Likeness of Hitler sells for £11.9 million in New York
Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is known for his satirical sculptures and yesterday one, a waxwork of a schoolboy with Hitler’s head praying, sold for a world record sum of £11,887,275 ($17,189,000 or €15,037,403).
Auctioned by Christie’s in New York as part of their Bound to Fail sale, this provocative piece – titled HIM – has previously been displayed at the end of a long hallway or at the opposite end of a white room, turned away from the viewer so that they wouldn’t be able to recognize the individual until they advanced close enough. It was executed in 2001 and most controversially displayed in a courtyard in the former Warsaw Ghetto in 2013.
Loic Gouzer, Deputy Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s, remarked:
“With Bound to Fail, we sought to push the envelope with an auction that emphasized artists and works that challenge the traditional notions of commercial success. The auction’s strong outcome was the result of enthusiastic bidding from a diverse group of collectors from all over the world. We were encouraged by the passionate response to works that have traditionally been overlooked or construed as challenging. Maurizio Cattelan’s, HIM, set a world auction record for the artist when it sold after over five minutes of bidding. The depth of interest for this work speaks to its international notoriety, and its ability to breach the boundaries of fine art and popular culture, forcing the viewer to reconsider challenging questions about action and absolution”.
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