This week illustrates the deep connections between art and passionate collecting and investing, with a lot of high end buying going on! Why now? It could be that holiday shopping, beginning with Black Friday, is imminent. Sales and auctions involving substantial art, the listing of the (as of this second) most expensive home ever, and a new Macy’s app that can make the process of shopping as instantaneous as it can get, may all seem related to this time of year, when holidays and year’s end buying are here. Now. Right now.

The Christie’s Auction: Elvis Lives

Elvis Presley, looking very determined and serious in Andy Warhol’s “Triple Elvis (Ferus Type)” taken from a publicity shot for his 1960 movie “Flaming Star,” had been expected to sell for around $60 million at a Christie’s auction that was held Wednesday night, November 12th. However, Elvis was taken home by a buyer who paid nearly $82M for it.

And this was just one of the paintings that had astronomical sales prices. Christie’s combined eighty works for sale, and twenty-two were expected to sell for more than $10M each. Nine were supposed to bring in over $20M each. And this fortuitous forecast came true.

It is our highest total ever,” said Brett Govey, Christie’s worldwide chairman of postwar and contemporary art.” The sale totaled $852.9 million, far above its forecasted estimate of $836M. The evening also overwhelmed the Sotheby’s art auction on Tuesday, that brought in $343.6 million.

La Plata River Doplhin Andy Warhol 1986

The Pop-Up Art Sale: Andy Lives

Christie’s and the JW Marquis Miami announced a first of its kind pop-up art sale at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. It will be the first time Warhol’s original art will be available for purchase at a JW Marriott property.

The selling event, which was announced just this week, will be held December 3-4 on the hotel’s fifth floor, and will coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach 2014.   The exhibit is part of Andy Warhol at Christie’s, a multi-year, multi-platform partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  A curated group of more than 20 paintings, photographs, prints, and works on paper, will be available for sale, many have never been seen before, with price points ranging from $3,000 to $50,000.

As with all sales in Andy Warhol at Christie’s—including live auctions, online-only auctions, and private sales — all works are drawn from the collection of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with proceeds benefitting the Foundation’s grant-making programs. The primary focus of the Foundation’s grant-making activity has been to support the creation, presentation, and documentation of contemporary visual arts, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized, or challenging in nature.
 
slidepzero and other products

High Fashion From…Audi and Pirelli Tires

The German carmaker Volkswagen will be involved in high fashion, and soon. After purchasing Lamborghini and motorcycle company Ducati, Volkswagen is now pairing its luxury Audi line with Pirelli tires to create a clothing brand. Pirelli has been making clothing for years and has a store in Milan’s famous shopping district. Now it will design outerwear for the German car brand, all available through Audi and in the Pirelli stores.

The tire brand already has its own line of products called PZero, which launched in 2002. Not surprisingly, rubber is a highlighted material: the line includes rubber boots and rain jackets

The new jacket in the joint project is called “Audi Powered by PZero.” It reflects the design of Audi cars, with diamond stitching reminiscent of Audi’s RS models and an Audi logo inside the jacket.

Audi is among the latest car manufacturers to debut a line of products in an effort to expand the brand, rather than simply boost car sales. Ferrari has an extensive range of products, and Porsche has been making clothes, and many other items – including Shisha (or, Hookah) pipes, for its Porsche Design Studios for many years.

macys app

I Want IT NOW! A New Macy’s App is called the Shazam Of Fashion

Macy’s is set to launch a new app that will have the ability to identify items or similar items in their inventory from any images taken on a smartphone.. Customers can upload or snap photos with the app and with an image recognition software, suggestions will be presented to them, available for immediate purchase. It has been called the Shazam Of Fashion — Shazam being an app that can identify songs by listening to short clips. Macy’s app strives to do the same thing visually.

Kent Anderson, president of Macys.com, explained this process in a recent interview, that if someone sees something they like on a friend or a celeb, the app lets customers “directly shop for corresponding products from macys.com and buy them without a lengthy search.”

The mobile image recognition software, findSimilar, was vital to the development of app. This proprietary software belongs to Cortexia, who partnered with Macy’s Idea Lab in San Francisco to develop the project.

The app will interpret images in the same way by searching their inventory based on color, texture, pattern and shape. Macy’s has already tested the app for three months and is moving forward with the project for the holidays.

Palazzo-di-Amore-600x399

The Palazzo di Amore, Almost Priceless

The Palazzo di Amore, the nearly eight-year project of real-estate investor Jeff Greene, has listed this week for $195 million, making it, right now as of this writing, the most expensive residential listing in the country.

In Beverly Hills, the 25-acre compound includes about 53,000 square feet of living space, 12 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms across several buildings. A quarter-mile driveway runs past a vineyard before reaching the main home, an over 35,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style villa.

A separate, roughly 15,000-square-foot entertainment center has a bowling alley, a theater that seats 50, a dressing room, and a discothèque with a rotating dance floor. Other amenities include a Turkish-style spa and a 128-foot-long reflecting pool.

According to a recent interview, Mr. Greene said he bought the estate as an investment property. Mr. Greene said he always intended to sell the property, but construction wasn’t completed “until literally a month ago.” He estimated he spent $25 million to complete the home, which was a shell when he bought it.

The property is listed with Joyce Rey and Stacy Gottula of Coldwell Banker Previews International.