Jeff Koons’s monumental sculpture Balloon Dog (Orange), achieved $58,405,000, setting a new world auction record for a living artist. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014. Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange), achieved $58,405,000, setting a new world auction record for a living artist.

According to Artprice, a Paris-based organization which keeps the world's biggest database on the contemporary art market sales of contemporary art, from July 2013 and onward , at public auctions reached $2.046 billion dollars, up 40% from previous year. Thirteen pieces alone fetched more than $12.8 million each, compared with four in the previous year. China has overtaken the US in terms of overall market share. China now has 40 percent of the world market with sales worth $811 million compared to $752 million for the US

The market's  three highest fetching artists remain unchanged, US artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, who died in 1988, Pop artist Jeff Koons and Christopher Wool account for sales at auction of $436 million. Koon holds the record for the most expensive work of art by a living artist ever sold at auction after "Balloon Dog" went under the hammer for $58.4 million at Christie's New York in November 2013,

Joan Mitchell Untitled(1960) sold for $11.9 million at Christie's in May setting a new world auction record for a female artist at auction. Joan Mitchell Untitled(1960) achieved $11.9 million, setting a new world auction record for a female.

Since 2004, works of art by the best-selling women have brought in 12¢ per dollar spent on those of their male counterparts, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg from the database of research firm Artnet.

Joan Mitchell, who died in 1992, broke the record for highest price for a work by a woman when a 1960 abstract painting sold for $11.9 million at Christie's in New York in May. She also remains the top selling female artist. Her work brought in $293.3 million from 1985 through June 30, tripling her total over the past five years.

The seven artists that follow in Artprice's top ten are Zeng Fanzhi (China), Peter Doig (Britain), Richard Prince (US), Martin Kippenberger (Germany) who died in 1997, and three more Chinese artists -- Luo Zhongli, Chen Yifei and Zhan Xiaogang. Fanzhi's 2001 painting "The Last Supper" was sold at auction in Hong Kong last year for $23 million.

Thierry Ehrmann, founder and president of Artprice comments that "the old adage that 'a good artist is a dead artist' was changing" as young and living artists sidestep galleries to sell directly through auction houses. "It's a real revolution. The two markets are in the process of merging," he says.

Comment