Warhol's Jackies, Maos Star in $500 Million New York Sales

Breaking News

Andy Warhol's Jackies, Maos, Marilyns and flowers may be the stars of the New York contemporary-art auctions that start tomorrow and could total $500 million. Collectors said the pop artist's icons have become a refuge from uncertainty as prices rise.

``Warhol is like Microsoft,'' said New York private dealer Alberto Mugrabi, who aims to augment his Warhol holdings this week. ``He is an artist who has overachieved, and he is not going to go away if the market goes up and down.'' Mugrabi's fellow collectors include the billionaires Eli Broad and Laurence Graff.

About $80 million of Warhols are on the block at Sotheby's, Christie's International and Phillips de Pury & Co. That's more than all the artist's painted pictures traded in 2006's first six months, said the auction tracker Artnet AG. Warhol's paintings cost 4.2 times as much as in 1997, including a 30 percent jump in the first nine months of 2006, said the data service Artprice.com.

At Christie's on Nov. 15, ``Sixteen Jackies,'' a 1964 group of images of the late U.S. First Lady, has a top estimate of $18 million or more. ``Orange Marilyn,'' a 1962 canvas of the film star colored with polymer and silkscreen inks, has a $15 million top estimate. ``Mao,'' a 1972 portrait of China's late leader, painted partly with a mop, is being sold by Switzerland's Daros Collection at a $12 million high value.

comments powered by Disqus