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Not even the presence of high-profile collectors like Steve Martin, Valentino, and billionaire Eli Broad (who dropped $8 million on works by Ed Ruscha, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, and Donald Judd) could save last night's Sotheby's contemporary art sale from being a big disappointment. Twenty paintings, including a Lichtenstein and a Damien Hirst, were left on the block, and the total tally was $125.1 million, far below the conservative presale estimate of $202.4 million. One genre that's apparently recession proof: John Currin and his trademark boobies. His "Nice 'n' Easy," an oil of two curvaceous naked women, went for a record $5.4 million. [NYT, Bloomberg]