Be a man and be dead. We’ve heard that before…now here’s the data

August 5th, 2012 | Posted by Julie in art | data | research | slideshow


“Great art doesn’t come cheap, and with this interactive graphic, you can see which ones took the highest price in auctions from 2008-2011. How do you fetch a high price? Be a man—and be dead.

French freelance journalist Jean Abbiateci created this chart that shows the 270 most expensive artworks sold at auction in those years based on data from ArtpriceMutualart, and Artvalue. The more expensive the art, the bigger the bubble is. (Get it?) The biggest bubble belongs to Pablo Picasso’s 1932 Nu au plateau de sculpteuror Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, at $95 million. (The prices don’t include the fee the buyer must pay to the auction house. With it, the painting pricetotaled $106.5 million, a recordsetting figure.)

Beyond the bubble comparisons, Abbiateci allows you to see comparisons between dead artists versus living ones, male artists versus female, and more, by clicking in the bar to the left. Most striking: All but three of the most expensive artworks were created by male artists. Similarly, most of the sold works were by dead artists, proving the old saying that everybody will love you more when you’re dead. And while the big blue bubble for sculpture L’Homme qui marche I by Alberto Giacometti sold for an impressive $92.5 million, paintings—the orange bubbles—make up the majority of the most expensive artworks auctioned off.”

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