Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Will Today’s Thinning Ranks Of Billionaires Cast Any Significant Historic Artistic And Cultural Legacy?

"German billionaire Adolf Merckle, one of the richest men in the world, committed suicide on Monday after his business empire got into trouble in the wake of the international financial crisis, Merckle's family said Tuesday in a statement.

Merckle, 74, was hit by a train in the southwestern town of Ulm, police said.

His family said the economic crisis had "broken" Merckle.

He was number 94 on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, with a business empire that included interests as diverse as cement-maker HeidelbergCement and generic drug-maker Rationpharm." ...

cnnmoney.com January 6, 2009


"Jeff Koons overtook Damien Hirst to become the world's most expensive living artist at auction when his Hanging Heart sculpture fetched 11.3m at a Sotheby's sale in New York yesterday.

The 9ft-tall sculpture was created in stainless steel and consists of a giant heart, weighing 3,500lbs (1,600kg), suspended from the ceiling by two delicate gilded strands and hovering 16 inches (40cm) from the floor. The sculpture took 10 years to complete and was bought by the United States-based Gagosian Gallery. It is one of five uniquely coloured versions of the work from Koons' Celebration series.

The previous auction record was for Hirst's pill cabinet, Lullaby Spring, which sold for nearly 10m at Sotheby's in June. Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull, entitled For the Love of God, remains the most expensive creation by a living artist. It was sold for 50m in a private sale in August." ...

"Koons is most expensive living artist at auction"
Independent, The (London), Nov 16, 2007

“…when Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold) was bought at Sotheby’s New York for $21m hammer price ($23.6m with buyer’s premium) by Gagosian for Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian billionaire with a taste for high-impact figurative work, it stole the living-artist title from Lullaby Spring and made Koons contemporary art’s uncontested top dog.”

Photo credit: (c) Jeff Koons and Gagosian Gallery. 2007. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.


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