Beksiński’s masterpiece breaks ‘2 million’ auction record – The First News
A painting by Zdzisław Beksiński sold for a record figure of almost PLN 2 million.
Entitled ‘Postać’ (Figure), the oil on cardboard 89x89cm with the artist’s signature on the back has been sold for PLN 1.6 million to ‘Fantastic Art. Auction of surrealism and magical realism held at Desa Unicum in Warsaw.
Once the buyer’s premium was added by the auction house, the value rose to PLN 1.92 million, which is a final sale price more than double the value of the previous record for a painting of Beksiński up for auction.
Writing on its website, the auction house said: “The growing popularity of the painter and the whole trend in fantasy art over the past decade has increased the value of painting nearly 27 times.”
Created in 1978, the painting was auctioned by private collectors having previously been exhibited at the “Beksiński in Warsaw” exhibition held at the KONESER Praga Center in Warsaw.
Beksiński, born in the southeast of the town of Sanok in 1929, was known for his specialization in dystopian surrealism and is considered to have two distinct periods of his artistic work.
The first took place from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, which the artist himself called his “fantastic” period.
His later work focused on a central image with simplified backgrounds.
At the end of the 1990s, he discovered digital photography and photo manipulation, which interested him until his death.
His final years were filled with personal tragedy which he expressed in his art.
In 1998 his wife died of cancer and a year later his son Tomasz, a music journalist, committed suicide.
At the age of 75, Beksiński was stabbed to death by the teenage son of his housekeeper, to whom he had refused to lend money.
Ten years after his death in 2005, 40 short stories he had worked on but remained unfinished were published.
Beksiński’s influence on modern culture has moved beyond the worlds of art and literature with a number of metal groups using his paintings as cover art, as well as several recent video games heavily influenced by his style and his paintings.