Andy Warhol’s portrait of Cindy Pritzker
In the 1980s, any socialite worth her status had her portrait done by Andy Warhol. So, Cindy Pritzker, wife of Jay Pritzker, the founder of the Hyatt hotels, commissioned Warhol to immortalize her face in 1982, five years before his death. Though still alive, Mrs. Pritzker apparently no longer needs to live with the ageless portrait of herself. The silkscreen painting is being sold at Phillips auction house in NYC on November 12. The sale estimate of $250,000–$350,000 is a gamble. Some similar portraits of socialites from the early eighties have failed to sell at auction, whereas a 1982 portrait of Princess Diana went for $1.5 million last year. Warhol had a pretty interesting process in creating his portrait: He would first take a handful of photographs, turn one into a silkscreen print on canvas, erasing all signs of aging, which may be why so many people adored Warhol’s aesthetic. Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography owns the original photos from Warhol’s shoot with Mrs. Pritzker. Compare them side by side with the finished painting to see the dramatic change here.
Theaster Gates's Firehoses
Two of Gates’s decommissioned fire-hose artworks are being sold at the November 14 Sotheby’s auction. Gates’s reuse of fire hoses references their use as weapons against civil rights protestors in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. Although Gates sells these artworks to subsidize his larger urban renewal projects, at auction (a secondary market), the artist gets no profit from the sale. Despite the low auction estimates ($40,000–$60,000 for the 2011 artwork and $80,000–$100,000 for the newer 2013 piece), similar fire hose works by Gates have sold for nearly $150,000 in the past two months. With his auction prices rising, and a waiting list for new works at his gallery, now may be the time to get in on a Gates work. All proceeds from the 2013 work, provocatively titled It's Not a Mixing Bowl, It's a Mixed Salad, go to a good cause: it will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Nick Cave's Soundsuits
SAIC’s fashion department chair, Nick Cave, has exploded on the national art scene since his 2006 exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. Earlier this year Cave dazzled commuters in NYC’s Grand Central Terminal with choreographed performances of dancers wearing fantastical horse costumes. Cave’s “Soundsuits”—one of which is on auction November 14 at Sotheby’s—are wearable sculptures, like extreme couture. The lot available at Sotheby’s was created in 2007 from sequins, beads, and embroidery on fabric. It includes the plastic mannequin for displaying the piece, but adventurous collectors may don the apparel, as Cave has in the past. The auction estimate of $80,000–$120,000.