Lot 12, "Stephanie," by Maurizio Cattelan, colored pigment, wax, synthetic hair, glass, metal, 43 5/16 by 25 9 1/16 by 16 9/16 inches, 2003, from an edition of 3 plus an artist's proof

"Before he had a sculpture by Mr. Cattelan - a bust of Stephanie Seymour, the model who is in the middle of a much-publicized messy marriage and on-again off-again divorce from the newsprint magnate Peter Brant - photographed for the cover of the sale catalog, he enlisted Frederic Fekkai, hairdresser to the stars (including Ms. Seymour), to style the sculpture’s long and luscious mix of synthetic and real tresses...."When I asked Maurizio how best to install the sculpture he told me that the hair was a crucial element. And since I knew Frederic I thought there was no harm in asking for his help.” (Mr. Ségalot’s own hair, by the way, is perhaps his most recognizable feature: it is dark brown, layered and blown dry to perfection. And to dispel rumors that, like the sculpture’s perfectly coiffed hair, it too is fake, a reporter actually pulled it.) When the sculpture was unpacked from its crate Mr. Fekkai said it looked 'scary,' the hair a tangle of knots. It took a long time just to brush it out gently with a special gloss so it wouldn’t frizz,' he said. Although he has styled countless wigs, this was a first for him. 'The way the hair falls can change the shape of a face, even a sculpture,' he added. 'We wanted to make her look like a goddess.'

The sculpture, which was commissioned by Mr. Brandt in 2003 who attended the auction, is 1 of an edition of three.  Lot 12, "Stephanie," measures 43 6/16 by 25 9/16 by 16 9/16 inches. It is the cover illustration of the catalogue and has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.  It sold for $2,434,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

 Charlie sneaking up on Philippe Ségalot and Simon de Pury

Charlie sneaking up on Philippe Ségalot and Simon de Pury

Charlie ignoring Michael McGinness, Philippe Ségalot and Simon de Pury

Charlie ignoring Michael McGinnis, Philippe Ségalot and Simon de Pury

Charlie reviewing the troops

Charlie reviewing the troops at opening of new Park Avenue facility for Philllips de Pury

Another Cattelan sculpture that is considerably more amusing is Lot 6, "Charlie," shown at the top of this article, which depicts a boy on a tricycle.  Executed in 2003, it is from an edition of 3 plus an artist's proof.  It has a higher estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000, presumably because it is motorized and therefore can ram into cocktail drinker's legs at parties.  It sold for $2,994,500.

Auction attendees bidding fond farewell as Charlie leaves

Charlie attending his own sale and auctiongoers and officials bid him fond farewell as he made his way out

The catalogue contains an essay about the lot by Massimiliano Gioni that provides the following commentary:

"Like a magician with a mischievous streak, Maurizio Cattelan is a master of both provocation and artistic sleight of hand.  Frequently, these proclivities manifest themselves in the form of Houdini-like escapes and evasions, as when he fled from the opening of a 1992 group show at the Castello di Rivara in Turin by way of a string of knotted bedsheets, which were left behind as his contribution to the show, or when, for a show at the De Appel arts center in Amsterdam in 1996, he burgled the entire contents of a gallery nearby and exhibited it under the title Another Fucking Readymade....Charlie, 2003, a remote-controlled, doll-like self-portrait of Cattelan as a child who pilots a small tricycle, which he created for the international exhibition of the 50th Venice Biennale, is an emboidment of these veiled fears and iconclastic aggressions. By way of the work's remoted control, the Cattelan doll...can be made to drive the trycycle in any direction desired, and can also be made to move its eyes, or even roll them in cartoonish exasperation....But however playful this game of international art world hide-and-seek seems at first, it takes on a darker cast with the knowledge that the trycycle ridden by Cattelan's little effigy is the same one ridden by Actor Danny Lloyd in his role as the psychically gifted child in Stanley Kubrick's seminal horror film, The Shining (1980).

