Saying “Warhol’s are hot right now”, would be an understatement. Since 2008, Andy Warhol sales, both at auction and private sales, have been record breaking. Astonishingly high prices are breaking records, not only for all contemporary/modern art sales, but for Warhol’s work.
In 2008, Warhol’s Eight Elvises (1963), sold in a private sale for a price of $100 million. If that wasn’t staggering enough, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)(1963), was sold at Sotheby’s last November for $104.5 million. This was the second highest price ever paid for a contemporary painting at an auction.
What could outperform that? As announced by Christie’s this past week, it could potentially be a combined sale of two paintings by Warhol, also from the 1960s — “Triple Elvis [Ferus Type]” (1963), and “Four Marlons” (1966), — which will be up for auction at Christie’s, New York on Nov. 12.
Christie’s worldwide chairman of postwar and contemporary art, Brett Gorvy, estimates that the two paintings could sell for $140 million together and possibly for $100 million each.
The financial value of the paintings was initially undervalued, as they were originally purchased as decor for WestSpiel, a German casino company. “We have thought about this long and hard and believe now is the time to sell,” said Lothar Dunkel, WestSpiel’s managing director.
Both the “Triple Elvis [Ferus Type]”, and “Four Marlons” were removed from the casino walls and placed in storage five years ago (smartly around the time when Warhol sales started breaking the 100 million mark). This will be their first time for sale at auction. They were both originally purchased from a swiss art dealer in the late 70’s.
Gorvy anticipates there will be some newcomers to the auction with a large participation from Asian bidders, as well as American Warhol collectors. Of the two paintings, “Marlon speaks to a younger audience,” Gorvy said. However, whoever ends up with either of these sexy, cool and larger than life canvases will be very serious collectors. No doubt that whoever is tenacious (and wealthy) enough to go home with one of these invaluable pieces will pay whatever it takes to be able to call Warhol’s “Triple Elvis” or “Four Marlons” their own.