Pop Artist Andy Warhol was ahead of his time in so many ways. Not only did he anticipate a world where everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, but also one where collectors would be clamouring for one of his artworks.
His famed 1964 silk-screen portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $195m earlier this year, making it the most expensive 20th-century artwork ever sold at a public auction. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is one of a series of portraits Warhol made of the actress following her death in 1962. Warhol based the work on a promotional photo of Monroe from the 1953 film Niagara, laying bright colours over her eyes, hair and lips – it has become one of pop art's most iconic pieces worldwide.
Selling for exactly $195.04 million in four minutes in a crowded Christie's auction room in New York just shy of its $200m estimate.
Shot Sage Blue Marilyn - Christies AuctionWhile collectors clamour for a piece of pop art history to hang on their walls, The Art of Collecting wanted to understand the great Andy Warhol as a collector himself and see what we might learn from the legendary artist.
Known as one of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol's talent was matched only by his voracious appetite for collecting. When his estate was being sold in 1988, the watch community was in awe of his 313 strong watch collection and his love of the Cartier Tank that he was always seen wearing.
In his own words: "I don't wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it's the watch to wear."
The Cartier Tank WatchIn addition to watches, Warhol amassed incredible amounts of art, furniture, oddities, and curiosities spanning Modern art, Art Nouveau and Art Deco, including Native American art and textiles. Some more curious collectables were his kitsch cookie jars and cigar store Indians.Warhol was passionate about many things, and as soon as he was successful enough to afford them, he indulged in collecting all that he could. However, the aesthetic and surrounding himself with objects he admired was his driving force. Warhol's straightforward approach to collecting forged his unique path as a collector, artist and marketer.
Warhols's Cookie Jar CollectionWarhol was passionate about many things, and as soon as he was successful enough to afford them, he indulged in collecting all that he could. However, the aesthetic and surrounding himself with objects he admired was his driving force. Warhol's straightforward approach to collecting forged his unique path as a collector, artist and marketer. Andy would take his love of cars a step further than collecting, he would go on to immortalise them into artworks that he would then later sell, but never sell the cars themselves.
Andy's CarsWhile many collectors feel they need to let something go in order to buy the next object, Warhol was utterly averse to the idea of selling anything. There were stories, says Warhol art advisor Todd Levin, "of Andy consigning something to go up for auction, only to run back to the auction house later that day to pull it from the sale."
Self Portrait"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." - Andy Warhol