All three of the top auction houses offered works by Eddie Martinez during their online spring sales, and across the board, all of his works sold at least above their low estimates and often exceeded them by multiples. Perhaps most remarkably, even before the art world went into lockdown, at Christie’s post-war and contemporary art day sale in London this February, his piece Owl with Still Life (2010) obliterated its high estimate of £60,000 (about $77,800) and raked in a final price of £200,000 (around $259,300).
The striking results extend to the lower end of his market, too: In an online Sotheby’s sale in late April, a work on paper from 2016 nearly tripled its low estimate of £8,000 (about $9,965) to sell for £23,750 (about $29,600). Martinez’s bold, expressionist painting style evolved from his early life doing graffiti in New York City, where he still resides today. Back in November, Christie’s set a new record for his work when the painting High Flying Bird (2014) sold for HK$15.7 million (US$2 million), more than 12 times its high estimate.