He was a Hollywood wild man and rebel to some, but actor Dennis Hopper also happened to be an art collector of excellent taste. In fact, so good were his collecting instincts that he once bought one of Andy Warhol's now-iconic Campbell's Soup paintings... for just $75.
Hopper may have been more famous for his iconic movie roles in Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet and other classic flicks, but the actor's untimely death in 2010 has encouraged collectors and investors around the world to reappraise his accomplishments as a collector.
"My idea of collecting is not going out and buying bankable names but buying people that I believe are really contributing something to my artistic life," he once said in an interview. Basquiat, Richard Prince and Keith Haring were also among the legendary artists in Hopper's collection
And the $75 Campbell's Soup painting isn't the best story involving Hopper and Andy Warhol. Rather, that would be the time when the actor fired two gun shots into an original Warhol pop art painting of Chairman Mao Zedong...
Hopper showed the results of his gunplay to Warhol, which the two artists then turned into a 'collaboration'. As shown in the above picture, the warning shot and the bullet hole have been marked in the front of the frame.
Now, a year after Hopper's death, the work entitled Mao: one plate (F. & S. II. 99) is set to appear at Christie's Interiors auction with a $20,000-30,000 estimate. The New York sale is taking place from January 11-12.
Hopper's artworks will appear for sale alongside the Collection of Max Palevsky and The Jerry Lee Musslewhite Collection of Korean Art. Watch this space for more news on next week's event.
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