A bona fide art connoisseur and collector, disgraced ex-casino boss Steve Wynn recently dug deep into his pocket for a pair of Picasso masterworks, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The two Picasso paintings are from the $450 million art collection of modern and contemporary masterpieces of late New York financier Donald B. Marron.
Mr. Wynn has reportedly paid around $105 million for the pair of paintings, marking the first high-profile purchase from the Marron estate, following news that major galleries Pace, Gagosian, and Acquavella would be selling works from the deceased businessman’s collection.
The two Picasso paintings – Femme au beret et la collerette (Woman with Beret and Collar; 1937) and Femme assise (Jacqueline; 1962) – are among the high points of the art estate of Mr. Marron who passed away this past December at the age of 85.
According to the Wall Street Journal, around $200 million worth of art from the collection has already found its new owners.
When contacted by the Wall Street Journal, representatives for Mr. Wynn did not confirm or deny the reported recent purchase of Picasso art, but told the media outlet that the businessman “frequently buys and sells fine art.”
Got 99 Problems and a Pierced Picasso Was One
It should be noted that 2018 was a turbulent year for Mr. Wynn. A bombshell report by the Wall Street Journal exposed a decades long-pattern of sexual misconduct by the former businessman that unlocked Pandora’s Box of trouble for him and his reputation.
A number of employees at Mr. Wynn-founded Las Vegas-based casino and hospitality giant Wynn Resorts stepped forward to reveal that they were subjected to unwanted sexual advances by the casino mogul and that he coerced them into performing sexual acts on him.
Mr. Wynn has maintained his innocence since the Wall Street Journal report was published, but the multiple allegations against him forced him to leave his posts as CEO and Chairman of Wynn Resorts and cut all his ties with the company.
It was in 2018 again when a piece of Mr. Wynn’s art collection was severely damaged just days before it was supposed to go on auction where it was valued at $70 million.
The unfortunate piece was a Picasso self-portrait, Le Marin. The painting was pierced by a metal extension pole for a wall paint roller and left with a significant whole. Mr. Wynn blamed Christie’s Auction House, which was supposed to handle the sale of the piece, for the damage and was beyond upset.
Le Marin was actually the second Picasso painting to get damaged while in Mr. Wynn’s possession. In 2006, the businessman accidentally put his elbow through the famed artist’s Le Rêve after he had agreed to sell it to hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen for a reported amount of $139 million.