One morning last fall, American graffiti artist Cope2 (real name: Fernando Carlo) walked up the Rue Oberkampf in Paris to a bare wall abutting the century-old Café Charbon. A bald, thickset man dressed in a black T-shirt, jeans and work boots, he contemplated the surface while a crew of helpers tested a ladder for weight and unpacked bags of spray paint. Donning a protective mask, the 45-year-old practitioner of New York’s so-called Wildstyle shook the day’s first aerosol can and confidently began a billboard-sized composition consisting of the word Cope rendered repeatedly in blue and green balloon letters outlined in black.
Paintings by Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat boosted a 87.9 million-pound ($146 million) Sotheby’s auction as wealthy collectors from 40 countries competed for established and emerging art trophies.
Kour Pour, the 26-year-old whose detailed paintings depict Persian rugs, drew such a frenzy for his first solo exhibition that his works sold out before the opening last month at New York’s Untitled Gallery.
French billionaire Bernard Arnault and U.S. financier Henry Kravis browsed France’s largest art fair as a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting and a wrecked Ferrari were among early big-ticket sales last night.