In a story that would have made the best episode of Storage Wars ever, The Guardians’ Martin Pengelly has reported about a New York art dealer purchasing the contents of a New Jersey storage locker and finding six paintings likely painted by Willem de Kooning.
Willem de Kooning was a Dutch painter noted for his abstract expressionism, or “action painting” style. He was born in 1904, and passed away in 1997. He’s held in high regards for helping pioneer his style, along with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
David Killen, of the Chelsea, New York Gallery, David Killen Gallery, made the score after an auction house foolishly turned down the $15,000 offer to purchase the contents from an art conservator, Orrin Riley and his partner Susanne Schnitzer from the Ho-Ho-Kus storage lockers.
Killen told the New York Post he also discovered what is likely a painting from the late Paul Klee, another well regarded painter who took his cues from Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealsim to create colorful and haunting images that hang in the Guggenheim and have themselves fetched seven figures at auction.
So, how big is this score for Killen? Prominent Citadel hedge fund manager, and Bitcoin denier, Ken Griffin, purchased a de Kooning (Interchange) and Pollock collection, for an reported $500 million back in 2015.
It’s likely Killen just secured himself at least a couple hundred million dollars in what has to be one of the best investments in history.