For a guy who’s been dead for 45 years, Picasso has had a bad month. In Australian performer Hannah Gadsby’s smash Netflix special Nanette, which debuted June 19, the comedian uses her art history degree to highlight the less-than-admirable sides of the painter. And now, one of the works from the artist’s famed “Blue Period” is being sold on, of all things, the Nextdoor page for Houston’s Candlelight Oaks neighborhood.
Nextdoor is a neighborhood-based social network. Think Facebook, but instead of seeing messages from your distant uncles, middle school classmates, and the former boyfriends of your old co-workers, the messages are all from people who live in the same neighborhood as you. It’s a handy way to share location specific information—found dogs, warnings about car break-ins, babysitter availability, etc.—with people around you. There’s also a marketplace function, so you can impulse-buy that used carburetor you’ve been thinking about from your neighbor.
It’s not all car parts, furniture, or KitchenAid mixers purchased by overly-ambitious home chefs for sale on Nextdoor, though. The Picasso listed in Candlelight Oaks was professionally framed in UV filter-coated glass, according to its listing, and came with a certificate of authenticity. It was listed at a higher price than your average unused InstantPot, naturally—the painting’s owner, identified on the site as John Kiger, had an asking price of $15,000 for the piece. The painting itself comprises muted browns and blues depicting, er, a fella with a mustache (we’re not art historians), and features his signature. Kiger, conscious of the potential liability in selling an expensive piece of art via a website that rarely traffics in such items, noted that he would be meeting the buyer inside of either a bank or a police station, accompanied by his own security detail.
And despite the unusual manner of listing the painting, it appears that he found a buyer. While he didn’t respond to requests for comment, the painting is now marked as “sold.” There’s no indication of who the buyer was, how much the final sale price ended up being, or whether the buyer was also accompanied to the meeting place with a security detail in tow. But whatever the specific nature of the transaction, your very brief window to purchase an original Picasso via Nextdoor appears to have closed.