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A painting by famed artist Kerry James Marshall has been sold by Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority for $21.1 million.

The price paid Wednesday in an auction at Sotheby’s New York set a record for a work by the African-American artist. A Sotheby’s spokesman says four bidders competed for the work, driving the selling price beyond the high estimate of $12 million.

“Past Times” had for years been displayed in the South Building of McCormick Place where a replica now hangs. The real painting was purchased in 1997 for $25,000.

Marshall, born in Birmingham, Alabama who grew up in South Central LA is now a resident of Chicago, is known for his depictions of African-American life.

Source: chicago tribune

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(New York, NY ) Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917 masterpiece ‘Nu couché’ sold for $157.2 million – the highest auction price achieved in Sotheby’s history. Painted a century ago, ‘Nu couché’ is the greatest work from the iconic series in which Modigliani reinvented the nude for the Modern era. Upon their exhibition in 1917, these alluring images stopped traffic – quite literally – and prompted police to shutter the show. Today, the series is recognized as one of the seminal achievements in Modern painting.

Source: Sotheby

Boom For Real explores the pre-fame years of the celebrated American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. In theaters May 11th.

Washington, DC—New data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers an insightful picture of the impact the arts have on the nation’s economy. The arts contribute $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy, more than agriculture, transportation, or warehousing.  The arts employ 4.9 million workers across the country with earnings of more than $370 billion. Furthermore, the arts exported $20 billion more than imported, providing a positive trade balance.

• The arts added four times more to the U.S. economy than the agricultural sector and $200 billion more than transportation or warehousing.

• The arts saw a $20 billion trade surplus, leading with movies and TV programs and jewelry.

• The arts trended positively between 2012 and 2015 with an average growth rate of 2.6 percent, slightly higher than 2.4 percent for the nation’s overall economy. Between 2014 and 2015, the growth rate was 4.9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.

source: Art.gov

The official portraits of former United States President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were unveiled at an emotional and historic ceremony at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning.

The stunning depiction of President Obama, by artist Kehinde Wiley, and of his wife, by Amy Sherald, drew gasps and applause as each subject and artist together removed the black veils covering the portraits for a dramatic reveal.

Both Wiley and Sherald faced an unprecedented and monumental task: to capture the first African Americans elected to serve as president and first lady in a building built by slaves. But neither artists’ brush failed under the weight of history. The portraits are deft, thoughtful comments on race and representation in America that also provide an intimate encounter with the psyche of their individual subjects

Source: Artsy

Jeff Bezos had a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend. After record-breaking weekend sales, Amazon’s stock price hit an all-time high of $1,213.41 a share on Monday. That pushed Bezos’ net worth to over $100 billion, which is up 35% from the same period last year, according to Bloomberg.

Thanks to that recent surge, Bezos has once again passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.

Source: BusinessInsider

After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed. The painting was dismissed as a copy and sold for only $60 in 1958, acquired by a group of art dealers for $10,000 in 2005 and finally after being completely restored and authenticated as an Original Da Vinci, sold for $450.3 million.

Source: NY Times

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