Art meets comedy as Stephen Colbert's Portrait 5 heads Philips de Pury's auction

Phillips de Pury & Company is holding its Under the Influence auction tomorrow, March 8. Timed to capture the audience of the Armory Arts Week in New York, the highly anticipated sale will present a selection of 288 works including contemporary art, photographs and design.

The auction highlights include Portrait 5, Stephen(s), 2009 - 2010, a noted work of portraiture attributed to Stephen Colbert, enhanced by the artistic contributions of Shepard Fairey who spray-painted it, Andres Serrano, who Sharpie'd it, and Franke Stella who glanced at it, will be offered as the first lot in the sale.

The work debuted on the December 8, 2010 episode of "The Colbert Report" as part of an interview with Steve Martin to discuss the release of his new book An Object of Beauty. The portrait is being sold to benefit school arts projects through, an online charity designed to connect donors with classrooms in need.

Colbert portrait
Unconventional... Stephen Colbert's Portrait 5

Kehinde Wiley's Fall, 2009, estimated at $50,000 - $70,000, demonstrates the artist's distinct and coherent stylized portraits of African American men in modern culture with references to Old Master painting. It will make an excellent investment.

The figurative painting, ornate framing and illuminated adornments powerfully connect Fall to the contemporary portraiture canon.

Rules of Six, 2007, by the design duo Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch, estimated at $50,000 - $70,000, was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art for the 2008 exhibition "Design and the Elastic Mind," engaging designers and scientists in a dialogue addressing their relationship to each other and their role in contemporary culture, and exploring the development of scientific and technological advances.

Rules of Six is described as an exploration of the molecular processes of self-assembly and modularity, which directly relates to the "rule of six," an algorithm based on the symmetry of the six-sided snowflake in which no two are alike.

Aranda/Lasch used this algorithm to duplicate this natural process of growth of scale and information which is manifest in this monumental wall installation.


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