Header Image: Portrait of Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald.
While it’s difficult to estimate the worth of a single painting, a decent chunk of it is influenced by the popularity of the artist who created it. When the proverbial wind is filling an artist’s sail, their works can sell for an exponentially larger amount than estimated. For the 2020/2021 period, artprice.com has reported 5 of the top price ascensions in both New York and Hong Kong. The names in the list are a quick look at who and what is exciting for art collectors all over the world.
In New York, Amy Sherald topped the list. Her painting, The Bathers, was estimated to sell for $150,000-200,000. Instead, the painting was auctioned at Phillips for a neat sum of $4,265,000, 21 times higher than the high estimate. With a long career, Sherald’s name was thrown in the spotlight when former First Lady Michelle Obama chose her to paint her official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery.
In addition to Amy Sherald, who is a Black woman, the top five feature two other artists of color and three other female artists. Though not as spectacular as New York’s price ascensions, the auction results in Hong Kong similarly feature a diverse group of artists with auction results that far exceed their highest estimate.
The results of these sales reveal that there is a demand for works by a diverse group of artists, not just the white men that have often dominated the auction houses. Not only that, there is value to their works, and that they are not to be underestimated. It is certainly an exciting future to look forward to.