Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 1 December 2020

Ellen DeGeneres 'quietly selling' $10 million of art in Hamptons

The work on sale includes pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francois-Xavier Lalanne

US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 'quietly' selling work from her art collection, including pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. AFP 
US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 'quietly' selling work from her art collection, including pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. AFP 

Television talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres is quietly selling millions of dollars worth of art.

Pieces from her collection recently popped up in East Hampton, where top New York dealers have opened spaces to cater to wealthy clients who fled the city during the lockdown, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Sotheby’s private sales gallery offered more than $10 million (Dh36.7m) of contemporary works for sale from DeGeneres, whose art-filled houses have been published in magazines such as Architectural Digest. They include a mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder, a work on paper by Jean-Michel Basquiat and a flock of sheep by Francois-Xavier Lalanne. She’s also selling a Basquiat painting through Van de Weghe Fine Art.

Some of the sheep, priced at $500,000 to $1 million, have already found new homes, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

A sheep sculpture by French sculptor and installation artist, Francois-Xavier Lalanne. Courtesy of Sotheby’s
A sheep sculpture by French sculptor and installation artist, Francois-Xavier Lalanne. Courtesy of Sotheby’s

A representative for DeGeneres declined to comment.

The sales come at a difficult moment for DeGeneres. In July, BuzzFeed News reported that current and former employees of her show said they encountered racism, intimidation and sexual harassment from managers. Three producers were fired last month, following a third-party investigation.

“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show,” DeGeneres said during the show’s 18th-season premiere on Monday. “And then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take it very seriously.”

DeGeneres and her partner, Portia de Rossi, have been buying and selling art for more than a decade. De Rossi started an art business two years ago, creating prints based on paintings she bought.

Updated: September 23, 2020 10:49 AM

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