Andy Warhol's Painting of Elvis Presley Fetches $82 Million at Auction

Warhol's 'Triple Elvis'

The 1963 painting 'Triple Elvis' was the top-seller at the biggest art auction in history

Andy Warhol's 1963 painting of Elvis Presley Triple Elvis (Ferus Type) has sold for nearly $82 million at the Christie's contemporary art sale on Wednesday night in Manhattan reports The New York Times.

The Presley painting topped the night's sales, beating out 79 other pictures including Warhol's depiction of Marlon Brando in Four Marlons.

Triple Elvis, a silk screen that depicts Presley dressed as a cowboy gun-in-hand for publicity shot from the 1960 film Flaming Star, had a pre-sale estimate of $60 million.

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Indeed, Christie's had a stellar night, with 22 of the 80 works selling for more than $10 million and nine works fetching over $20 million. Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha and Francis Bacon were other artists who had prominent works featured in the sale. Total sales on the night hit $852.9 million, above the $836 million estimate, with only five works failing to sell. Blockbuster sale was the biggest art auction in history. 

Some of the biggest art collectors in the U.S. were at the sale, including former Disney president and Hollywood talent agent Michael Ovitz, businessman Andrew Saul, vice chairman of Blackstone Group J. Tomilson Hill and art collector Stefan Edlis

“It’s our highest total ever,” said Brett Gorvy, Christie’s worldwide chairman of postwar and contemporary art to the Times. “We saw a lot of new bidders tonight from the Middle East and Asia, but the biggest and most powerful buyers were still from America.”

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Warhol's Four Marlons from 1966 sold for $69.9 million, besting its $60 million estimate. That painting was inspired by a still from Brando's 1953 movie The Wild One. The seller for both the Warhol pieces was German casino Westspiel, which bought the paintings in the late 1970s and had them hanging in its casino in Aachen. 

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