Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A 1986 Andy Warhol Self-Portrait Sells For A Record $32.5 Million @ Sotheby's = And Y.O.U. Thought That Buying Out The Bar Was Cool!

"A late self-portrait by “pope of pop” Andy Warhol sold for a record 32.5 million dollars at Sotheby’s in New York on Wednesday.

The stark 1986 image of Warhol’s famous face and unkempt hair was estimated to sell at between 10-15 million at the contemporary art auction.

The huge final sale value was in line with the strong demand for Warhols shown at the contemporary art auction at rival Christie’s in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The Sotheby’s sale was the highest price paid for a self-portrait by the iconoclastic artist, who died a year after the work was completed.

According to the auctions giant, this final self-portrait by Warhol captures his “attitude toward presenting his outer self, tempting us with the thought that he might finally let us glimpse his most intimate inner self.”

Ninety-four percent of lots at Sotheby’s found buyers, totaling just under 190 million dollars in sales, following a healthy performance for contemporary art at Christie’s the previous day.

Another big seller at Sotheby’s was Mark Rothko’s untitled abstract canvas dominated by the color red, which sold for 31.4 million dollars, up from pre-sale estimates of 18-25 million dollars.

A portrait of a saxophonist by Jean-Michel Basquiat — “Untitled (Stardust)” — sold for a whopping 7.25 million dollars, compared to the 1.8-2.5 million dollar estimate.

Another Warhol, “Flowers,” sold for 7.6 million dollars, beating the estimate of five to seven million dollars.

Jackson Pollock’s “Number 12A, 1948: Yellow, Gray, Black,” sold for 8.8 million dollars, double the low end of the four-six million-dollar estimate.

The painting was featured in a famous 1949 Life magazine article titled “Jackson Pollock: Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?”

Last week at Christie’s, a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” set the world record for an art auction at 106.5 million dollars.

This snapped the record set just in February in London of 104.3 million dollars for Alberto Giacometti’s “Walking Man I” sculpture and confirmed a return of the bulls to a luxury market laid low by the 2008 global financial crisis.

Information Courtesy Of: Luxuo.Com

Additional Information Courtesy Of: NYDailynews.Com

CHRIS LIVE AKA SHAKER SAYS: As a student of the past and an intrepid pilot of the new, fine art holds a very special place in my heart of hearts. As a child, my mother nurtured my budding illustrative gifts by enrolling me into weekend art classes @ the venerable Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY (NOTE: I would take the kiddie classes and she would take the advanced adult course - my Mom is über talented too. After 2 hours of paint splattered watercolor fun and charcoal pencil stenciled visions it was back to the bus and the Franklin Shuttle train as we crisscrossed the borough and made our way home.) In fact, I was even accepted to The High School Of Art and Design in Manhattan, NY, but I declined, went to Xavier High School (also in Manhattan) to hoop it up and got sidelined by my b-a-d attitude and a dickhead for a coach. This is me. LOL. Anyway, I reveal all of this to say that long before my world became a crime related snow globe, my hopes and dreams where more Sports Illustrated® and, even earlier than that, my 1st true L.O.V.E. has always been art - whatever the medium.

To that end, I simply have to share the news of this 1986 Andy Warhol self-portrait selling for a record $32.5 million @ Sotheby's last week Wednesday. This massive self-portrait of the legendary Pop-Art pioneer was plucked from the personal collection of designer Tom Ford (NOTE: Who knew that Mr. "I-Single-Handedly-Saved-The-Gucci-Brand" has such a brolic art collection?) and was snatched up in a bidding war by an anonymous buyer with evidently very deep pockets and/or a mile long credit line.

Although members of the high end contemporary art world constitute the tiniest percentage of the only the wealthiest of sorts amongst us, I do regard the recent auction house art sales boom as a promising harbinger of good things to come for the global market in general. Look, I mean, if you were impressed the $32.5 million that Andy Warhol's self portrait commanded @ auction (NOTE: And it IS, indeed, an impressive feat.), one need only venture back 1 week prior to the Warhol purchase to encounter an even more extraordinary sale - that of Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" which set a world record of $106.5 million @ Christie's. *Cue Joey Lawrence Voice* "Whoa!".

Yes, as the beloved music industry that I grew up on fades into the rear view mirror of my mind, I find myself increasingly looking towards art and film as my new promised land. Hey, it's all art to me ... I've gotta keep the creative juices flowing. This is Livestyle.

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