Actor Brad Pitt briefly sent camera phones on fire earlier today at the Art Basel art fair in Basel, Switzerland, when he lingered before Neo Rauch’s rainbow-colored racetrack painting, “Etappe,” at the booth of New York dealer David Zwirner.
The 1998 painting depicts a swirling view of a driver behind a red, Formula One-style racecar, with workers nearby carrying candy-colored hoses.
After eyeing the 9-foot-wide work for several minutes, Pitt rubbed his goatee, fiddled with his tweed driving cap, and walked away. Zwirner, looking slightly anxious, said, “He’s on the fence. Nothing wrong with that, I guess.”
Pitt returned minutes later with Eli and Edy the Broad, the major Los Angeles collectors. Pitt and Broad conferred and then the group left.
Broad, hours later, says he gave the actor a friendly nudge. “I told him we had four Rauchs and if he didn’t buy it, we probably would.”
The peer pressure worked: Pitt soon after agreed to buy the oil on linen Rauch for just under $1 million, the gallery confirmed. Source. Thanks Gabriella.
• x01 Art Fair – Basel, Switzerland (06/09/09).