Last Friday, a portrait produced by artificial intelligence was hanging at Christie’s New York opposite an Andy Warhol print and beside a bronze work by Roy Lichtenstein. On Thursday, it sold for well over double the price realized by both those pieces combined.
“Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy” sold for $432,500 including fees, over 40 times Christie’s initial estimate of $7,000-$10,000. The buyer was an anonymous phone bidder.
The portrait, by the French art collective Obvious, was marketed by Christie’s as the first portrait generated by an algorithm to come up for auction. It was inspired by a sale earlier this year, in which the French collector Nicolas Laugero Lasserre bought a portrait directly from the collective for about 10,000 euros, or about $11,400.
The Andy Warhol print that hung across from the portrait last week sold for $75,000; the Roy Lichtenstein work sold for $87,500. Both prices include fees. Those two pieces were part of the same sale as “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy.” (The sale included 363 lots.)