On Wednesday, Sotheby's set a new world price record for art sales, bringing in $44.6 million each for Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art painting Sleeping Girl and Figure Writing Reflected in a Mirror by British artist Francis Bacon.
A total of 46 pieces were sold for a combined $266.6 million, including a $37.04 million sale of Double Elvis [Ferus Type], Andy Warhol's silkscreen and paint portrait of The King.
Of course, all three artists are dead and won't get to enjoy the fat stacks. No surprise since that's how these things tend to work.
Because these blockbuster sales are an inexact science -- it's not easy to predict what's going to rake in millions -- here are five items that, for one reason or another, will never score a colossal sale.
5. Original Score for John Cage's 4'33"
Multiple scores exist for the controversial piece by the late avant-garde composer that dictates the playing of zero sounds for four minutes and 33 seconds. Though this would be a choice item for some, the original August 1952 Woodstock version of the silent composition is currently missing.
4. Mierle Laderman Ukeles's Touch Sanitation
Unless performance art becomes a tangible commodity with an assigned dollar value, pieces such as Mierle Laderman Ukeles's Touch Sanitation aren't going to sell. This includes Ukeles's ten-year piece that showcased the feminist-centric artist shaking hands with New York City Department of Sanitation workers and praising them with a "thank you for keeping New York City alive."
During Art Basel Miami 2011, the New York City-stationed artist, who had immersed herself in industrial pig farms for past works, really went for it inI Like Pigs and Pigs Like Me (104 hours)
. For more than four days, Kim ate and slept inside of a glass box with the animals. If endurance art could be rewarded with money, Kim would be a million bucks richer.
2. Any work from Nicolas Lampert's "Meatscape" series
by the Milwaukee/Chicago-based mixed-media artist replace jagged mountains and bodies of water with gristly slabs of beef, sausage links and raw ham. There isn't anything quite like this out there, which means that this amazing collection will probably stay off the radar for quite some time.1. Anything by Diane Arbus
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
It's true. Arbus's groundbreaking work -- which, in her words, often depicted "deviant and marginal people or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal" -- has sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars but never for $1 million or more. Doesn't make much sense, especially after someoneforked over $4.3 million for what is now the world's most expensive photograph