5 Artworks to Buy Instead of Christie’s $450M Da Vinci

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Acclaimed art collector Shawn “Jay Z” Carter once wisely said, “I bought some artwork for one million. Two years later, that shit worth two million. Few years later, that shit worth eight million. I can’t wait to give this shit to my children.”

Looks like someone took his advice. Hours before writing this, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold at a Christie’s auction for a record-breaking $450.3 million. Touted as “the Last da Vinci” by the international auction house, the painting sold to the highest bidder on the night of November 15, 2017. The other fifteen or so surviving works by the famed Renaissance artist and thinker are housed in museums, and unattainable to private collectors. The masterpiece above was edited by art critic Jerry Saltz, but the actual painting of Jesus holding a crystal orb in his left hand, and raising his right hand in a gesture of blessing, can be seen below:

However, the painting comes with some baggage. Art experts still disagree on whether the artwork can actually be attributed to da Vinci. Besides the authenticity issue, the current condition of the painting has led some to disagreements on its value. Experts claim that the painting has been overly cleaned and heavily restored. When he saw the art piece in person, Jerry Saltz even heard a fellow onlooker speculate that “90 percent of it was painted in the last 50 years.”


For those who missed out on Salvator Mundi by a mere million or so, here’s a list of five possibly more-worthy artworks that will be available for auction at Christie’s in the near future. Get your paddles ready, ladies!

Keep in mind that the estimated auction price tends to be lower than the realized price in order to encourage competitive bidding. This list also doubles as a holiday gift guide for the rich and cultured, as well as my wishlist for anyone vying to win my affection.


1. Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Collaboration, 1983-1986. Estimated USD 400,000 to 600,000

It’s the work of two renowned artists in one painting! Plus, one of Basquiat’s Untitled paintings sold for $110.5 million just earlier this year. This piece is ideal for investors hoping to see an increase in value similar to Jay Z’s art collection. The collaboration between these two former best friends was truly ahead of its time. Warhol started most of the paintings with something concrete and recognizable, a large dollar-sign in this case, which Basquiat would paint over, and the cycle continued. Unfortunately, the exhibition was poorly received by member of the press, who wrote scathing reviews claiming that Warhol was taking advantage of Basquiat’s talent. These headlines may have sowed seeds of mistrust in Basquiat, because his friendship with Warhol dissolved shortly after. When Warhol unexpectedly passed away, the two had not yet repaired their relationship, which devastated Basquiat. This painting marks one of the heights of the friendship, and would be a much better gift than a friendship bracelet.


2. Roberto Montenegro, Self-Portrait, 1955. Estimated USD 80,000 to 120,000

If Salvator Mundi caught your eye, because of the painted presence of a crystal orb, Robert Montenegro proudly displays his artistic talents in this self-portrait. Sure, someone from the Renaissance (maybe da Vinci?) painted the blurriness that occurs when looking through a glass ball, but Montenegro’s work, try to follow along, is a painting of himself painting his curved reflection on a metal ball, which is the painting itself.


3. Yves Klein, Venus Bleue, (S 41), 1962/1982. Estimated USD 80,000 to 120,000

Doused in the color “International Klein Blue,” which Yves Klein invented himself but never patented, the Venus de Milo never looked better. If you can’t decide between collecting ancient or contemporary art, and wanted to compromise by meeting somewhere in the middle with the Renaissance Salvator Mundi, don’t. You can have the best of both worlds with this 1962 or 1982 sculpture that references ancient antiquity.


4. Jenny Holzer, Arno, 1996. Estimated USD 40,000 to 60,000

In light of #MeToo, celebrate the female artist who warned you that “MEN DON’T PROTECT YOU ANYMORE” and “ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE” by purchasing Jenny Holzer’s Arno. Since the artist’s proof will be up for auction, you’ll know that the artist, rather than exclusively studio assistants, definitely touched this piece, confirmation that is not guaranteed with the Salvator Mundi.


5. Attributed to Henri Manuel, Claude Monet with his palette in front of his work ‘Les nymphéas,’ 1920s. Estimated USD 1,544 to 2,316

Like the Salvator Mundi, we’re also not completely sure about who the artist is for this piece. The photograph is attributed to Henri Manuel, but honestly, the photographer isn’t the focal point of this piece. Sure the photograph is framed nicely, but I personally think the best part is the subject matter—Impressionist painter Claude Monet with brush and palette in hand, standing in front of his famed water lilies before they took up permanent residence at Musée de l’Orangerie.


With $450 million dollars, you can afford not one, but all of the artworks included above, and still have enough money for a comfy retirement. There’s another possibility I’d like to put out there though—maybe support living artists (like Alex Nunez who made the masterpiece below), rather than large auction houses and dead artists who will never see the profit.

(It’s my freckled sister, Lindsay Lohan fyi)

By: Harley
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