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"Love Is What You Want", But Is It What You Need?

"Love Is What You Want", But Is It What You Need?
April 13, 2020
Russell Lieberman

Today at noon, “Love Is What You Want” (2011) by Tracey Emin will IPO on Otis. The details:

  • Market Cap: $150,000
  • Number Of Shares: 2,000
  • Price Per Share: $75.00

Emin's "Love Is What You Want"

The Background

  • Who is Tracey Emin?... A contemporary British artist (born 1963) known for her deeply personal autobiographical works in a variety of media: drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, and neon text. Often referred to as the “bad girl of British art,” Emin is an original and prominent member of the Young British Artists, a loose group of visual artists who are by and large credited for revitalizing a new generation of contemporary commercial galleries in London in the late 1980's.

  • When the breakup is worth it… In 1998 Emin had a breakdown, the result of a traumatic breakup, and didn’t leave her bed for 4 days – no food, no water, just booze. It inspired her most prized work of art. After finally getting up for a drink of water, she looked at her bed and felt it symbolized the “mess and decay” of her life at that time, so she decided to capture this phase of her life by putting it on display in a gallery. The installation, appropriately titled My Bed, led to critical acclaim and Emin's subsequent nomination for the Turner Prize in 1999.

  • That's lot of mattresses… My Bed last sold for $4.37M in 2014, the highest auction price for Emin on record. That's the equivalent of 4,432 Casper Queen-size Originals.

This is what $4.37 million looks like.

Enough about mattresses... Here's why Otis likes "LIWYW" according to the SEC filing and Investment Memo:

  • Celebrity collectors... of Emin's art include Beyonce, Diddy, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, and George Michael.

  • The All-Art Female Index... increased 72.9% from 2012-2018, in comparison to 8.3% for the All-Art Male Index, a trend Otis believes will continue.

  • Demand looks good... Emin was the 14th most in-demand blue-chip artist at art fairs in the first half of 2019, per Artsy. Otis notes, "Her auction data shows a 94% sell-through rate, 223% realized price over estimate, and $77,670 average sale price in the past 12 months, an uptick relative to her all-time average of $44,000."

The Takeaway

  • Slow riser... Otis purchased "LIWYW" for $140,000 in 2019 in a private sale through Sotheby's. Per the Investment Memo, the prior sale price for "LIWYW" was $125,000, in November 2013. While the piece is only 9 years old, a 12% ROI on the last 6+ years doesn't have us jumping out of bed.

  • Big numbers... At $150,000, "LIWYW" has the 3rd highest Market Cap on Otis, behind the currently live KAWS Gone and Beyond, and Kehinde Wiley's Saint Jerome Hearing the Trumpet of Last Judgement, and marks Otis's third drop of an asset valued at 6-figures. "LIWYW"'s $75 Price Per Share is the the 3rd highest Price Per Share on Otis, behind Gone and Beyond ($100/share) and Murakami and Abloh’s DOB and Arrows: Patchwork Skulls ($76/share, a $95,000 Market Cap).

  • We say that to say this... The aforementioned KAWS Gone and Beyond IPO'd on February 4 with a $325,000 Market Cap. The offering has hovered below 50% filled for several weeks now. And it's a KAWS piece. According to the same Artsy article, KAWS is the #1 ranked most in-demand established artist, and 2nd ranked most in-demand artist at art fairs overall in the first half of 2019. Emin ranks 14th in demand among blue-chip artists, but doesn't make the top 30 overall list. IPO performance is an indicator of future secondary market demand, and we're skeptical.

  • • “Wake Up Mr. West”... and bring on the Yeezy Collection I, set to IPO next Tuesday 4/21 at noon on Otis.

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