Monday, July 26, 2010

Win and a place on Walsh

Charles Saatchi is giving his one away, Russian oligarch Abramovich’s girlfriend is extending hers and Australian David Walsh is building his underground for $67 million. The Walsh effort is just one of a new wave of private museums that are fast becoming the must-have for rich art collectors. Walsh’s art-buying clout comes via his skills as a mathematician and professional gambler. The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania will feature British artists like the Chapman Brothers, Chris Ofili (The Holy Virgin Mary seen in Charles Saatchi’s Sensation show) and Damien Hirst (it’s a fly work). Walsh famously paid $4 million for John Brack’s The Bar at Sotheby’s and has signed up to pay for all the remaining life work of 65-year old French artist Christian Boltanski. The collection of MONA is reckoned at over $125 million in value. The Museum is near Walsh’s Moorilla Estate winery just out of Hobart and is set to open in 2011.