BY ART + TIMES:
Parts of the Middle East may be in constant turmoil due to blooming revolutions and endless wars. But the people and culture remain strong. The art market in the region seems to be unfazed by all that is happening as you read this, thanks to global and local art collectors grabbing every worthy piece of work they can. Collectors are snapping up works by Iranian, Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian, and Egyptian artists at art fairs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, galleries in Tehran, New York, and London, and auctions in London and Dubai.
With 91 percent of works sold in last night’s offering, prices soared above estimates for several pieces, including Mahmoud Said’s “Marsa Matrouh” ($602,000 against a $250-300,000 estimate) and “Regeneration” by Lebanese painter Saliba Douaihy (1915-1994) deaccessioned by the North Carolina Museum of Art and purchased by an “International private collector” (according to Christie’s) for $278,000 – more than double its $120,000 high estimate, and an auction record for the artist). Also notable was the sale of Turkish artist Azade Koker’s “And It Was My Life That Was Flowing Slowly,” a photocollage tribute to Camille Claudel, for $86,500.