Young Buyers Boost Phillips’ First Ever Cross-Category Auction Online
KAWS, Banksy and Josh Sperling were among artists whose work exceeded estimates at the Asia-led sale.
KAWS, Four Foot Dissected Companion (Grey) (2009). Painted cast vinyl sculpture. Courtesy Phillips.
Phillips' Asia auction REFRESH:RELOAD realised US $2.4 million last week, the highest total they've ever brought in for an online sale. The result is largely attributable to the broad scope of the auction, which brought together sales of watches and jewellery alongside contemporary art for the first time.
'This is an example of a real shift in strategy for the big auction houses as they combine luxury goods with artworks in one sale,' said Rory Mitchell, director, Ocula Art Advisory. 'It's geared towards a huge wave of new young collectors who will buy a small KAWS sculpture or Nara work on paper alongside limited edition jewellery or watches from iconic brands.'
Ninety percent of lots sold, with a high proportion going to buyers new to Phillips (56%) and those under age 40 (42%).
Much of the artwork on offer derived from street art and pop art traditions. KAWS' painted cast vinyl sculpture Four Foot Dissected Companion (Grey) (2009) fetched the highest price, selling for HK $812,500. (Earlier this week, a similar work was looted from 5Art Gallery in Los Angeles.) Other street artists that sold work include Shepard Fairey, Invader, Futura, and Banksy, whose bow-tie-adorned military helicopter screen print Happy Choppers (2003) fetched HK $300,000.
The work with the highest estimate, Takashi Murakami's Flower of Joy–Blackberry Madness (2007), did not initially sell, but Phillips told us it sold soon after the auction for a result 'close to mid estimate'. Four other Murakami sold, as did two works the arcreated in collaboration with Virgil Abloh, founder of streetwear label Off White.
Other notable works that sold include Josh Sperling's sculptural painting Red Squiggle (2015) for HK $212,500, Wolfgang Tillmans' inkjet print on paper Sahara Reflex (2018) for HK $106,250, and Gerhard Richter's facsimile object Flow P15 (2013), a photo of a lacquer on glass painting, for HK $106,250. —[O]
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