On May 11, an anonymous buyer at Christie’s in New York set a record when they placed a bid for $US179.4 million for “Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’),” a vibrant canvas painted by Pablo Picasso in 1955.
It was the most anyone had ever paid for a single work of art at an auction.
Though we don’t know who the buyer was, only a select group of people could reasonably afford such a splurge. As a recent New York Times article points out, if you assume no one would spend more than 1% of their net worth on a piece of art, the buyer would need to have a fortune of at least $US17.9 billion.
Many of today’s wealthiest people have made their fortunes in tech. Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Paul Allen are all tech moguls ranking in the top 50 of Forbes’ billionaire list. They are also all known to have extensive art collections worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Ellison, for example, has a collection of Japanese art and artifacts that reportedly contains as many as 500 pieces.
Read more at Business Insider.