KAWS works sell big at Phillips’s $6.4 million “New Now” sale, a showcase for young artists.
Yayoi Kusama, Butterfly, 1982, sold for $375,000 at Phillips “New Now” sale. Image courtesy of Phillips.
The “New Now” sale at Phillips brought in $6.4 million in New York on Wednesday, establishing auction records for a number of emerging artists and artists from Cuba. The sale was led by Yayoi Kusama’s painting Butterfly (1982), which sold for $375,000—well over its $250,000 high pre-sale estimate—and indicated that there is intense secondary market interest in an artist who, with her new museum and gallery shows, often commands lines around the block.
The sale was marked by sales of eight works by KAWS, the graffiti artist-turned-sculptor who has become a global art sensation—he has 1.4 million followers on Instagram, more than Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips combined. An untitled painting from 2014 sold for $200,000, over a high estimate of $150,000.
In a press release, Sam Mansour, the head of the sale, said: “The middle market remains a vibrant area for collectors across the globe, with bidders from over forty countries vying for works by emerging and established artists alike.”
KAWS, Four Foot Dissected Companion (Black), 2009, sold for $118,750, at Phillips “New Now” sale. Image courtesy of Phillips.