Andy Warhol Painting Sells For $105 Million, A New Record

An Andy Warhol painting dubbed Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) recently sold at auction for $105 million dollars, setting a new record for the pop art icon. Before this, his most expensive painting sold for $71.1 million in 2007.

Overall, the winning bid price puts the work at the second-highest price ever paid for a piece of contemporary art, according to BBC News. That record was actually set just earlier this week, when a bidder purchased Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud for a whopping $142.4 million.

Andy Warhol’s Silver Car Crash is one of four double-panel works featuring car crashes. This particular piece features newspaper images silk-screened on a canvas panel. Warhol used shiny silver paint, covering one of the panels with copies of a photograph showing a body sprawled inside a wrecked car. The second canvas panel, by stark contrast, is clean with only a coat of silver.

Silver Car Crash was previously owned by major collectors like Charles Saatchi, Thomas Ammann, and Gunter Sachs. The other three paintings in Andy Warhol’s “death and disaster” series are all in museums.

As Raw Story points out, the sale of an Andy Warhol piece for such a high price is rather ironic, considering the critical commentary his work typically displays regarding commodification and value. Sotheby auctioneer, Tobias Meyer, instead sees the $105 million winning bid as “a great price, and completely worth it. It’s the best painting I’ve sold in my whole career.”

This week has been significant in the private art collecting world. Not only did the Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol pieces set new price records, but an auction hosted by Christie’s brought in $691.5 million. That’s the most money ever made in a single art auction, ever, according to BBC News.

Art auction officials say art prices are on the rise as collecting becomes more popular among monied individuals from all around the world. “This is the ultimate trophy hunting,” one auction official says. Collectors from Asia, Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East placed bids in the recent auctions that included Andy Warhol’s Silver Car Crash.

[Image via Sotheby’s]

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