West Highland Art Auctions Wants To Buy a $40-$60 Million Picasso

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Authors of The Art Hunters Handbook seek a major painting by the Modern Master

In addition to Sotheby's and Christie's, put West Highland Art Auctions on the list of avid Picasso hunters.

“If anyone is looking to sell their Picasso, we’re in the market,” West Highland Art Auctions’ owner Les Fox recently told a group of private investors interested in financing a Picasso auction at Sotheby’s or Christie’s.

“We have a few requirements. First, the painting must have impeccable provenance and authenticity must be unquestionable. There are more fake Picassos than any other artist, mainly because nearly 75 Picassos have sold at auction for over $10 million. Second, we only represent fresh-to-the-market paintings. So we’re looking for a Picasso that's been off the market for at least 40 or 50 years, like Picasso's 1932 La Reve, which sold at Christie's in 1997 for $48.4 million. Four years later, Steve Wynn the billionaire casino mogul bought the painting for $60 million and re-sold it for $155 million in 2013. And third, we want an eye-catching painting that will generate highly competitive bidding.”

Fox also wants a price tag that leaves room for a profit, the trademark of West Highland Art Auctions’ unique partnership program which shares auction profits with owners and investors.

“There are still a number of great Picassos in private hands,” claims Fox, an expert in 19th and 20th Century American and European oil paintings including Hudson River School, Impressionism, pre-War and Modern. “All of the major auction houses are dying to get a Picasso because nothing attracts attention like a Picasso masterpiece. Except maybe a Van Gogh.” In addition to Sotheby’s and Christie’s, put West Highland Art Auctions on the list of avid Picasso hunters.

“When Sue and I wrote The Art Hunters Handbook in 2012, we tried to educate the public about how to find and appraise the kind of art you see on Antiques Roadshow. In our auction business, we focus on paintings in the $25-$75,000 price range and we can handle art worth $500,000. However, within the past year quite a few investors have approached us about participating in a multi-million dollar art auction. Although hundreds of artists sell in that price range, we think the logical first choice is Pablo Picasso. The name Picasso is synonymous with famous and valuable art. A Picasso is still the gold standard.”

Fox offers a finder’s fee to anyone who can provide a lead on a suitable Picasso for his Art Auction Partnership program. “We’re into sharing,” he reiterates. “We’re looking for great paintings in all price ranges. But it would really be a feather in my cap to handle an important Picasso.”

In addition to oil paintings, the Foxes build multi-million dollar luxury homes and buy and sell United States rare coins dated 1794 to 1933. The New York Times bestselling authors are currently researching their next book: Picasso vs. Van Gogh, the story of two profoundly famous artists with profoundly different success stories.

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