As We See It

The art of money: What else can Elaine Wynn buy with $142 million?

Elaine Wynn recently paid $142 million for Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” at an auction at Christie’s.
Lefteris Pitarakis

When the world was alerted last November that the Francis Bacon triptych “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” sold for $142.4 million at Christie’s, conversations were predictably speckled with the word “ridiculous.”

Articles once again addressed a supposed outrageousness in the art market, rebutted by those justifying the purchase based on Bacon’s importance, the historical aspect of the painting, the need of the mega-wealthy to diversify their investments, etc.

Now that Elaine Wynn has been revealed as the buyer, we can’t help but wonder what (other than the New York Yankees’ reported offer to outfielder Shin-Soo Choo) equals that lofty sum. It’s a game us poor folk like to play regardless of the integrity of the high-priced object. So should Wynn need to exchange the Bacon for something else, here are a few items we found in her price range: Jeff Koons’ “Tulips,” which her ex-husband purchased for $33.6 million, Hakkasan ($100 million), North Las Vegas City Hall ($130 million) and an evening with 334,117 friends at Robuchon for its 16-course tasting menu ($425).

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