Hedge fund manager and notable collector Steven A. Cohen, who has just settled two insider-trading lawsuits with the government, has just purchased Picasso’s Le Rêve for $155 Million. The exchange, between Cohen and Las Vegas Hotel Mogul Steve Wynn, is estimated to be the largest price ever paid for a work of art by an American collector. The sale of Le Rêve, Picasso’s 1932 portrait of a sleeping woman, had previously been discussed between Wynn and Cohen, particularly in 2006, when the sale was canceled after Wynn accidentally thrust his elbow through the piece, causing a 6-inch tear. “Steve has wanted that painting for a long time. The timing of the sale is just a coincidence.” Said an unnamed source.
Cohen’s investigation had sent a wave of anxiety across the art-world. A notable collector, Cohen’s appetite for contemporary art made him a fixture at major art fairs around the world, and his absence from fairs like Art Basel Miami Beach last year was enough to make headlines for an art market feeling the sting of a sluggish economy.
That Cohen would still purchase the painting, even adding an additional $16 million after the accident, speaks volumes about his desire for the piece, and bodes well for past clients hoping that the government investigation had not dulled his appetite for new works in his collection.
Read more at The New York Post