Auction Houses 2016

1. LONDON - The folks at Paddle 8 and Auctionata are very excited to announce that the two platforms—one with strength in Europe and the other with a base in the UK and US—are merging. The announcement comes with a raft of slick publicity materials, including portraits of the founders and the management teams all sharing a satisfied moment. There’s also a video (click through the image above to view) extolling the merger with movie-trailer self-confidence.
ArtNews whose parent company (update: turns out the Paddle8 stake held by ArtNews’s parent company was not acquired with the site) owns shares in Paddle 8 puts the figures more precisely than the company press release:
The deal between the two online auctioneers creates a newly formed company that will lay claim to 793,000 registered users in 200 countries and more than $150 million in joint annual sales, making it, according to a news release announcing the deal, one of the top ten auction houses in the world outside of China.
http://www.artmarketmonitor.com/2016/05/12/paddle-ata-paddle-8-merges-with-auctionata/

2. NEW YORK - The BBC does a quick limning of the week’s big buyer, Yusaku Maezawa who took
two days to acquire seven works worth nearly $100m and, in the process, pretty much saved the Spring New York auction cycle.
It is no secret that the art market follows influential collectors in whatever category they are passionate about. It is rare, though, for a buyer to emerge in this way, making seemingly random purchases of what happens to be on offer. It remains to be seen whether a buyer like Maezawa can shore up confidence and provoke more buyers to follow him.
In the meantime, the BBC offers some background information on the man:
Yusaku Maezawa made his money setting up the Start Today company in 1998 and online fashion retailer Zozotown in 2004.
The companies made him a billionaire by his mid-30s, and at the age of 40, Forbes magazine listed him as the 17th richest man in Japan with a personal wealth of $2.7bn. […]
Mr Maezawa is also the founder of the Contemporary Art Foundation in Tokyo, which he says puts on public shows twice a year.
He said in a statement he also plans to open a private gallery in his hometown of Chiba. http://www.artmarketmonitor.com/2016/05/12/will-the-man-who-saved-the-spring-auctions-become-a-tastemaker/

3. NEW YORK Heritage Auctions - Art Market Monitor
Global Coverage ~ Unique Analysis
Artelligence Podcast: Heritage Auctions’s Leon Benrimon
April 27, 2016 by Marion Maneker
Leon Benrimon is spearheading Heritage Auction’s expansion into Modern and Contemporary art and sales in New York. He speaks here about his focus on the middle market of works ranging in value from $10,000 to $1m, why he thinks that market is going to expand dramatically and Heritage’s unique use of the web for bidding and selling.
Podcast: http://www.artmarketmonitor.com/2016/04/27/artelligence-podcast-heritage-auctionss-leon-benrimon/
Leon Benrimon to lead Modern and Contemporary Art in New York at Heritage Auctions
Heritage continues to expand Modern and Contemporary in New York
Leon Benrimon
NEW YORK — Leon Benrimon has joined Heritage Auctions as Director of Modern and Contemporary Art for its New York office, continuing the company's expansion into the market. This follows Heritage's April 2015 announcement that it is effectively doubling the size of its Park Avenue space.
"Leon is an incredibly bright talent with a great eye and the drive to grow the category," said Greg
Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "As a company we anticipate great things from him as we continue competing for and auctioning the best available material in New York."
Prior to joining Heritage, Benrimon owned Benrimon Contemporary in New York, where he sold blue chip artworks on the secondary market in association with historical exhibitions, while dedicating himself to representing and supporting emerging, established and mid-career Contemporary artists working in a variety of mediums.
Leon grew up immersed in the art world, with parents who both own art galleries, and three siblings, all of whom also currently work in the art world. He received his Master's Degree at Christie's Education in New York and worked at family owned galleries on Fifth and Madison Avenues at David Benrimon Fine Art.
"I look forward to getting to work with the Heritage team in New York curating auctions and corresponding exhibitions that present collectors with innovative ways to explain the continuum of Modern and Contemporary art," he said. "I want my work to foster growth for the collectors, for institutions, for Heritage and for its staff."
His specialty will be working with new collectors and post-war artists — such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, Prince, Basquiat, Longo, Kusama Haring, Murakami and Hirst, among others.