In a bid to take control of his art, incensed that his work was being flipped so soon after it was purchased, Amoako Boafo enlisted the help of 2 recent acquaintances to bid on his own work at auction.
Excerpt from the Artnet expose read…
‘Estimated at around $40,000 to $65,000, the painting of a woman in a fruit-patterned maillot was slated first in the sale, a spot reserved for the lot with the most feverish interest. But even the advance buzz didn’t prepare anyone for what happened: after a fierce bidding war, The Lemon Bathing Suit sold for $880,971. Simchowitz had paid $22,500 for the work (he got a 10 percent discount on the full price), which meant the sale generated a tidy 3,815 percent return. Halfway around the world, at Frieze Los Angeles, the price was all anyone could talk about. Who could possibly have paid that sum for a work by an artist so new to the scene? The buyer of The Lemon Bathing Suit, sources said, was a mysterious London-based collector named Ari Rothstein, a 29-year-old real-estate executive... Boafo confirmed that Rothstein was the buyer. He knew because Rothstein was bidding on behalf of a client. And the client was Amoako Boafo…’
Calculated, shrewd, shocking, perhaps even distasteful but it wasn’t a crime. If anything, perhaps buyers should sign a contract to share some proceeds from flipping with artists. At the time the article came out, Sotheby’s was auctioning a painting of Boafo’s in its Modern and Contempory Art Auction and I was almost certain the revelations would affect the sale estimate, perhaps even negatively. Well not so, declared the art world, the untitled piece estimated at £40,000 - 60,000 was sold for £302,400. We can argue that it didn’t achieve the phenomenal returns of ‘The Lemon Bathing Suit’ but it is still impressive returns for a relatively new artist. So, how do we assess the true worth of @amoakoboafo amazing pieces? I don’t know but I am still fascinated. All hail the new kid on the block.
All images belong to the artist.