Billionaire casino owner Steve Wynn has sold one of the gems of his art collection, Pablo Picasso's 'Le Reve', for a sum of $155 million, to fellow billionaire and Hedge Fund Manager, Steven A. Cohen (pictured above). The 1932 oil painting by the Spanish Cubism master painter, was earlier set up for auction in 2006, when Steve Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the painting. Steve Cohen, however never gave up on the deal, and after the extensive restoration work has managed to shell out the princely amount for the rare work of art. This transaction makes it the highest price paid by an American for a work of art, where as the most expensive painting record is set by the 'Card Players' by Cazanne which was sold to a royal family member of Qatar for $250 million.
The painting 'Le Reve,' shows an erotic depiction of Picasso's mistress Marie Therese where a human penis is shown growing beside her chin. With the $155 million price paid for this painting, it sets itself as the most expensive piece of art work as paid by an American collector. The billionaire investor is reportedly worth $9.3 billion, which includes an impressive art collection, pegged at almost $1 billion. After the 2006 accident in which casino mogul Steve Wynn accidentally damaged the artwork, there have been a 7 year waiting period for Cohen who will now receive the painting after extensive restoration work done on it.
The 'Le Reve' painting isn't the only highly priced painting in Steve Cohen's collection. He is known to have purchased several pricey works of art such as the William de Kooning 'Woman III' painting for $137.5 million in 2006, and Jasper John's 1958 'Flag' painting for $110 million in 2010, amongst several others. Though a financial maestro, Cohen has shown a keen interest in the rare arts, but currently has been the centre of attention for his hedge fund, SAC Capital's involved in a multi-year insider trading case. Needless to say that one of the better known art collectors in the US needs some 'legal cleanliness' before showing off his art collection.