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Phillips to offer works from the collection of baseball star Alex Rodriguez
Richard Prince, Mustang Painting. Signed, inscribed and dated 'Richard Prince 2014-2016 #2' on the reverse, inkjet and acrylic on canvas, 177.2 x 121.6 cm (69 3/4 x 47 7/8 in.) Executed in 2014-16. Estimate: £700,000 - 1,000,000.

LONDON.- Phillips will offer works from the private collection of American baseball star and art collector Alex Rodriguez, in the upcoming Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art in London on 27 June. Considered one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball—setting numerous records for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees—Rodriguez has employed his passionate spirit and acute eye to pursue new ventures within the realm of art. Two works which have resided in his Florida home will figure prominently in the Evening Sale – Richard Prince’s Mustang Painting, 2014-16, and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pink Elephant with Fire Engine, 1984.

Alex Rodriguez has said, “I have been collecting for a decade. A number of gallerists and advisors pointed me in the right direction, and I have been in conversation with several artists, whose studio practice seem close to my own as an athlete.”

Robert Manley, Phillips’ Worldwide Co-Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, said, “Alex Rodriguez has solidified his reputation as one of the greatest athletes in American history, but one important aspect of his life that is far less well-known to the public is his life as a collector of contemporary art. Over the last ten years, since he began his collecting journey, Alex has acquired an exceptional collection of works, featuring some of the art scene’s most coveted names, and we are honored to have been entrusted with the sale of these two extraordinary paintings.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pink Elephant with Fire Engine pulsates with the artist’s characteristic energy. The work, which has been exhibited internationally over the last thirty-five years, not only mirrors the energy of New York’s bustling cultural scene, but also conflates a number of the artist’s most revered artistic tropes and idiosyncrasies, brimming with chromatic vigor and presenting a spontaneous, gestural style throughout.

Falling within the iconographic field of muscle-car culture, Mustang Painting presents an iridescent mustang cruising amidst an abstract and indistinct mass of blue paint. A brilliant example of Prince’s thematically driven work, the work continues the artist’s sustained exploration of his series-oriented practice, the most celebrated of which focus on various different elements of the same fetishized culture: cars, nurses, cowboys and dry jokes.

This sale marks the first time that both Richard Prince’s Mustang Painting and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pink Elephant with Fire Engine are being offered for sale publicly. Phillips is honoured to have the opportunity to present these two works as leading lots in the June Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art.

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