Art Market

New details have emerged on how Steve Wynn’s $70 million Picasso was damaged.

Isaac Kaplan
May 18, 2018 3:46PM, via Bloomberg

A falling paint pole is the reason why Wynn’s Pablo Picasso had to be withdrawn from the May 15th Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Christie’s at the last minute, Bloomberg reported. Katya Kazakina recounts the moment in which Le Marin (1943), estimated at $70 million, was damaged:

A paint roller attached to an extension pole used by a contractor was leaning against a wall before gravity took over and it fell, puncturing the lower right of the canvas, said Wynn’s attorney, Michael Kosnitzky. It’s unclear whether the painting was hanging on the wall at the time or if the pole struck the front or the back of the canvas, he said.

The damage forced another Picasso, also consigned by Wynn, to be withdrawn because the pair were covered by the same third-party guarantee. A third work consigned by Wynn for this week’s auctions, Andy Warhol’s Double Elvis [Ferus Type] (1963), did proceed to sale, going for $37 million with fees at Christie’s on Thursday evening on a pre-sale estimate of $30 million.

Wynn is apparently planning to get into the art trade after leaving his publicly traded company earlier this year, when multiple people came forward with allegations of sexual-misconduct against the businessman (he denies the allegations). All three pieces were consigned by his online art gallery, Sierra Fine Art LLC, and can still be found on its website. Kosnitzky, Wynn’s lawyer, told the Culture Grrl blog, as of yet, no action legal action been taken over the Picasso damage and he hoped that route could be avoided. “Our intention is to work with the adjuster, the insurers, and Christie’s and to try to get to an amicable, businesslike resolution of the problem,” he said.

Isaac Kaplan
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