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Warhol selfies auctioned for $30.1M in New York

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NEW YORK (AP) — What’s a selfie worth?

If they’re from Andy Warhol, made with a silkscreen rather than a smartphone, the answer is millions.

A series of six of the eccentric American artist’s self-portraits sold at auction Wednesday in New York for $30.1 million.

Warhol made the vibrant images of himself wearing his famous “fright wig” in 1986 – a year before his death and just over a quarter-century before the Oxford English Dictionary made the suddenly ubiquitous “selfie” its word of the year.

Warhol’s trailblazing, if not technologically parallel, take led the bidding at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction and capped a triumphant week for his work.

The artist’s 1960s work “Big Electric Chair,” which shows an execution chamber against panels of blue, green and pink fetched $20.4 million at the same Sotheby’s auction. His “12 Mona Lisas” went for $11.4 million.

Two other works from Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series sold Tuesday at Christie’s for a combined $100 million.

“Race Riot, 1964″ – a four-panel painting of unrest in Alabama – went for $62.9 million at Christie’s auction of postwar and contemporary works.

His 1962 painting “White Marilyn,” completed shortly after Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe took her life, sold for $41 million.

In all, Sotheby’s sold 67 pieces Wednesday for a total of $364.4 million.

All prices included the buyer’s premium.

German painter Gerhard Richter’s “Blau” sold Wednesday for $28.7 million, about $9 million shy of his auction record set last year at Sotheby’s.

Jeff Koons’ 7-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture of the spinach-loving cartoon character “Popeye” went for $28.2 million. His “Jim Beam J.B. Turner Train,” a 9 1/2 -foot-long-stainless steel sculpture filled with bourbon, sold Tuesday for $33.8 million.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Undiscovered Genius of the Mississippi Delta” sold Wednesday for $23.7 million.

Warhol selfies auctioned for $30.1M in New York

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — A group of six Andy Warhol self-portraits from 1986 have sold for $30.1 million at auction in New York.

The identical silk-screen images of Warhol in his famous “fright wig” led the bidding Wednesday at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction.

Warhol’s “Big Electric Chair” fetched $20.4 million. The late 1960s work shows an execution chamber against panels of blue, green and pink.

Two other works from Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series sold Tuesday at Christie’s for a combined $100 million.

German painter Gerhard Richter’s “Blau” sold Wednesday for $28.7 million, about $9 million shy of his auction record.

Jeff Koons’ 7-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture of the spinach-loving cartoon character “Popeye” went for $28.2 million.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Undiscovered Genius of the Mississippi Delta” fetched $23.7 million.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A group of six Andy Warhol self-portraits from 1986 is expected to bring $25 million to $35 million at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York.

The identical silk-screen images in different colors depict Warhol in his famous “fright wig.”

Wednesday’s sale comes a day after two works from Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series sold for a combined $100 million and a Barnett Newman painting fetched an artist record of $84.2 million in fierce bidding at Christie’s.

Warhol’s “Race Riot, 1964″ – a provocative four-panel painting of unrest in Birmingham, Alabama – went for $62.9 million at Christie’s auction of postwar and contemporary works, far exceeding the estimate of $45 million.

Warhol’s 1962 painting “White Marilyn,” completed shortly after Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe took her life, sold for $41 million, well above its estimate of $12 million to $18 million.

Newman’s “Black Fire I,” a 1961 canvas showing a thick column of black alongside smaller ribbons of white and black, surpassed his auction record set last year when “Onement VI” went for $43.8 million at Sotheby’s.

The New York artist died in 1970 at age 65.

Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards,” featuring his longtime companion, sold for $80.8 million.

The 1984 work came onto the market a year after Christie’s sold Bacon’s 1969 “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” for $142.4 million, setting a world record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

Jeff Koons’ “Jim Beam J.B. Turner Train,” a 9 1/2 -foot-long-stainless steel sculpture filled with bourbon, sold for $33.8 million.

Koons’ 7-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture, “Popeye,” is estimated to bring $25 million at Sotheby’s on Wednesday.

His “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold last spring for $58.4 million, setting a world auction record for a living artist.