Last week, I spent some time following the big Sothebys and Christies Post War Art auctions. As you may recall, the big items of interest were the Francis Bacon triptych that sold for $86million and Lucian Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” that fetched $33.6 million. Now, we know the buyer of both.
Listed as the 15th richest man in the world, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich (who also owns Chelsea Football Club) purchased both lots, shelling out more than $140m (including buyers’ premiums). Abramovich isn’t known as a major art collector. It is assumed these pieces are for display in his not-yet-completed $300 million home in one of London’s prime squares.
His money has done a power of good for Chelsea football; perhaps he’ll now do the same for the art market.
Amazing how 0 to 60 million is hardly documented. Honestly how does someone come out of the Soviet Union and become a billionaire?
Abramovich was one of the lucky technocrats who negotiated the purchase of huge state enterprises for cents on the dollar.