This Monday, NIGO and Sotheby’s kicked off their long-anticipated “NIGOLDENEYE® Vol. 1” auction of coveted items from the Japanese designer’s personal collection. Leading the lots is a record-breaking sale of one KAWS artwork. The piece in question is a 2005 painting by the Brooklyn-based artist entitled THE KAWS ALBUM which sold for over 14 times its pre-sale estimate of $6,000,000 HKD – $8,000,000 HKD (approx. $765,000 USD – $1,020,000 USD).
THE KAWS ALBUM painting is a parody of The Beatles’ iconic album cover, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). The artwork also portrays a group portrait of Simpsons-inspired characters, known famously in the artist’s oeuvre as the Kimpsons, with the ubiquitous XX motif over the eyes of the subjects portrayed.
The winning bidder purchased the piece for $116 million HKD ( approx. $14.8 million USD) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. The sale set a new auction record for KAWS, outshining his landmark auction back in March 2018 when Phillips sold his Untitled (Fatal Group) (2004) painting for $2.9 million USD.