Park West CEO Albert Scaglione on historic Picasso sale


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., May 14, 2015– Park West Gallery Founder and CEO Albert Scaglione offered his insight into the record-breaking art auction of a Pablo Picasso painting on May 11.

Art history was made with Christie’s New York when Picasso’s 1955 painting, “Les Femmes d’Alger, Version O,” sold for $179.4 million, including fees, at auction. This is the highest price recorded for any work of art, shattering the record set in 2013 with the acquisition of Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” for $142.4 million.

Scaglione – whose gallery connects artists to over 1.8 million fine art enthusiasts via art auctions on cruise ships and an art gallery in Michigan – spoke with Michigan’s BIG Show about the historic event.

“Why do people pay these kinds of prices for art?” Scaglione said. “There is a long, long history of this – this is nothing new. This goes back to the church, this goes back to the Renaissance where people put a great value on art.”

Scaglione says art is easy to care for and interest rates are favorable, making it even more desirable to collect. Currently, a growing number of people are collecting art at increasing prices. He said on the same day at Park West Gallery, a client acquired a painting by the late master Pino for about $80,000, while another collected a sculpture by neo-expressionist artist Peter Max for $22,000. This has become more the rule than the exception in today’s market, so the nearly $180 million Picasso sale is a reflection of the market in general at all price levels.

Park West Gallery has experience working with record-breaking artists. Not only does the gallery offer Picasso artwork, but Park West artist Yaacov Agam became the highest-selling Israeli artist when his painting, “Growth,” sold for $698,000 in a Sotheby’s auction in 2010.

The Picasso painting is a cubist depiction of nude courtesans, and is part of a series of 15 paintings the artist created, labeled ‘A’ to ‘O.’

The previous record for Picasso artwork was his 1932 “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” that reached $106.5 million in 2010.

Listen to the BIG Show radio segment here.

Park West Gallery in Detroit connects artists to fine art aficionados via sea art auctions by creating an entertaining, educational and welcoming environment that ignites a passion for the arts.

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