Christie’s international Co-heads of Post-War & Contemporary Art Department
Just as you were the settling in to read last November’s Power 100 issue, Gorvy, the chairman and international head of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s auction house, saw his New York saleroom hammer down Francis Bacon’s triptych Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) for $142.4m (£88.3m), the most expensive contemporary artwork ever sold at auction. That figure, along with the current vogue among collectors for paying high prices at auction for new works by very young artists, goes perhaps a little way towards accounting for the fact that sales of contemporary art now account for close to half of all auction business. For Gorvy, it’s booming, and with new collectors flooding in there’s no sign of a bust in sight. In a market like this one, and when your auction house is top of the food chain – Christie’s had record sales of just under £800m in the first six months of 2014, a rise of 20 percent over the same period in 2013 – you’re going to have to move jobs before you’ll be off this list.