Sales at Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland fared fairly well this year, despite the economy. A number of big name buyers – including Steve Schwarzman, Wilbur Ross, and Eli Broad – were all in attendance.
The most buzz-worthy piece in the collection, however, came from an unlikely source. A sculpture titled “The Simple Things,” designed by Takashi Murakami and Pharrell Williams sold for more than $2 million a mere 20 minutes after the prestigious art show opened. It was, unsurprisingly, the festival’s must-see piece.
Murakami, who previously collaborated with Marc Jacobs for a number of now-iconic Louis Vuitton pieces, is the leader of the Japonism movement.
He’s an artist, movie animator, author, and the head of Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. The visionary teamed up with Pharrell – Grammy award-winning artist, producer and designer of Billionaire Boys’ Club and Ice Cream – and Jacob & Co to create the sculpture, which offers a new take on everyday items.
The sculpture – which includes a bottle of ketchup, a bag of Doritos, a condom wrapper, an Ice Cream sneaker, a bottle of Johnson’s baby lotion, a can of Pepsi, and a Magnolia Bakery cupcake – took more than two years to complete and has been carefully handcrafted in 18K gold and set with more than 26,000 diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, some featuring hand-painted enamel.
Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.