Ernie Barnes’ ‘The Sugar Shack’ sold for $15.2 million, 76 times its estimate


Some people recognize the painting from the 1970s sitcom “Good Times,” about a black Chicago family. Others who see it will think of Marvin Gaye’s 14th studio album “I Want You.”

it is “Sugar House” 1976 painting of a former professional football player Ernie Barnes. On May 12, Christie’s sold for $15.2 million, 76 times the high estimate.

The company said the sale set a new record and was the first time a Barnes work had been featured at an evening sale. website.

Hedge Fund Managers and Poker Players Bill Perkins The company said it purchased the piece after bidding more than 10.5 minutes.

A similar article by Barnes last November, “Soul of the BallroomSold from Danny and Donna Arnold’s collection at Christie’s for $550,000. A Christie’s spokeswoman said this was a record price before the Perkins acquisition. Estimated sale price is $80,000 to $120,000.

Emily Kaplan, co-head of Christie’s New York 20th Century Evening Sale, said the company wanted to make sure this year’s estimates were higher than ever, but not too high.

“Sugar Shack,” a painting depicting black men and women swinging, singing, and getting down in a club; estimated to sell for $150,000 to $200,000. Kaplan said the auction house had an idea that it would “break the estimate,” but they guessed it could fetch $2 million or $3 million.

Other auctions at Christie’s: Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe portrait sells for $195 million at auction

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Kaplan said the company knew it was a “very special painting” and they knew it was featured on Marvin Gaye’s album and sitcom. The market for Barnes’ work has been on an upward trend, she said.

A day after Perkins bought The Sugar House, Christie’s sold another Ernie Barnes work called “Dance of the Storm,” a Christie’s spokesman said. It sold for $2.34 million, but is estimated to sell for $100,000 to $150,000.

Barnes’ paintings have recently been recognized “in a new light,” Kaplan said, noting that in African American Museum of California Featuring “The Sugar Shack” and more.

“It’s really part of the cultural awareness that no other painting by Ernie Barnes has,” she said. “We certainly didn’t know until that moment that it was going to sell at the current level. It’s extremely rare, Very, very special.”

The night she bought the Sugar Shack, Perkins posted about it on Instagram, calling it a “childhood dream come true.”He told a social media user on Twitter that he planned to put it on his Room.

The auction house has online, day and night auctions, Kaplan said. Day sales and online sales are usually higher in volume but lower in value, while their highest value works are usually sold in night sales.

Marvin Gaye’s album and “Good Times” contributed to the work value of “Sugar Shack”.

“It’s safe to say that this adds to the cultural identity and resonance of the image,” she said.

Kaplan said the sale included a number of artists, including Claude Monet. She strives to involve more women artists and artists of color, who have long been overlooked by older white artists. She said there was objection to their inclusion in the canon of art history.

“I think it’s a real validation that we’ve included it and it has such an amazing price. There’s a strong market for art by artists of color. That’s really an important thing for me and shines a light on An incredible and underrated artist.”

Saleen Martin is a reporter for the NOW team at USA TODAY. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she loves all things horror, witches, Christmas and food.

Sallene Martin, [email protected]Twitter: @Saleen_Martin

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