Andy Warhol self-portrait brings World Record

Last week, Sotheby's offered an evening sale of Contemporary Art which achieved an impressive $190m. The 53 lot auction was driven by Andy Warhol's works, six of which were on offer, and one in particular which scored a World Record.

Two Warhol works, Airmail Stamps and Statue of Liberty, sold for $3,890,500 and $3,330,500 respectively, whilst his four panel acrylic on silkscreen work Flowers brought $ 7,642,500, clearing its top estimate.

The top lot however, as widely expected, was the purple version of Warhol's startling 1986 self-portrait, executed the year before his death.

The large work, from which the ghostly, disembodied head of Warhol with his 'shocked' hair stares unsmiling towards the viewer, is extremely startling, and not something to hang on the bathroom wall.

Andy Warhol Self Portrait
Andy Warhol's last self-portrait (1986)
(Click to enlarge)

Nevertheless, whether for love of the work or the investment value (and Warhol has been a very strong investment in recent years), bidders buffeted the price of the painting to double its estimate, bringing $32,562,500 against expectations of $10m-15m - a record for a self-portrait by the artist.

Collectors interested in Warhol's work may be interested to know that an original lithograph by him - of Marilyn Monroe - is on the market.

Warhol's self-portrait was only narrowly the top lot at Sotheby's, with an untitled work by Mark Rothko, utilising firey orange colour also beat its guide price to sell for $ 31,442,500.


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