Prices for Botero works at auction have risen steadily since the early 2000s, when the sale of Latin American art really began to “take off,” said France. And the sheer volume of his works coming up for sale makes him a market force of unique heft: Since 2010, 109 Botero works have come to auction each year on average.
Most recently, Botero notched the top lot of the Latin American art sale held last month at Christie’s in New York when his painting Card Players (1986) sold for just over $2 million, significantly higher than its $1.5 million high estimate and good for his 10th-highest auction result. In the same auction, Christie’s also sold a small white marble sculpture, Horse with Saddle, for $600,000; two still-life paintings—Still Life with Pineapple (1988) and Naturaleza muerta con sopa caliente (1968)—for $425,000 and $400,000, respectively; and the charcoal and watercolor composition The Street (2010) for $300,000. All told, the five Boteros accounted for more than 41 percent of the 53-lot sale’s total value of $8.9 million.