3 Most Expensive Works at Christies Latin American Art Sale - May, 2019

image courtesy of Christies

image courtesy of Christies

This Spring, May 22 -23rd Christies Latin American Art Sale fetched over 17 million US dollars - 17,483,125 usd to be exact. Two of the most expensive works that sold were by contemporary Colombian artist Fernando Botero and the most expensive work was by 20th century, female surrealist, Remedios Varo. Although the sale did not see record prices for any particular artist, it was a strong sale all in all, reflecting the current strength of the Latin American art market.

1) Derechazo by Fernando Botero - 675,000 usd

image courtesy of Christies

image courtesy of Christies

The 3rd most expensive piece in the auction was an oil on canvas painting by Fernando Botero titled, Derechazo. The painting depicts a bull fighter in an arena, executed with the colorful and voluminous style he is so well known for. The subject of the painting is common in Botero’s work, probably inspired by his brief schooling as a bull fighter before devoting his life to the arts. The piece was estimated to sell between 500,000 - 700,000 usd and sold for 675,000 usd (including the buyers premium).

2) Mother and Child by Fernando Botero - 1,695,000 usd

mother and child by fernando botero bronze sculpture

The 2nd most expensive piece in the sale was also by Fernando Botero. Estimated to sell between 1,200,000 - 1,500,000 usd, this life size bronze sculpture exceeded expectations and sold for 1,695,000 usd (including buyers premium). This sculpture was executed in 1932, over 50 years before the painting and stands almost 7 feet tall. The sculpture is an artist proof from an edition of two, it’s titled is Mother and Child. One of these sculptures currently resides behind the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

3) Simpatía (La rabia del gato) by Remedios Varo - 3,135,000 usd

remedios varo Simpatía (La rabia del gato) oil painting

The most expensive piece from the sale was an oil on masonite painting by Spanish-born, Mexican artist, Remedios Varo. The painting incorporates imagery typical of Varo’s surreal style, depicting a woman or possibly a sorceress in a room with a cat, both connected to what looks like constellations floating in the room around them. The title is Simpatía (La rabia del gato) - sympathy (cat’s rage). The piece was estimated to sell between 2,000,000 - 3,000,000 usd and sold for 3,135,000 usd (including the buyers premium), also exceeding expectations.