NEW YORK, NY.-
The market for important works by Andy Warhol, the reigning king of Pop, continued to reach new heights at Christies
New York tonight, as bidders chased two iconic self-portraits by the artist, setting a new world auction record for a Warhol portrait in the process.
The photo-booth style Self-Portrait, 1963-64 sold for $38,442,500 (£23,449,925/26,909,750) after an epic 16 minute bidding battle between clients in the room and on the phone. After volleying bids back and forth for what was the longest Evening Sale bidding war in recent memory, Christies Brett Gorvy, International Co-Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, scored the winning bid on behalf of a client on the phone, and the audience erupted in applause. The price with premium surpasses the previous record of $32.5 million set for a Warhol self-portrait last year.
Painted in 1963-1964, Self-Portrait marks the first historic crafting of the artists iconic image in a photo booth, a radical concept of picture-making that revolutionized art history. A four-panel masterpiece executed in four distinct variations of blue features shows Warhol for the first time in the guise of the enigmatic superstar, replete with silver hair, wayfarer sunglasses and a blank expression.
Earlier in the sale, Self-Portrait, 1986 from the last great self-portrait series the artist completed before his death in 1987 sold to a bidder in the room for $27,522,500 (£16,788,725 /19,265,750). Executed in the artists signature vivid red, the color in which he rendered his most famous image of Marilyn Monroe, as well as his greatest Death and Disaster Painting, Red Explosion (Atomic Bomb) of 1963. A powerful and contemplative painting, it is one of the largest self-portraits ever attempted by the artist, and was one of two giant works that were first exhibited in London in a seminal exhibition of new self-portraits at the Anthony dOffay Gallery in 1986.