Rare Picasso self-portrait expected to fetch $70 million

Conor Jordan, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s stands next to Pablo Picasso’s ‘Le Marin’ during a media preview of Christie’s Hong Kong Spring Sales in Hong Kong on March 30, 2018. (AFP/Philip FONG)
Updated 30 March 2018

Rare Picasso self-portrait expected to fetch $70 million

HONG KONG: A rare Picasso believed to be a self-portrait created when he was under threat of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp is expected to fetch $70 million at auction, Christie’s said Friday as the work went on view in Hong Kong.
The oil painting “Le Marin” depicts a sad-looking man dressed in a blue and white striped sailor’s shirt sitting on a chair.
“You have ... a slightly dark sense around the picture. It’s nervous, it’s on edge and slightly gloomy,” said Conor Jordan, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s.
The 130 by 81 centimeter (52 by 31 inch) vertical painting shows the man resting his head against his right hand, while his legs are crossed with his left hand on his knee.
“That’s a traditional symbol of melancholy,” Jordan added.
Created in 1943, during the Nazi occupation of France, the painting reflects the distress and anxiety of the Spanish painter who was under threat of being sent to a concentration camp in Germany.
Le Marin’s last appearance was 21 years ago at an auction of works from the collection of New York art collectors Victor and Sally Ganz.
The painting will be on view in Hong Kong until April 3 before traveling to London and then New York, where it will go under the hammer on May 15 as part of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale.
Le Marin is one of the five most important pieces by Picasso, according to Christie’s.
Last November, a series of 100 Picasso etchings which deal with his erotic obsessions and marital strife, as well as political turmoil in the 1930s, sold for 1.9 million euros ($2.2 million) in Paris to an unnamed American collector.
Picasso’s “The Women of Algiers (Version 0)” set a world record as the most expensive piece of art sold at auction when it fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in New York in 2015.


Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Updated 18 November 2019

Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

  • Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am said on Twitter he was racially targeted by a Qantas airline attendant
  • Qantas, which called the incident a ‘misunderstanding,’ has requested the rapper to retract his statement

MELBOURNE: Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.
The US singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.
He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-canceling headphones to “make beats.”
Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding,” has requested the rapper to retract his statement.
“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.
Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalized,” they said in a statement.
On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”
He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”
As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.
He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.
“This is what Twitter is for...we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.
Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.