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Trend in sight

Oscar Murillo, a market trend

Art Market | During the second half of 2013, the prices of Colombian artist Oscar Murillo’s pieces rocketed in the secondary market. However, the auction high seemed to be caused by a sudden speculative phenomenon, since a year later the value of his artworks started declining steadily in the auction market.

Oscar Murillo © Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images
Oscar Murillo
© Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

In 2013, Oscar Murillo’s auction sales totaled $4.853.942 (est. $1.103.663 - $1.613.264). Except for the painting Let me be (2011), the artist’s 23 lots were sold above the estimates, with sales records made by the pieces Untitled (Drawings off the wall) (2011) and Untitled (2011) sold respectively by Philips New York for $401.000 ($30.000 - $40.000) and by Christie’s London for $389.199 ($30.660 - $45.991). Throughout this exceptional year in the young artist’s career, 80% of the sales were above $100.000 although most of the lots’ estimates were between $10.000 and $90.000 (20/24).

Nevertheless, in the course of the following years, there has been a decline in the number of works that have come to auction with an irrefutable loss of value of the pieces.

- Throughout the year 2014, 31 lots were auctioned, reaching a total amount of approximately $3.7 million (est. $1,970,412 - $2,859,771). However, the market’s cooling began with two unsold pieces, including Touch me with your greasy hands from 2012 (est. $150,000 - $200,000) and with sales under the estimates such as the painting Dark Americano sold for $245,000 (est. - $500,000).

- This downward trend was confirmed in 2015, when only 14 of the 20 pieces that came to auction were sold for a total amount of $3.031.861 (est. $2.043.907 - $2.991.982) ; six works, (that is 30%) were bought-in. Despite a few exceptions such as Untitled (2014) which was sold for a price that remained high : $379.080 (est. $154.726 - $232.090), the works that were auctioned for the second time saw their value decrease, it is the case of La era de la sinceridad (2013), which had been sold for $100.530 in 2014 and was left unsold in 2015.

- In 2016, the downward trend in terms of volume and value of sales persisted. Nine lots came to auction for a total amount of $519.440, well below the least optimistic expectations (est. $602.822 - $842.657). More than 30% of the lots were bought-in and only works with the lowest estimates reached a sales price above its estimates : Untitled (2009) sold for $14.147 (est. $7.545 - $10.060) and Number 11 (2012) sold for $58.154 (est. $26.585 - $39.877).

Vincent Kozsilovics
Publié le 25/04/2017
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Oscar Murillo © Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

Oscar Murillo
© Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images

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