Two years ago, at Christie’s in New York, a painting by the British artist Peter Doig, featuring a ghostly canoe in a lagoon, sold for an astonishing amount of money: nearly $26 million (£16.6 million).
“It was crazy,” says Doig, who didn’t receive a penny from the auction, speaking to me by phone from his home in Trinidad. “I remember painting Swamped when I was a mature student at Chelsea College of Art [and Design]. It was there in my degree show, and no one wanted to buy it.”
How, then, does he account for its value today? “I can’t really say. I just know how hard it is to make a decent painting. Over the years, it hasn’t become any easier.”
Warm, thoughtful and down-to-earth, Doig, who recently became a father for the sixth time, is now 57. Although he rents an apartment in New York, he spends most of his time living in a farming community in the hills above Port of Spain with the mother...
Register for free and access one Premium article per week
Enjoy unlimited access to Premium articles with a subscription
- Subscriber-only events and experiences
- Access Premium articles on our mobile app
30-day free trial
then only £2 per week