Ovation: Winning A Million-Dollar Picasso With A One-Hundred-Euro Raffle Ticket.
Recently, we happened upon some artwork at a flea market that really caught our eye. We found a pair of large old black-and-white photographs that had been framed in simple black frames that will fit nicely into our unique collection. I’ve always been a fan of original, unique artwork and have acquired pieces like this in many different ways. One of my favorites is a “silent auction” fundraiser. At these fundraisers, you never know if you’re going to win the artwork or not. But you always know how much you’ll pay and exactly what you’ll get.
Jeffrey Gonano was looking for a picture to hang on his living room wall when he read about a drawing by Pablo Picasso entitled “L’Homme au Gibus” (“Man with Opera Hat”) that was to be raffled by Sotheby’s in Paris to raise funds for an association working to preserve the ancient city of Tyre in modern-day Lebanon. The twenty-five-year-old American art lover paid one hundred euros (US$140) for a chance to win the drawing.
“I was looking for art and I thought I might as well. I’m still in shock. I’ve never won anything like this before … obviously.” – Jeffrey Gonano
His was the winning ticket, one of 50,000 put up for sale online, picked by a computer system on Wednesday, and now the project manager at a fire sprinkler firm is the proud new owner of a Picasso valued at as much as one million dollars.
The small drawing dates from 1914, during the artist’s Cubist phase, and was purchased by the Association to Save Tyre from a New York gallery with the help of a large bank loan. The fundraisers organizers say they paid slightly less for the work than the one million dollar estimate given by Sotheby’s experts.
The sale was given the green light by Picasso’s grandson Olivier Picasso who said his grandfather would have been thrilled that his work was being put to good use.
“My grandfather was a pioneer in everything, in his love life, in his artwork, so tonight I’m sure he would have helped the cause.” – Olivier Picasso
Gonano, despite the value of his new “picture to hang on his living room wall”, has no plans to sell the artwork, at least for the time being. I, on the other hand, would already have it on the auction block. I certainly enjoy art, but a return on a one-hundred-dollar investment like that is too good to be true.
Would you sell the drawing for a profit of $999,900.00?
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