artists of color.
Mr. Kastrati also believes that the sale would help the city’s efforts to become a fine-art destination gain traction. During the epidemic, plans to construct a $200 million art museum that might be an extension of Reno’s Nevada Museum of Art were postponed, according to museum director David Walker.
Locals were similarly reluctant to accept Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains” project, which opened south of Las Vegas in 2016 and has totem-like towers of brightly painted rocks, despite the fact that it now attracts hundreds of people every day.
The forthcoming sale is “bittersweet” for Michele Quinn, a longtime Las Vegas resident and former MGM curator who moved on to advise clients such as Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The Bellagio’s Picassos were among the only great masterpieces that residents could view close to home. She described selling them as “a liquidation, or the end of an era.”
Several hundred people visit Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains” a few miles south of the Las Vegas Strip every day.
Gianfranco Gorgoni/Nevada Museum of Art/Art Production Fund
Kelly Crow can be reached at [email protected]
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