Murakami Craze the Latest Victim of Recession?
Has the craze for Japanese artist and Louis Vuitton collaborator Takashi Murakami's work become the latest victim of the looming recession? In May, art world observers were astounded when Murakami's onanistic sculpture My Lonesome Cowboy, estimated at $3 - $4 million, ended up going for $15 million at a Sotheby's auction. Many expected a similar result Saturday evening when Phillips de Pury put another major Murakami work up for auction in London. However, the 21-ft. sculpture Tongari-kun (above), estimated at $6 - $7.8 million, did not draw a single bid, Bloomberg reports.
Moreover, Murakami himself was in the auction audience, no doubt wanting to witness the windfall in person. He took the snub well, however; as nothing but silence answered the auctioneer's calls, the artist burst out laughing. Some insiders said Murakami had been considering staging a big bucks solo auction like the one so successfully run by Damien Hirst, but he may rethink that now, at least until the economic picture improves. Hirst of course looks even more brilliant for staging his $200 million sale right before the financial markets really went to hell in a handbasket.