📈 Albert Willem's Staggering +593% Surge

+ Richter's Resilient Market + Rego's Rising Star

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The Hammer is a series from Frame&Flame that reviews past auction performances and upcoming lots to identify artists whose markets are 'heating up.'

This week’s The Hammer includes:

  • 📈 Heating Up: Albert Willem skyrockets from Instagram to Sotheby's, exhibiting a meteoric rise in auction values and strong market demand.

  • 🔍 Lots to Watch: Paula Rego's anticipated Christie's piece, Suzanne Valadon's escalating nudes, and Gerhard Richter's abstract market resurgence at Phillips.

Read Time 05 minutes

📈 Heating Up

Albert Willem, the Belgian artist known for his naive painting style, was not a name one would have associated with auction houses just a few years ago.

A late bloomer, Willem started his painting journey at 36, first sharing his creations on Instagram.

It's rare for an artist's work to transition so swiftly and powerfully from the digital sphere of Instagram to the high-end auction houses, but Willem's story is anything but ordinary.

Albert Willem, All In All Not Bad For His First Attempt, 2021

🔴 Market Signals

Averages Over the Last 36 Months

  • Yearly Lots Sold: 13

  • Sell-through Rate: An impressive 86.6%, indicating that a vast majority of Willem's works presented at auction find a buyer.

  • Sale Price: Standing at an average of $121K, a meteoric rise for an artist who only recently transitioned to the physical art market.

  • Price Over Estimate: A staggering 593%. Collectors aren't just buying Willem's work; they're competing for it, pushing prices far beyond auction house estimates.

This data snapshot underscores the growing demand and commercial value associated with Willem's works. What's particularly unique is the steep rise in such a short time frame, painting a picture of an artist in high demand.

🦞 Recent Auction Highlights

"The mountain air provided a pleasant atmosphere, 2020" went under the hammer at Sotheby's for a record-breaking $295,586, achieving an increase of +1815% over its estimate.

"All In All Not Bad For His First Attempt, 2021" was auctioned at Phillips, London, realizing $289,871 - a jaw-dropping +1729% over its estimate.

"The Snooker Tournament, 2021" also soared past its expectations at Sotheby's, selling for $206,615, marking a +1221% increase from its initial estimate.

These auction results don't just show that Willem's work is selling. They highlight the overwhelming demand and excitement surrounding each piece. The competitive bids and resulting prices well above estimates suggest that the art market views his work not just as aesthetically pleasing, but as a valuable asset.

Upgrade to unlock the full story behind these numbers…

🔍Lots to Watch

Paula Rego, Dancing Ostriches from Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' (1995)

Paula Rego works are scarce, making them auction gold. Christie’s upcoming October 13th offering, "Dancing Ostriches from Walt Disney’s ‘Fantasia’" (1995), is already turning heads. With its pre-sale estimate almost doubling Rego's previous £1.1 million record set by "The Cadet and His Sister" in 2015, the market's appetite is clear. For context, "Good Dog" (1994) traded in October 2021 for a higher value. This fervor coincides with celebrations of Rego's celebrated stint with the National Gallery, London.

💭My 2 Cents: Paula Rego's market traction is undeniable. Her National Gallery association and the rarity of her works amplify auction buzz. The surging estimates, particularly for "Dancing Ostriches," highlight more than just artistic appreciation - they signal a bullish market sentiment. In simple terms: Rego's works are a hot ticket.

Upgrade for the full batch of lots for this week…

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