A record smashing auction saw a work by the Iraqi artist Jewad Selim, “The Watermelon Seller”, being sold for £668,750.
The painting was on sale at the yearly ‘Middle Eastern Modern & Contemporary Art’ event held in London by the internationally renowned auction house Christie’s. The price exceeded the previously made estimations, according to which the painting was expected to be sold for a highest price of £250,000.
Other record-breaking artworks were Mahmoud Sabri’s “Grief” (sold for £668,750), Mahmoud Saïd’s “Hanem” (£320,750) and Shafic Abboud’s “Chambre verticale 1”, “Chambre verticale 2” and “Chambre verticale 4 (£368,750).
The artworks on sale belonged to artists from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Iran and Turkey.
The auction reached a total sale of £5,235,125. The event, held every year in Dubai, was moved to London for the first time in eleven years in order to reach a bigger public of Arab and Middle Eastern art lovers. In fact, a high number of international bidders from twenty-three countries was recorded, many of whom took part through Christie’s online bidding tool.
‘Holding our first Middle Eastern Modern and Contemporary Art Sale in London was an important next step in the recognition of the arts from the region’, says Michael Jeha, Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of Christie’s Middle East, who also announced that the next Middle East art sale will be held in Dubai during the Dubai Art Week on Thursday 22 March 2018.
Founded in 1766, Christie’s is one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses with offices in more than forty countries. In the latest years, they have been increasingly focusing on the Middle Eastern and Asian markets. Through its educational institution, Christie’s Education, it also offers online learning programmes in English, Arabic and Chinese Mandarin.