By Lavacow Editorial
Lavacow gave art lovers the chance to buy a work by Adrian Ghenie, the Romanian artist who has caused a sensation on the Western art market. This is the first time when a work by Ghenie is sold at public auction in Romania. 11 contenders from 6 countries competed in a bidding process that comprised no less than 23 steps. The work is a self-portrait, painted in oil between 2000 and 2001, entitled "Self-Portrait with Laurels". Although it was created in the artist’s early career, more than ten years ago, the picture reveals the darkness and intensity that are quintessential of Ghenie’s oeuvre.
Why is this auction result significant? Firstly, because it is symptomatic of an increasing interest in groundbreaking Romanian artists who, though celebrated abroad, have previously been barely accessible to the Romanian public. Secondly, because it reveals that for high-end artists, the art market is a truly globalized one: a work by an important artist can sell in Romania as well as it does on the most important bidding floors in London or New York. While Eastern European works have become attractive enough to be accepted within the Western paradigm of “valuable” art, at the same time Eastern European art markets are becoming open and strong enough to manage pieces that fit into the latter category, further supported by the right technology that enables collectors to get easy access to artworks all over the world.