Saturday, 19 March 2011

Warhol's Blue Queen

Betty Blue
Andy Warhol was nothing if not resilient. Throughout his life, he faced many challenges, from a childhood marred by extreme poverty and mystery illnesses to widespread criticism of his work in adulthood. Warhol, however, managed to overcome it all thanks to an unshakeable (some would say deluded) self-confidence and an astounding commercial insight. Love him or loathe him, his tenacity cannot but be admired. And now, almost 25 years after death, the work he left behind is proving to be just as resilient …

Amid much speculation about how the bleak economic outlook is impacting on art sales, Warhol’s work continues to hold its value. At a recent sale by Bonham’s auctioneers, Warhol’s 1985 screen-print of a young Queen Elizabeth II, sold for a better-than-expected £37,500. The print, which shows HMQ resplendent in blue and purple hues, her tiara twinkling with a liberal sprinkling of diamond dust, was part of Warhol’s Reigning Queens collection, which included the monarchs of Netherlands, Denmark and Swaziland.

The sale of this portrait, which interestingly is the only one The Queen has neither commissioned nor sat for, is evidence that the pop artist’s appeal remains strong. 

His notoriety, which has lasted for considerably longer than fifteen minutes, continues unabated.

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