Art Market

Alex Rodriguez will sell works by Basquiat and Richard Prince at Phillips.

Wallace Ludel
Jun 14, 2019 4:34PM, via Bloomberg

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez arriving at an event at the Brooklyn Museum this month. Photo by James Devaney/GC Images.

Baseball great Alex Rodriguez, whose 22-year career as a ballplayer ended in 2016, has a lesser known stat to go along with his two record-breaking contracts, the most grand slams of any player in MLB history (25), and a career .295 batting average—over the past decade, he has become a major league art collector.

Now, A-Rod is looking to cash in on his collecting prowess. Two works from his collection will be going up for auction at Phillips in London on June 27th: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pink Elephant with Fire Engine (1984) and Richard Prince’s Mustang Painting (2014–16). The Basquiat, a large yellow canvas from a pivotal year in his career, is estimated to sell for £3 million to £4 million ($3.8–$5.1 million). Prince’s painting of a classic Mustang GTO on a blue colorfield is expected to go for between £700,000 and £1 million ($888,000–$1.3 million).

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pink Elephant with Fire Engine, 1984. Est. £3 million–4 million. Courtesy Phillips.

In addition to names like Warhol and Haring, Rodriguez’s home in Coral Gables, Florida, is stocked with a veritable mass of work by hot, young artists like Adam McEwen, Lucien Smith, Joe Bradley, and Alex Israel. The home even features a custom installation by Nate Lowman in Rodriquez’s indoor batting cage.

Richard Prince, Mustang Painting, 2014–16. Est. £700,000–1 million. Courtesy Phill

In an interview with Robert Manley, Phillips’s co-head of 20th century and contemporary art, Rodriguez said that he and his fiancée Jennifer Lopez plan to begin collecting as a team. He said:

I am starting a fresh chapter in my personal life, and after a decade of collecting on my own, I am excited to begin a new collecting journey with Jennifer. We are both committed to the arts and will continue to be great patrons together.
Wallace Ludel
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