A homeless man who broke into a storefront art gallery in Tribeca, New York, and then fell asleep on the floor, has been purchased for a record sum following a rampant bidding war between two foreign buyers.
“I think it spoke to the humanity in all of us,”said fine art broker, Gillian Gillespie, who was there for the sale, “and in particular to two very wealthy people from China who simply had to have it. I mean him.”
‘Jarrold Merriweather, No Fixed Address,’ was the official title of the piece, sold in a Sotheby’s pop-up auction. This has become an increasingly popular format of selling items ‘in the wild’ as the venerable art dealer’s website states. There is nothing to indicate this is meant to be darkly humorous or ironic.
Jarrold fetched an unprecedented $42 million, more than twice the previous amount collected for a human being simply trying to stay warm, surprising analysts and proving, once again, that life imitates art – plus commission.
“I can’t say I was all that surprised.” Said Mr. Hibrough, founder and editor of Ogle magazine. “Last year a lone pallet left leaning against a display case in a gallery went for $565,000, and sold two months later for just under a million. I think we have yet to see the upper reaches of where this trend can go. Should Mr. Merriweather wake up today and perform a stunt, such as urinating in the middle of the art space, telling us all to go fuck ourselves, or asking who took his Jesus, his value as art could as much as double.”