on the grapevine

Rumours abound that British collector Charles Saatchi and White Cube’s Jay Jopling are locked in competition over the works of hot American artist Terence Koh. Both were bidding on Koh’s cast of his own body, The Camel Was God, the Camel Was Shot, 2007 (below) at Phillips de Pury in February (Saatchi eventually secured it for £72,500). The rumour is this is just one of Koh’s works that Mr Jopling is actively pursuing. Is UK representation on the cards? White Cube declines to comment.

While Takashi Murakami bought a Grayson Perry sculpture at New York’s Armory fair, his own works are being collected by Damien Hirst. The British artist has recently bought three small

single-flower paintings. Murakami’s people would not disclose which ones or at what price, but a similar work, Flower of Joy, Blueberry Mint, 2007, right, sold recently at Phillips de Pury in London for £60,500 ($119,801).

Jean Pigozzi, who has amassed the world’s largest collection of contemporary African art over the past 18 years, is now turning his eye towards Russia. “Sadly I have been 99% unsuccessful at finding anything up to now that really turned me on,” he tells The Art Newspaper, “but I will not give up.”

Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s star auctioneer and the man who hammered down the most expensive painting ever sold at auction (Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe, $104m, in 2004), jetted in specially to London for the opening party of the John Currin show at Sadie Coles last month. “I am godfather to John’s children,” said Meyer, noting that “everyone is here, including Lucian Freud.” But when asked about his taste, he responded: “I’m an auctioneer, I don’t have taste!” n

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