So if Larry Gagosian’s record-setting $11.8 million purchase of Jeff Koons‘ “Diamond (Blue)” at Christie’s on November 13th wasn’t enough, he also bought the artist’s “Hanging Heart (Magenta and Gold)” for $23.6 million the next night at Sotheby’s contemporary evening sale, breaking the record set the previous night and setting a new one.
Gagosian is undoubtedly one of the dealers who is among the most vested in the interest of keeping Koons’ prices and demand high, and as one of the world’s most successful dealers, he can probably successfully flip these pieces. But with dealers like Gagosian investing so heavily in their own artists, how can the rest of us accurately gauge the demand for the artists’ pieces?
“Diamond (Blue)” went for well under the estimate, with few bidders. Just to speculate, perhaps the Gagosian Gallery is attempting to create the demand for the artist by keeping the pieces under wraps until demand for Western artists (which was seen falling at auctions during London’s Frieze week) perks up again? Only time will tell.