PARIS, June 4 ― Two icons are going head to head at Artcurial. While Invader's “Rubik Mona Lisa” recently smashed its estimate at the Paris auction house, another masterwork by the French street artist is now set to go under the hammer. “Rubik Dalai Lama” goes up for auction July 5 as part of Artcurial's “Urban & Pop Contemporary” sale.
Over 200 Rubik's Cubes were used to create this portrait of the Dalai Lama, which Artcurial describes as an “ode to the spirituality and internal journey to which Buddhism invites us.” Indeed, the artist Invader reportedly has a keen interest in this religion, which originated in Asia, and particularly in certain aspects, such as meditation and controlling the mind. “I've always been interested by the spiritual aspect and the philosophy of life inherent to Buddhist practice,” Invader told ArtAround.
Invader created “Rubik Dalai Lama” in 2008, three years after his “Rubikcubism” reinterpretation of the “Mona Lisa.” These two artworks belong to a series that notably revisits some of the most famous paintings in art history, including Alain Jacquet's “Déjeuner sur l'herbe” and “L'Origine du monde” by Gustave Courbet. These creations are highly sought after by art collectors, as seen recently in the new auction record set by “Rubik Mona Lisa” at Artcurial, Paris. In fact, the artwork quadrupled its low estimate of €120,000 (RM601,287) to sell for €480,200 ― a record for a work from the “Rubik Master Pieces” series.
“Rubik Dalai Lama” is estimated to fetch €300,000 to €400,000. Although the estimates are higher than for “Rubik Mona Lisa,” they are still far from the urban artist's auction record. One of his emblematic mosaics, titled “TK_119,” sold for the unprecedented sum of US$1.2 million in November 2019 at Sotheby's ― more than 10 times its low estimate of US$100,000. ― ETX Studio