Three works which are probably Andy Warhol’s most iconic portraits from the 1980s will go to auction at Bonhams in London on February 12 at the Post-War & Contemporary Art sale. Each work by the Factory artist depicts a person that was a close friend of Warhol, as well as an important figure of the decade, no less than: socialite Marjorie Copley, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
‘Portrait of Marjorie Copley’ (1980), is an cool and demure departure from the bright Pop colours of previous works that largely dominated Warhol’s work during this period. The portrait has been given an estimate of £180,000 to £250,000 ($271,743 to $377,421).
The next work that will go under the hammer is of the famous photographer Robert Mapplethorpe – who in turn produced several photographs of Warhol – having shared the artist’s interest in portraiture, but was not so much focused on celebrity and glamour. Warhol’s 1983 screenprint Robert Mapplethorpe has an estimate of £50,000 to £70,000 ($75,461 to $105,646).
Finally there is the work which is a 1982 Polaroid print of acclaimed artist and associate of Warhol’s, Jean-Michel Basquiat, for whom the artist was a kind of mentor. The print shows the prolific artist as a fresh-faced young man, his hair in the artist’s trademark bunches, staring straight into the camera. This final print is estimated between £12,000 to £18,000 ($18,113 to $27,169).
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist, musician and producer. The artist first achieved notoriety as part of SAMO, an informal graffiti group who wrote enigmatic epigrams in the cultural hotbed of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City during the late 1970s where the hip hop, post-punk and street art movements had coalesced. By the 1980s the artist was exhibiting his Neo-expressionist and Primitivist paintings in galleries and museums around the world.