In addition to two Rodin sculptures that sold for $16 million at Sotheby's spring auction last night, modern and impressionist works by Cézanne, Braque, Bonnard, and others made over $230 million across 17 lots. GalleristNY reports that the usual buyers and faces were in the room, including Helly Nahamad, who was recently arrested for money laundering (but did not comment on his situation or bid very much).
Music and pop culture celebrities aren't strangers to the art auction scene. Leonardo di Caprio, for example, is holding an auction with Christie's tonight to raise money for his environmental initiatives. When he's not trying to revive his career with confusing, controversial, Brad Paisely-featuring songs like last month's "Accidental Racist," LL Cool J is getting a skybox at Sotheby's, towering over the art world in a grey hoodie.
While no one knows if he actually bought anything, he was apparently very hard to miss—eating snacks and leaving after the $9.69 million phone sale of a 1969 Picasso musketeer painting. He could have very well been the phone buyer, and if he was, then a $725,000 Henry Moore piece from two lots before was his first real purchase of the night.
Judging by LL's decidedly sovereign presence over the auction last night, we aren't surprised that he's in the market to buy some great art. In other words, he's no accidental art collector.