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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Masterworks.io, a fractional investment platform for fine art, raised $110 million in Series A funding at a pre-money valuation north of $1 billion led by Left Lane Capital.

Why it matters: This is the first large-scale effort to securitize the art market, including works by Picasso and Banksy, with CEO Scott Lynn telling Axios that Masterworks expects to buy nearly $400 million of art this year and closer to $1 billion in 2022.

  • Other investors include Galaxy Interactive and Tru Arrow Partners. Masterworks says it is profitable and that the entire round was primary capital.

The bottom line via Axios Felix Salmon: Lynn is aiming to get as much monopsony power as he can in the high-end art market. If he's spending a billion dollars a year on art, there’s almost nothing art dealers won’t do for him.

Go deeper

With 2 exhibits, it's Van Gogh time in Columbus

The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Cleveland, which opened in Columbus last month. Photo: Dale McDonald, courtesy of Lighthouse Immersive

Beloved painter Vincent Van Gogh may have missed the Renaissance by a few centuries, but he's having his own renaissance of sorts this fall in Columbus.

What's happening: The Columbus Museum of Art presents 17 works by Van Gogh and more than 100 other artworks in an exhibit debuting today, "Through Vincent's Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources."

  • Meanwhile, Immersive Van Gogh, a display of digital projections, opened last month in a former Polaris Fashion Place furniture store. It's one of 20 temporary locations in North America by company Lighthouse Immersive.

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.