Bloomberg – Houston-based hedge fund manager, Bill Perkins, went to Christie’s on Thursday night, May 12, intent on spending $2 million. Approximately An hour later, he left after spending 15,275,000 dollars.
“Plans have gone bad, to put it mildlyHe said as he spoke the next day. “I was surprised, but I knew it was a possibility.”
Perkins went to Christie’s in New York with express purpose of purchase Sugar Shack a 1976 painting by football player-turned-artist Ernie Barnes , whose work has recently been recognized as an essential part of postwar American art. The painting in question depicts a ballroom inhabited by gay black dancers and musicians. It is a duplicate of a painting that Barnes drew for Marvin Gaye’s studio album. I want you It is the image that appeared in the sitcom in the seventies good time . “In my opinion, there is nothing more American than this work of art,” Perkins says.
He had been coveted to work for yearsShe’s trying to buy the sister of the actor’s painting work Eddie Murphy. “I actually looked for Eddie Murphy’s assistant and tried to buy the album cover and tie it up,” Perkins says with a laugh. They were like, ‘Who’s that crazy?’ “They didn’t even give me the dignity of refusal.”
So when he saw that this work was going to be auctioned, he continues, Tears came to my eyes as I thought about it..
Perkins was founded Skylar Capital Management and he InitiativeAnd book author die with zero He describes himself as a “Avid amateur” poker player what or what He has won millions of dollars in different tournaments. (When a reporter pointed out that most fans don’t make millions, he replied, “That’s right, but I also lost millions. So let’s not forget that”).
He has already put together an important art collection: he says so Four Barnes’ WorksAnd Five Pieces John Biggers, along with The art of Norman Lewis, Charles White, and others. But as of Thursday night, he had never been to the auction hall before. “I went to charity events where they auctioned a piece of art,” he says. “But I’ve never been to a proper art auction, live, in the hall.”
I like Barnes so much He decided he had to go in person. “I was hypersensitive,” he says. “What if my phone dies, what if my internet goes out? I had horrific visions in my head of things that could go wrong, so I thought, “I should be in the room where this is going so nothing can go wrong.”“.
Job was A Pre-sale estimate $150,000 to $200,000who Perkins knew, artificially low. Previous auction record for Barnes settled at Christie’s last year, when he painted it Soul Hall Sold for $550,000, out of a high estimate of $120,000.
“I’d be high then [el precio final] It was less than a million US dollars,” he says, “and I thought it could reasonably be sold for $1.5 million to $2 million“.
As soon as the lottery and the auctioneer came out Adrien Meyer, from the stand, announced that 22 people had bid for the board over the phone.Perkins knew things wouldn’t go as planned. “I was like, ‘Where are all these people coming from?'” he says. “So I decided to get out of that, raise the price to a high enough level and get rid of that.”
And so on One of the most exciting bidding wars of recent times has begun.
At first, specialists in auction houses in phone banks who called the auction floor were shouting at each other bids. The price rose to $950 thousand, then $1.8 million, and then suddenly $2 million.. however, By the time the bid reached $2.6 million, the room had settled, with lead business between PerkinsSitting in the back with his fiancée, And a man a few seats away seemed to be talking on the phone with a customer. “We thought, ‘We should have our poker faces,'” Perkins says. “But all the common sense and decency is gone.”
Promotions that increased in increments of $100,000, $200,000, and even $500,000 simultaneously, the two men went back and forth.While the entire auction room, fascinated, watches in silence. about 5 million US dollars, “I turned to my fiancée and said: What should I do?”Perkins says. wisely “She said, ‘Honey, you have to make this decision for yourself.'”. At that point, he continues, “I looked around the room and everyone was looking at me. And I said, ‘Oh my God, this is a scene.'”
Keep giving. It was $8 million, then $9 million. “The guy turned towards me once and said, ‘I won’t stop,’” Perkins says. “So I said, I’ll pay you then.”. (People laughed joyfully.)
Suddenly it’s $10 million, then $10.5 million, then $11 million. Perkins tried to close the auction with a bid of $12 millionAnd But the counselor responded with $12.5 million. With every show at this level, gasps could be heard on the sales floor.
finally, Perkins offered $13 million and tired the guy on the phone, indicating he was out. The room erupted in long and continuous applause, and Perkins looked a little dazed, got up and left.. with the Auction fee known as the buyer’s premium, the total price reached just over $15 million.
“There were a lot of things going on in my head,” he says. “There was a very analytical aspect, like ‘Did I get the value right?'” “
Perkins celebrated at Blue Ribbon with his fiancée “And I just took it and was amazed at the journey to get to this place and meet it all,” he says. “And the truth is that How ridiculous my life is, that I could own this painting. It’s totally absurd.”
He plans to loan the museum for a few months To allow others to communicate with him. It means a lot to America and certainly means a lot to black America.‘, he says, ‘and Then I will hang it in my house“.
He says he doesn’t regret it at all.
“Even though the price was shocked, I still felt like I stole it’,” he says. “This is a $100 million, $200 million piece. It will take time for people to notice.”
This article was translated by Miriam Salazar
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