Irish born Conor Harrington’s artwork has been internationally lauded, and has continued to grow in popularity - particularly in the form of collectibles and prints. So, it is likely that a Conor Harrington print will only increase in value alongside the artist's fame.
Here we look at some of Conor Harrington’s most expensive artwork so far:
January 2015 saw the sale of Irish artist Conor Harrington’s 2013 painting, Dance With The Devil. Put up for auction at Bonhams auction house in London, the work realised £77,499 – a record for the London-based artist, who began his career as a graffiti writer on the streets of his native Cork. Painted using a combination of oil and spray paint, the work depicts a pair of men engaged in a duel. Between the men, both actors specially hired and dressed by Harrington, the flag of the United Nations is draped over a table; to the left of the image, the carcasses of two animals make pointed reference to the visceral work of Irish-born painter, Francis Bacon.
In October 2020, L’Amour Et La Violence – a 2013 work by Irish artist Conor Harrington – realised £75,063 at Bonham's. Much like the artist’s most-expensive work to-date, the 2013 painting Dance With The Devil, L’Amour et La Violence depicts two men who are engaged in a duel. Markedly more expressive than its cousin, this painting makes use of gestural painting techniques that recall the abstract paintings of German artist, Gerhard Richter. Counting the likes of actor Jared Leto and world-famous musician Alicia Keys amongst his fans, Harrington has been active since the mid 1990s. This particularly successful auction sale, however, was one of his first ever.
In February of 2015, Artcurial auction house in Paris hosted the sale of Irish artist Conor Harrington’s Tardis Of Delight. It realised €72,480 at auction, becoming the 3rd most expensive artwork by Harrington, who began his career as a humble graffiti writer on the streets of Cork.
The third painting in a series that focuses on the male figure, it comprises the expressive depiction of a man in period costume, who carries a dead bird. Recalling the abstract paintings of German painter, Gerhard Richter, it is a strikingly peaceful image when compared with other Harrington works, such as L’Amour Et La Violence.
Holy Smoke Quintet (Part Four) is a 2010 painting by Irish artist, Conor Harrington. In March 2021, the work sold for a strong €59,800 at Digard, Paris, exceeding the lower band of its pre-sale estimate by almost €15,000.
The painting was specially produced for the exhibition ‘Hell’s Half Acre’, curated by former Banksy agent Steve Lazarides, and held at London’s Old Vic Tunnels in 2010. It evokes a range of classical and contemporary themes, ranging from the Crusades and Dante’s Divine Comedy all the way through to the United Nations and the so-called ‘War on Terror’.
Irish artist Conor Harrington’s The Killer Inside Me is his 5th most expensive artwork. In 2015, the 2012 painting realised €58,840 at Artcurial auction house in Paris. Much like the artist’s most expensive work of all time, Dance With The Devil, the piece invokes painter Francis Bacon’s obsessions with death, and the interface between human and animal forms.
Bringing the modern and contemporary into an expressive, almost violent convergence with one another, the work marries period costume with spray paint – a nod to Harrington’s early years spent as a graffiti artist on the streets of his hometown Cork.
In October 2015, this war-like painting from Irish artist Conor Harrington, entitled I Make Woy For The Quiet Superpower, realised a stunning €39,000 at Digard auction house in Paris.
Marrying the chaotic and expressive sensibilities of street art and the rigid, academic approach of traditional historical painting, Harrington’s piece depicts the impression of a horse. Ridden in to battle by a decorated soldier, the horse’s torso juts out against a series of bold, hard-edged lines, which recall national flags. It is difficult to ignore traces of the German painter Gerhard Richter’s influence on this image, which speaks to the enduring power of past history.