Blue mountain

Lot 4, "Untitled" (Portrait of Marcel Brient)," by Felix Gonzales-Torres, candies wrapped in light-blue cellophane, dimensions vary, executed in 1992

Lot 4 is an untitled work by Felix Gonzales-Torres (1957-1996) that consists of light-blue cellophane wrapped candies that may be eaten by viewers.  It was created in 1992 and is from the collection of Marcel Brient. It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.  It sold for $4,562,500, a record for the artist .

The catalogue provides the following commentary:
Untitled work by Gonzales-Torres

Lot 4 by Gonzalez-Torres on display in new galleries

"The candy pieces are the most celebrated and iconic series by Felix Gonzalez-Torres.  Made in a short span of just three years, between 1990 and 1993, the candy pieces are works of great physical beauty and immediacy of physical appeal: shimmering masses of edible color spilled across the floor or piled in the corner of a room.  The candy pieces are remakable, too, for their combination of the private and the public  They are works of real intimacy, charged with associations whose meanings were fully known only by the artist; yet these works are meant to be shared in the most direct and unstinting way with the viewers who are welcome to take pieces from the pile, and eat them.....Felix only gave ideal weights and/or dimensions for the candy pieces, permitting them to change in the future according to the installation, and the wishes of the owner.  The works are thus inherently dynamic, mutable, and renewable.  Immediate but profound, beautiful though conceptual, private yet generous....Of Gonzales-Torres's nineteen candy pieces, only six, by their parenthetical titles and ideal weights, can be readily interpreted as portraits.  Of these two are double portraits of the artist and his lover, Ross Laycock; two are portraits of Ross alone; one is a portrait of Felix's recently deceased father, and the present work is a portrait of the artist's close friend, the important French collector, Marcel Brient....The original vitality of the work goes on, not because it is fixed, but because it is renewed."


Lot 32, "Grosse Geist No. 16," by Thomas Schütte, cast aluminum, 98 by 39 1/2 by 59 inches, 2000, one of three casts

Lot 32 is a fabulous cast aluminum sculpture by Thomas Schütte (b. 1954) entitled "Gross Geist No. 16." Between 1996 and 2005, Schütte created 17 versions of these "Big Spirit" sculptures, each in an edition of three and each of the three in a different medium: aluminum, polished bronze or steel and the catalogue noted that "no two of these works are exactly alike."  The lot has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.  It sold for $4,114,500, an auction record for the artist.

The catalogue provides the following commentary about these big, sparkling Michelin-Man-like sculptures:

"Whether perturbed or transfixed by the Grosse Geister, it is difficult not to love them."


Lot 10, "Miss ko2," by Takashi Murakami, oil paint, acrylic, synthetic resin, fiberglass and iron, 72 by 25 by 32 1/2 inches, executed in 1997, from an edition of 3 plus an artist's proof

Lot 10 is an amusing scupture of a waitress by Takashi Murakami (b. 1962).  It measures 72 by 25 by 32 1/2 inches and was executed in 1997 from an edition of 3 plus an artist's proof.  It is entitled "Miss ko2."
  It has been widely exhibited and published and has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.  It sold for $6,802,500 to Jose Mugrabi.

According to the catalogue, the work "is the first large-scale sculpture Murakami ever made of a character inspired by the fantasy world of otaku, the obsessive Japanese subculture of anime, manga and video games....The celebration of otaku is a major theme in Murakami's work....The lush detailing of the paint intensifies both the hyper-sexuality and the emphatic artificiality of the sculpture, a startling combination of qualities.  The shading of the fabric of her shirt makes the bulge of her breasts and the fullness of the nipples all the more pronounced - they threaten to push through her bodice....The work 'ko' in Japanse can mean child, young woman or young geisha, and it is sometimes associated with a restaurant server.  Murakami certainly had an idea of this kind in mind for he based the clothing in his sculpture on the uniforrm of the waitresses at the Anna Miller restaurant chain in Toklyo, a popular hangout in the otaku scene."

The work, it continued, "is an outstanding example of the Japanese concept of 'moe,' a word that literally means 'blossoming or sprouting like a flower from a bud,' but which now is generally used to mean an extreme form of cuteness."


