BY BONNIE MCCARTHY for The Los Angeles Times
In Los Angeles, Picasso and Warhol pieces don't hang just in museums — they grace the walls in extravagant open houses.
At real estate's most rarefied level, when homes are selling for $10 million or more, "you're not going to be putting up Z Gallerie pieces anymore," said Billy Rose, president of the Agency in Los Angeles.
Instead, elite home stagers coordinate with art galleries to rent original art pieces to use during home showings. Like the houses themselves, the art is for sale.
Realtors and galleries say it's a win-win: The pieces make the homes feel more luxurious and one-of-a-kind, and the art is more likely to be sold if it's brought to a place where wealthy buyers are sure to pass through.
When staging a newly renovated estate in Pacific Palisades on the site of President Ronald Reagan's former home, the developers brought in Picasso sketches, works by David Hockney and Donald Sultan, a Vija Celmins ocean lithograph and two Ethan Murrow drawings.
The house was redone to appeal to a buyer with a deep affinity for the Golden State, so nearly all of the pieces "reference California or classic Western imagery," said Janus Cercone, principal of Los Angeles-based Jaman Properties.
Rare art rentals from places such as Jason Vass Gallery in L.A. and Hamilton Selway Gallery in West Hollywood are in line with other open house practices designed to help sell a luxe lifestyle: the vintage prestige cars sitting in the garage, the lavish custom furnishings and the catered champagne-and-caviar parties.
READ THE FULL STORY on The Los Angeles Times
LA brokers say luxury art and luxury houses sell one another
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Who needs art museums when you can just go to an open house?
Luxury real estate agencies are now coordinating with art galleries to display and sell original pieces during home showings. For the agencies and the galleries involved, it’s a double-win setup that augments the appeal of crème de la crème houses and gives buyable art monied exposure.
The developers of a renovated property in Pacific Palisades staged the residence to feature Picasso sketches, Ethan Murrow drawings and works by David Hockney and Donald Sultan.
The artwork, which referenced some element of Western imagery, played to the appeal of buyers attached to the brand of California, Jaman Properties principal Janus Cercone told the L.A. Times.
The added pizzazz isn’t without a cost. While borrowing the artwork is typically free, Cercone added that she must pay for insurance, logistics and security — which often amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.
But even if the house doesn’t sell, sometimes there is a happy ending for the featured artwork.
“I’ve seen the art sell to the person buying the house, and also to the person selling,” Paul Lester, a partner at the Agency, told the Times. “And I’ve had the experience where a potential buyer isn’t right for the house, but they come back for the art.” — Cathaleen Chen