LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — How much would you pay for a Picasso painting? In a couple of months, we'll get a better idea of the price tag when Las Vegas hosts one of the most expensive art auctions of all time.
On Oct. 23, get ready to break the bank at the Bellagio. 11 authentic pieces by Pablo Picasso art, estimated to be worth more than $100 million dollars in total, will hit the auction block in honor of Pablo Picasso's 140th birthday.
"Pablo Picasso, without a doubt, is the most important and famous artist of the 20th century," said Brett Maly, President of Art encounter and a well-known art appraiser in Las Vegas. "You're going to get a wide variety of period, you're going to get a wide variety of subject matter, you're going to get a wide variety of media. So you get a little bit of everything that makes Picasso great in this auction," said Maly.
The art is owned by MGM Resorts Int. but will be sold by Sotheby's, in what the companies are calling the largest and most significant fine art auction to ever take place in Las Vegas.
"I don't think that's hyperbole at all. There's really no doubt about it. It is and will be the most important art auction to ever occur here in Las Vegas," said Maly.
From paintings to works on paper to ceramics, Maly says these 11 masterpieces span Picasso's life and showcase his diverse art skill set.
"Running from about 1919 through to about 1970 shortly before his passing. So really you get all facets of his career, from the infancy of cubism all the way through to his last few days, so that's exciting," said Maly.
When asked why they plan to sell these priceless Picassos, MGM Resorts’ Chief Hospitality Officer Ari Kastrati sent a statement that reads, “Through a series of sales and acquisitions, MGM Resorts will diversify its artistic works to ensure our extensive public fine art collection more closely mirrors our company’s strong corporate beliefs around diversity and inclusion, and accurately reflects who we are made up of as a company as well as the guests we welcome daily. We plan to reshape our collection to be even more inclusive, providing a showcase for women, artists of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, and artists with disabilities – voices currently under-represented in our portfolio, and in the world generally.”
It's worth noting that at least one of these works was once owned by Steve Wynn, the casino mogul who was accused of sexual misconduct three years ago, allegations he has denied.
Maly fully expects these Picasso pieces will fetch a fortune.
"The one that I'm most excited about is the portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, who was Picasso's muse and lover and really inspired a lot of his portrait works of the 1930s. And some of those works have been some of his most collected and coveted throughout the years. I would not be surprised if that work ended up north of $100 million dollars which would be exciting, especially right here in Las Vegas," said Maly.
The exhibition will run Oct. 21-24 at the Bellagio with the auction taking place on Oct. 23.
There will be some other luxury items on exhibit like cars, jewelry, and watches. If you'd like to learn more, click this link.