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7 top collectors about the work that got away

We’ve all felt a pang of regret when we come back to a store only to find that the item you kept thinking about has been sold to someone else. What about if that item is a work of art that could be worth millions? We asked a range of collectors about the works of art that got away – from vintage Yayoi Kusama to early Anish Kapoor.

Beatrice Bulgari: 80s Kapoor

Beatrice Bulgari. Photo by Sebastiano Pellion, courtesy of Beatrice Bulgari.

“Anish Kapoor in the 80s and even later! I had the opportunity to see some of Kapoor’s works in Sicily for the first time with art critic Demetrio Paparoni in the 1980s, but I missed that opportunity.”

Naomi Milgrom: Bourgeois Blues & Riley Regrets

Naomi Milgrom. Photo by Duncan Killick.

“Louise Bourgeois. I had set my sights on a work called Untitled (Love) carried out in 2000, but it was not to be. Someone posted me! Another work, a black and white oil painting by Bridget Riley, was a big miss for me. I simply couldn’t afford it.”

Oleg Guerrand: Don’t remind him

Oleg Guerrand. Image courtesy of the collector.

“I’d rather not remember.”

Jens Faurschou: pristine works on paper

Jens and Masha Faurschou. Photo by Sara Stenfeldt, courtesy of Jens Faurschou.

“That would be 152 beautiful drawings by Yayoi Kusama from the late 1950s to the early 1960s, plus a few sculptures and paintings. In 1995 we had the opportunity to purchase the works directly from the original owner. The works on paper were pristine, as if they had been made a day earlier. They’ve been in a drawer all these years. The asking price was $250,000 and the economic climate was tough. But then I should have bought them.”

Larry Warsh: Warhol Misery

Larry Warsh. Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images.

“Andy Warhol. An old friend of mine used to deal in antiques and jewelry with Andy in the 80’s. He showed up with a roll of Andy’s ‘Marilyn’, ‘Elvis’ and ‘Coca-Cola’ drawings. I was younger then, about twenty years old, and I didn’t quite understand the importance of the work. If I could go back in time!”

Pulane Kingston: You sleep, you lose

Pulane Kingston with Jadé Fadojutimi, My blown-up funeral (2018). Thanks to Pulane Kingston.

“When I traveled to Art Basel for the first time in 2016, I was completely green and overwhelmed by the number of people at the fair. I saw Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s most extraordinary painting at Jack Shainman Gallery, but I didn’t know I had to buy it right away. When I came back the next day it was gone.”

Juan Yarur Torres: Location, location, location

Juan Yarur Torres. Image courtesy of the collector.

“The silly answer is an apartment in New York, because my dad once made me an offer and I said, ‘No, I’m fine,’ and then I could never afford it again.”

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