To begin to understand Kyle Polzin and the current space he’s occupying, you must first go back to April 2014. At the Scottsdale Art Auction, Polzin’s

Mystic Warrior—a tall, narrow and incredibly detailed still life of a Native American headdress—had been expected to fetch around $40,000 from bidders. It was a noteworthy piece, with a fair estimate, but no one was quite ready for what was to come. As bidding heated up, the lot gained momentum, then lost it, then gained it back. The auctioneer, sensing the excitement, played it up and worked the crowd. Each new bid created a flurry of

excited whispers. The audience and bidders were riveted. When it sold for $287,500—exceeding its high estimate seven times over and creating an auction record for the Texas artist—the room erupted.

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