“She made this piece in the dawn of her painting practice, in 2013, before she had a residency, when she was still at Yale; it’s a smaller format and the colors are even slightly more muted than what you see in her work now,” said Paola Saracino Fendi, an associate vice president and specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s. “But the way she portrayed her mother, that intimate feeling, it was so vulnerable and sensitive. I think people are most interested in the sense of connection in her work.”
The result for Mom more than doubled Casteel’s previous auction record, set by Jonathan (2014) from her “Visible Man” series. Offered at Sargent’s Daughters in the summer of 2014 for a mere $6,000, it sold at a Christie’s sale in May 2019 for $325,000, more than 54 times its original price. The painting is now hanging at the New Museum, on loan from former Disney president and Creative Artists Agency co-founder Michael Ovitz.