Brad Pitt splurges $1m on a racetrack painting
The recession has had its effect on the art market, and reportedly art prices dropped 34 percent this year, but things were promising at the Art Basel art fair in Switzerland. This most prestigious art fair got its share of celebrities, including Actor Brad Pitt, who splashed out just under $1 million on Neo Rauch’s rainbow-colored racetrack painting, “Etappe,” at the booth of New York dealer David Zwirner. The 1998 painting (featured here) depicts a swirling view of a driver behind a red, Formula One-style racecar, with workers nearby carrying candy-colored hoses. WSJ writer Kelly Crow states: “After eyeing the 9-foot-wide work for several minutes, Pitt rubbed his goatee, fiddled with his tweed driving cap, and walked away.”
But Pitt returned minutes later with Eli and Edythe Broad, the major Los Angeles collectors, who actually triggered Pitt’s art purchase by telling the actor that if he didn’t buy it, they probably would. Besides the Hollywood actor, the VIP preview at the contemporary art fair featured Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and girlfriend Daria Zhukova, Karl Lagerfeld and supermodel Naomi Campbell. The star-studded fair turned out to be a hit within the very first hour, with the sale of world’s largest, diamond-encrusted sculpture by Takashi Murakami for $2 million. “There’s a mood of cautious optimism,” Jeffrey Poe, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based gallery Blum & Poe, said in an interview. “It’s back to quieter and more interesting days.”
Check out the actor browsing the gallery at Art Basel in our gallery below.