In Paris, Soccer Player’s Tagged Rolls-Royce Fetches $167,000 to Help the Homeless

It was expected to sell for €25,000 ($33,000), but soccer player Eric Cantona’s graffiti-covered Rolls-Royce went for five times as much, €125,000 ($167,000), at Artcurial’s street art auction on Tuesday. The auction house did not charge any fees because Cantona sold the piece to benefit the Fondation Abbé Pierre, which helps the homeless. A French collector will drive off with the artwork, which was tagged by artist JonOne.

Led by auctioneer Arnaud Oliveux, the sale totaled €1.2 million ($1.6 million), with modestly priced works (from €2-4,000 or $2,700-5,300) attracting lots of attention from bidders. An untitled work by Futura 2000 from 2004 sold for €2,059 ($2,750), but his aerosol and acrylic painting “Reflections” (2001), estimated at €35-50,000 ($46,700-66,700), didn’t find a buyer.

Non-vehicular works by JonOne also sold well, with “Strictly for Kings or Better” (2009) surpassing its €25,000 ($33,000) estimate to reach €36,037 ($48,000), and his modern-looking “Past, Present, and Future” (1994, estimated €4-5,000 or $5,300-6,700) fetching €9,653 ($12,900).

One-of-a-kind street art objects also met with big success. Pure Evil’s shiny neon blue “Infinite Neon Butterfly” (2012) doubled its estimate when it sold for €7,079 ($9,400). Invader’s “Camo Rubik Octopus” (2005), in which the space invader figure is made of Rubik’s cubes, fetched the same amount, and his mosaic skateboard sold for €4,119 ($5,500). But the evening’s biggest surprise came when C215’s stenciled yellow postal box scored €23,167 ($30,900) including fees, eclipsing its estimate of just €5-7,000 ($6,700-9,300).

— Nicolai Hartvig, ARTINFO France