Culture&Arts

David Hockney overtakes Jeff Koons as most expensive living artist at auction

David Hockney overtakes Jeff Koons as most expensive living artist at auction

A celebrated painting by British artist David Hockney has been sold at Christie's in NY for just over $90m (£70m) - an auction record for a work by a living artist.

"Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" was snapped up after more than nine minutes of bidding, dominated by two rival telephone bidders.

The packed sales room in NY broke into applause when the hammer fell, with the buyer's premium and commission taking the final price to $90.3m.

The previous record was held by Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog, which sold for $US58.4 million ($80.2 million) in 2013.

Hockney's painting was sold at a Christie's auction in NY with the painting having increased in value from the modest $18,000 that Hackney's NY dealer fetched for it in 1972.

"One was a figure swimming underwater and therefore quite distorted.the other was a boy gazing at something on the round", Hockey later recalled.




"I must admit I loved working on that picture", Hockney has said.

The price went far to boost the success of Christie's post-war and contemporary art auction, which took in a total of $357.6 million, roughly the middle of its expected range, with 41 of the 48 lots on offer finding buyers.

"It has all the elements that you would want in a Hockney painting", Rotter said in an interview.

Started in 1971, Portrait of an Artist was inspired by two unrelated photos that had fallen together in Hockney's studio.

The first man depicts Hockney's former lover and muse, Peter Schlesinger, who was one of his students at the University of California, Los Angeles.


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