By Nii B. Andrews.

The pandemic has forced auction houses to adopt novel strategies in order to conduct business successfully.

Christie’s employed a hybrid format of in-person and online sales last week Wednesday in a combined auction involving their Hong Kong and New York salerooms.

The auction in another innovative move, featured work spanning 1889 to 2019; the traditional stylistic categories were completely jettisoned.

BABA DIOP: Amoako Boafo, oil on canvas, 83 1/8 x 66 in. (211 x 167.5 cm.), 2019. signed and dated ‘AMOAKO M BOAFO 2019 KING’ (lower right). Provenance – Private collection, acquired directly from the artist. Acquired from the above by the present owner.

BABA DIOP is a figurative portrait by the Ghanaian artist, Amoako Boafo that “pictures emotional intimacy on a monumental scale”.

It sold for USD 1.14M which was more than 5x its pre auction estimate.

This sale eclipsed the previous record ( USD 880 971) set for the artist’s work in February 2020 at Phillips London.

The Guggenheim Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Vienna’s Albertina Museum have all acquired Boafo’s work.

Amoako Boafo, ‘I Stand by Me’, 2020, exhibition installation view at Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago.

Christie’s Dec 2nd auction was a carefully coordinated production.

It fetched a total of USD119.3M, well in excess of the reported pre-sale estimate of above USD 95M. 

Of the 49 lots, 44, or 90 percent, found buyers. 

PURPLE ON RED: Amoako Boafo, 2019 Image courtesy Phillips.

Finally, just barely 48 hours ago on Monday night; at Phillips’s evening sale of 20th Century and contemporary art in New York; Amoako Boafo’s signature, finger-painted portrait PURPLE ON RED (2019) – shown immediately above – sold for USD 756,000 well above the high expectation of USD 300,000.

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