Lot 18, "Mechanical Pig," by Paul McCarthy, mechanical sculpture, silicone, platinum/fiberglass, metal, electrical components, 40 by 58 by 62 inches, 2005, edition of 3 plus an artist's proof

Lot 18 is a very realistic "mechanical" pig created in 2005 by Paul McCarthy (b. 1945).  It measures 40 by 58 by 62 inches and is from an edition of 3 plus an artist's proof.  It has an estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000.  The "pig," the catalogue notes, "pulses with the appearance of inner vitality: the pig breathes rhytmicallly and occasionally moves her feet, tongue and eyeballs as if roused, but not woken, by a dream."  It failed to sell.


Lot 28, "Schism's Kiss," by Steven Parrino, enamel on canvas, left panel 84 by 84 by 1 1/2 inches and right panel 84 by 84 by 9 1/2 inches, 2002

Lot 28 is a very large work by Steven Parrino (1956-2005) entitled "Schism's Kiss."  An enamel on canvas, it consists of two 84-inch-square panels, the left one 1 1/2 inches deep and the right one 9 1/2 inches.  It was created in 2002.  It has an estimate of $600,000 to $800,000.  The left panel is monochrome and flat and the right one is "contorted,  disrupted, and draped," according to the catalogue.  It failed to sell.

'"Parrino's work is one part Pollock's muscularity, one part Fontana's violation of the picture plane, one part Warhol's challenge to the hierarchy of images and one part Stella's true belief in abstraction and gesture.  If Johnny Cash 's raw style, genius and blue collar characteristic had a parallel in the world of monochrome it would be Steven Parrino," the catalogue declared.

Stone faces

Lot 33, "The Lower 48," by Matthew Day Jackson, 48 C-Prints, framed, each 13 1/2 by 20 inches, 2006, from an edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs

Lot 33 is a group of 48 C-Prints taken in 2006 by Matthew Day Jackson (b. 1974) of rocks that look like people's faces.  Entitled "The Lower 48," each print is 13 1/2 bny 20 inches and this lot is from an edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs.  It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $410,500. In a 2010 exhibition catalogue, the artist remarked that "we are constantly searching for a reflection of ourselves in everything we see," adding that "we realize we are not present there, but nevertheless we feel that we are part of these things."  

Warhol taylor

Lot 15, "Men in Her Life," by Andy Warhol, silkscreen and pencil on primed canvas 84 1/2 by 83 1/4 inches, 1962

Lot 15 is a large 1962 silkscreen and pencil on primed canvas by Andy Warhol (1928-1987).  It is entitled "Men in Her Life" and it measures 84 1/2 by 83 1/4 inches.  It has an "estimate on request."  It sold for $63,362,500 and had been consigned by Jose Mugrabi.  It was the second highest auction price ever achieved for Warhol.  The painting is based on a photograph of Elizabeth Taylor walking with her third husband,  Mike Todd, and her fourth husband, Eddie Fisher, who is with his wife, Debbie Reynolds, and it appeared in the April 13, 1962 edition of Life magazine.  The photograph had been taken June 5, 1957 at the English Derby at Epsom Downs.

The catalogue notes that "the picture is among his earliest silkscreen paintings, and it combines in one image many of the central themes of his oeuvre: celebrity, wealth, scandal, sex, death, Hollywood, icons of American life"

"The present paintng, moreover," it continued, "is one of only four works in the Men in Her Life series: it is one of only two of these works on a large-scale, multi-image format; and it is the largest of all the four pictures in the series."

Carol; Vogel's article suggested that it "may sell for around $50 million,' adding that "Mr. Ségalot pried the Warhol out of the private collection of the Mugrabi family, Manhattan dealers known for their vast holdings of Warhols. “My father was adamantly opposed to selling this painting, but Philippe was so convincing,” said Alberto Mugrabi, referring to his father, Jose. “Philippe can do things nobody else can. He’s crazy, but good crazy.”