Posts Tagged With: Andy Warhol

Turn £3 into £1.25 Million in 7 days

Is this an early Andy Warhol pop art sketch?

Is this an early Andy Warhol pop art sketch?

One of the more interesting stories this week told of the Devon man, Andy Fields, who spent £3 on a sketch at a garage sale in Las Vegas, only to be told when he returned home that it could be a genuine drawing created by the renowned pop artist Andy Warhol when he was a young child – aged 10 or 11.

One expert is convinced, but not everyone is. Crucially, the Warhol Authentification Board (yes, there is such a thing) have been unable to authenticate the sketch as there is doubt as to whether it might be genuine. The pencil and graphite drawing was created in the 1930’s and experts believe that (if it is genuine) it could be worth a minimum of £1.25 million, but if a bidding war erupts it could fetch over ten times that amount.

So, exciting times for Mr Fields. And how does he sell this drawing? Unbelievably, he has chosen eBay. Perhaps he has done this because he cannot prove it is genuine and hence none of the auction houses will take it. I am willing to bet he was left more than a little disappointed when the Warhol Authentification Board refused to authenticate the drawing. Had they done so, he would have been sitting on a gold mine. One of the reasons the Board were not that taken by the drawing was the fact that it had been signed “Andy Warhol”. However, Warhol changed to his name to “Andy Warhol” from “Andrew Warhola” in 1949, so you might wonder why he signed it “Andy Warhol” in the 1930s. A simple explanation, claims Fields. He states that Warhol never signed the work at the time, but did so many years later when he gave it away and was asked (as you would) to sign it.

At the time of writing, the piece is up for sale on eBay with a starting bid of £1.25 million. I don’y know about you, but no matter what I am selling on eBay I can get a little excited, even if I am trying to get rid of a chest of drawers or something. If I had this piece up for auction I doubt I’d sleep for a week. Of course, you can’t rule out the crazy bidders and if Fields does sell this to a genuine person paying a genuine sum of money then I would be surprised. I am sure eBay are rubbing their hands with glee and hope that someone out there with more money than he knows what to do with takes a big chance and buys the sketch, knowing that it may not be genuine at all. I wonder how much the eBay fees would be?

Pity the Las Vegas garage seller, whoever he is, and whether he knows anything about the drawing he sold that could turn Fields into a millionaire.

Categories: Art World, Pop Art | Tags:

A Brief History of Pop Art in Britain and America

Andy Warhol's famous

Andy Warhol’s famous “Campbell’s Soup” Pop Art

After the Second World War there followed a huge transitional period across Europe and the United States. Major reconstruction was the order of the day across Europe and, slowly, an increasing prosperity and abundance was enjoyed by the populous in these territories. It was the dawn of a new era, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the emerging “consumer” society gave rise to a demand in goods that were simply unobtainable until then.

British pop art can trace its roots back to the mid 1950s. A small independent group comprising notable artists at that time together with critics in the art world put together an exhibition which was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956. This exhibition was a focus on the topic of cheap consumer products and the role that they played in modern life. Although it didn’t seem like it then, the exhibition was a major step forward in the art world and a huge departure from what had gone before it. The erstwhile critic, Lawrence Alloway (1926-1992) hailed it as the birth of something new and in 1958 he christened this distinctive style by naming it “Pop Art“, a short form of “popular art”, i.e. art depicting popular culture.

Key figures in the British pop art scene that followed were Richard Hamilton (b. 1922) whose work depicted cars, pin-up models and electric appliances, amongst others. Peter Blake (b. 1932), on the other hand, concentrated on comic strips and pop singers while the magazine collector Eduardo Paolozzi (b. 1924) produced impressive collage prints by recycling and integrating old advertisement material with comic-strip images.

As for the US, during the 1950s the art world was dominated by “Abstract Expressionism”. It was until the early 1960s when art critics and American artists alike began to embrace Pop Art and give this new style of art their own inimitable American “take”. In 1962, an exhibition entitled “New Realists” was held at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. This was ground-breaking in America, not least because the exhibition featured work from artists including Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929), Jim Dine (b. 1935) and James Rosenquist (b. 1933). Of these, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Oldenburg went on to become key figures on the pop art world. Warhol became a household name.

Indeed, Warhol’s fame elevated in 1962 after his “Campbell’s Soup Cans” work was produced and featured in separate works – firstly as individual “cans” and then the same cans aligned in immaculate rows. Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, possibly the biggest 60s female icons at the time, were also given the “Warhol treatment” in which he silk screened their images, altered the colours and reproduced them in repeated patterns.

Roy Lichtenstein was very much a “comic-strip” artist and produced masses of works using imagery from comics. Starting out in 1960, he painted vastly-inflated images of comic-strip frames formed from the dots of colour newsprint. During the same year, Oldenburg set about carving his own niche in the pop art world, creating large, painted plaster sculptures of sandwiches and cakes ! These were soon followed by huge plastic appliances that were softened to allow them to give a distinctive “droop”. All of it was designed explore the nature of “consumer culture” that was sweeping the nations on both sides of the Atlantic.

With mass consumer commercialism on the rise at an alarming pace (and seemingly with no end in sight) “Pop Art” remains very much alive and is perhaps even more poignant and thought-provoking today as it was even in the mid twentieth century. You can buy from a large variety of pop art prints at Modern Canvas Art.

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