Two extremely rare paintings by Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) and Four Marlons, sold last night for $150 million at Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale.
Since it was first announced that these paintings would be going up for auction, the buzz around the possibility of their sales breaking Warhol’s auction record has only intensified. Many estimated that they could bring in up to $130M, which would break Warhol’s $105M auction record for the 2012 sales of his painting, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster). Neither of these works had appeared in auction before, making the sales even more monumentous.
In 2008, Warhol’s Double Marlon sold at Christie’s for $32.5 million and in 2012, his Double Elvis (Ferus Type) sold for $37 million at Sotheby’s. Four Marlons sold last night for $69.6 million while his Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) sold for $81.9 million, a true indicator of how the demand and value of Warhol’s art has only grown exponentially within the past five years alone.
Part of what draws people to Warhol’s art was that these images and ideas were not only records of the time, but even more-so, they served as Andy’s ideas of the future, what the world might turn into. He seemingly predicted what the future would be like, and predict he did, with a startling accuracy.
These works of art capture figures who that revolutionized the way we listen to music and watch movies, whose images and personas are frozen in time, captured by an artist, equally iconic as the figures he chose to represent. The paintings purchased last night are more than just articulated strokes of paint on canvas, they are material recordings of a time long gone, but forever immortalized because of their existence.
The sales represents how valuable history becomes the further it falls back from the presence. It is almost as if Warhol could see how valuable people would consider these iconic paintings, not only at the time, but even more so in the future.
As Warhol once said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”