David Hockney painting sells at auction for £70m

18 November, 2018, 14:14 | Author: Rachel Mcdaniel

During the 2008 financial crisis he loaded up on shares of Bear Stearns Cos.

The painting is considered one of David Hockney's premier works.

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

The painting has now gotten the highest price at auction of any work by a living artist.

The $90 million price tag was all the more astonishing given the roughly $20,000 that Hockney told CNN his dealer originally sold the painting for in 1972, subsequently believing it had been undervalued.

Instead, he opted to sell without a reserve, a minimum price at which the work can be hammered down.

"We weren't the only ones going after this painting", he said. That is an unconventional approach because bidding technically can start at US$1.

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The painting was bought by a client of Marc Porter, chairman of Christie's Americas.

Hockney's 1972 canvas depicts two men. The two had a relationship for five years and Schlesinger became "the greatest love of Hockney's life", according to Christie's. The hilly landscape in the background was said to be inspired by the South of France.

As well as paintings, drawings and photography, the exhibition also featured more than 70 iPad and iPhone works, showing how Hockney always embraced new technology.

Lewis, whose collection includes pieces by Picasso, Klimt and Degas, bought the Hockney from fellow billionaire collector David Geffen in 1995. "Freud is a passion of his".

Christie's described it as "one of the great masterpieces of the modern era".

The sprawling mansion, with eight stone houses and blue doors with parrots and peacocks flying around, left a lasting impression on Hockney and provided the backdrop for several of his paintings in the following couple of years.

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