Andy Warhol's 1986 work of acrylic and silkscreen: Self Portrait was the last of a series of self-portraits which the artist made during his life. Whilst the first, in 1963 was grainy and hid Warhol's appearance behind sunglasses, the 1986 view was direct and startling.
On the vast 108 inch square canvas, Warhol unmasked face is presented in its entirety in a haunting and haunted image, and even Warhol's dealer refused to keep it around as it was too 'prophetic'. Warhol died a matter of months after creating it in 1987.
One of the five known versions of the work, at least on this scale, has come up for auction at Sotheby's. The face is presented as purple on a black background. The other known examples are green (Fort Worth Art Museum), blue, yellow (Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh) and red (in a private collection).
Previously exhibited in London's Tate Modern and Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, the work has been given an estimate here of $10m-15m. The auction will take place on May 12 in New York.
Those interested in collecting or investing in Warhol, but perhaps short of a spare $15m, may be interested to know that an original lithograph of Warhol's classic portrait of Marilyn Monroe is on the market now.