Andy Warhol piece sells for $85 million at New York auction

NEW YORK (AFP): Andy Warhol’s 1960s painting White Disaster sold for $85 million at auction on Wednesday at Sotheby’s in New York.

The 1963 artwork was sold after two minutes and a brief duel between two bidders, for a total of $74 million, or $85.4 million with all related costs and fees.

The last time a piece of art from Warhol’s Death and Disaster series was sold in 2013, it set a record for the artist at $105 million.

In May, Warhol’s 1964 portrait of Marilyn Monroe, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, was auctioned for $195 million, becoming the most expensive 20th-century work sold at auction.

Worhol's 1964 painting Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. AP
Worhol’s 1964 painting Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. AP

White Disaster [White Car Crash 19 Times], as it is formally known, is a work of silkscreen ink and graphite, which depicts the same black-and-white image of a macabre car accident 19 times on a canvas 3.6 metres tall.

“At the end of 1962, Warhol paints Marilyn Monroe, beginning his fascination with celebrity imagery, but it was really her demise at the end of ’62 and the spectacle around her death that captured Warhol’s fascination,” said David Galperin, head of contemporary art Americas at Sotheby’s.

The piece of art sold on Wednesday came from a private collection and Sotheby’s gave no information about the buyer.