David Hockney iconic painting breaks auction record for living artist

David Hockney is the world’s most expensive living artist for Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures).

A painting of living legend painter David Hockney has been sold for 90.3 million dollars in auction. On Thursday, 15 November 2018, Christie’s auction company in New York has sold the painting, which title ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’.

It is a record of a living painter whose artwork is sold at such a price.
Interestingly, this painting was sold 46 years ago by British painter David Hockney through his distributor for only $ 18,000 in 1972.

According to CNN news, the memories of this painting are still bitterly sweet to the 81-year-old David Hockney. In the interview with CNN at his studio in the Hollywood Hills last year, he talked about this painting. In that interview, he said, “I thought it was a lot of money at the time, but within six months, it was sold again for $50,000.”

Soon after the sale, his American distributor Andre Emmerich realized that it was sold at a very low price. But by then, it was too late. Such incidents often happened in the art market.

David Hockney
David Hockney was inspired to do the painting by an accidental juxtaposition of two photographs on his studio floor.

About the painting Hockney told CNN, he was encouraged to do the painting by an accidental juxtaposition of two photographs on his studio floor. One of those paintings was the portrait of American artist, Peter Schlesinger and the other was a swimmer. And they were just lying there and he put them together. Hockney said, “The idea of painting two figures in different styles appealed so much that I began the painting immediately.”

David Hockney took six months at the beginning of drawing the picture, finalized in just two weeks. In May 1972, he finished his work to give an exhibition at a New York exhibition.

We can easily imagine when the painting has been sold at such a high price, what will the artist’s feeling be like, especially when he had to work hard to draw this picture. But, as a Christie’s spokesperson confirmed, “the artist will not be financially benefiting.”Christie’s did not tell who bought the painting.

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