With billionaire businessman and art collector Bidzina Ivanishvili, who led the Georgia Dream political coalition party to victory yesterday, poised to become Georgia’s next prime minister, we wondered, what kind of art does the richest man in Georgia collect?
Mr. Ivanishvili, whose $6 billion net worth is half of Georgia’s GDP, according to The Atlantic, has been known to drop a pretty penny for some canvases. He spent $40 million for a work by Egon Schiele. And in 2006, he reportedly bought Picasso’s Dora Maar au chat for $95.2 million, which then held the record for the second-highest price ever paid for a painting at auction.
In his glass and steel abode, designed by Japanese architect Shin Takamatsu, overlooking the city of Tbilisi (there’s a nice photo pictorial in Forbes), the notoriously reclusive Mr. Ivanishvili surrounds himself with sculptures by the likes of Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst and splashy paintings by Jeff Koons and Lichtenstein. He also owns a sculpture by Henry Moore and has one of Robert Indiana’s Love sculptures nestled in a hill.
Many of the works on his walls, however, are replicas. The lion’s share of his collection, worth a reported $1 billion, is stowed away in London.