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Andy
Warhol

20th century Pop titan Andy Warhol blurred the boundaries between high art and consumerism, and his obsession with cultural staples and celebrity changed the course of art history forever. Whether you're looking to buy or sell one of Warhol's original prints and editions, browse our network's most in demand works. Receive complimentary valuations and market advice on any original print, with zero obligation to sell.

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Biography

Cultural icon and father of Pop Art, Andy Warhol is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. Known as much for his life as his art, everything about Andy Warhol screams celebrity culture and mass consumerism.

From his beginnings as a student of commercial art to his years as a commercial illustrator, it was always clear that Warhol’s interest lied in mass culture. A true reporter of his time, the artist never shied away from capturing the reality of the American Dream, from the glitz of Hollywood to the tragedies permeating everyday life. From his Deaths and Disaster series to canned soup, from Mickey Mouse to Ronald Reagan, Warhol’s art opened the door to the encounter of high and low, pushing the boundaries of what could be considered art. A prolific artist, producing print after print at his Factory, Warhol also pioneered a serial approach to artmaking that celebrated the art object as a commercial commodity.

While Warhol’s journey to fame did not happen overnight, the commercial and popular success that his work enjoys has never stopped. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the artist began to experiment with what came to define his unique approach to artmaking: silk-screening. Silk-screening allowed Warhol to mimic the simplified language of advertisement, defined by bold outlines and flat colour blocks, and to repeat the same image many times across canvases and paper.

It was only in 1962, however, that it all came together for the artist. While a series of exhibitions in New York in the 1950s had already paved the way for his success, 1962 marked the year the artist began working on two of his most popular body of works: the Campbell's Soup Can series and the Marilyn Monroe series. The Campbell’s Soup Can series consisted of 32 canvases created through screen printing and directly challenged the dominance of Abstract Expressionism at the time. Countering prevalent notions of originality and authorship, Warhol promoted the use of processes of mechanical reproduction in art and the distancing of the hand of the artist. Equally, if not more recognisable, Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych immortalised the young American actress through 50 repeated portraits drawn from a press image of the actress from the film Niagara. The painting was completed by Warhol in the weeks following Monroe’s tragic death and commemorated the actress at the height of her career.

Warhol would return to these subjects many times, creating numerous paintings and editions. An iteration of the Marilyn series, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), sold for US$ 195 million at Christie’s New York, became the most expensive piece of 20th-century art ever sold.

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn by Andy Warhol - MyArtBroker

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn © Andy Warhol 1964

1. £157.9M for Andy Warhol's Shot Sage Blue Marilyn

In May 2022, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), sold for US$195 million (£158 million) at Christie’s New York, making it the most expensive piece of 20th-century art ever sold.

A testament to the level of fame and popularity that Warhol still weilds today, this work is one of his most immediately recognisable. The timeless Marilyn Monroe stares out at us in all her Pop-saturated glory, coy and indescernible expression radiating that sense of effortless celebrity which Warhol was so drawn to.

The fact that this screenprint was one of five that were quite literally 'shot' by revolver-weilding performance artist Dorothy Podmer in 1964 only adds to its notoriety, despite having since been repaired.

Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) © Andy Warhol, 1963

2. £66.2M for Andy Warhol's Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)

Taken from his Death and Disaster series, another top price realised for Warhol at auction was achieved for Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) at Sotheby’s in 2013. An undeniably powerful work, this monumental painting bears witness to the circumstances of disaster and reflects on the long tradition of history painting in art from Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa to Picasso’s Guernica.

Here Warhol transforms a tragic scene, repeating it over and over again until it resembles frames from a film or animation, its black and white surface turned silvery for posterity. The work was made in 1963, a seminal – and somewhat melancholic – year for Warhol in which he also produced Suicides, Race Riots and Silver Electric Chair.

Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) by Andy Warhol - MyArtBroker

Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] © Andy Warhol 1963

3. £51.6M for Andy Warhol's Triple Elvis

Having turned Marilyn Monroe’s iconic features into innumerable silkscreen prints it was only natural that Warhol should take Elvis as his subject in this 1963 painting. Repeating the figure of the King in his dynamic cowboy stance as he draws his gun, Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) takes on a cinematic quality that elevates the star’s image from pop icon to demigod. At the same time, the background colour recalls the silver screen of Hollywood as well as the baroque ornaments of the Catholic church Warhol grew up in, surrounded by painted icons to be venerated and reproduced for the masses.

Sixty Last Suppers by Andy Warhol - MyArtBroker

Sixty Last Suppers © Andy Warhol 1986