Francis Bacon'ssold for $84.6 million at Sotheby’s live-streamed global art sale this week. It is a mark of how the online world of big art sales has quickly adjusted to the new normal.
An unprecedented series of three auctions conducted remotely by auctioneer Oliver Barker in London with bids on phone banks in New York, Hong Kong and London and online brought in $363.2 million.
The Bacon went after a 10-minute bidding battle between an online bidder in Asia and a client bidding by phone in New York.
It went to the phone bidder for a price surpassing the $80 million high estimate.
The record for the highest price for an artwork sold online was broken twice. Joan Mitchell'ssold for $7.9 million and this record was quickly surpassed when Jean-Miche Basquiat's sold for $15.2 million.
Sotheby's chairman Oliver Barker remarked afterwards: "We would never have envisioned, even a few months ago, that it would be possible to hold a series of flagship New York sales as an unprecedented live-streamed event."
Christie's will hold an online global online sale of the 20th century in Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York on July 10.