David Hockney painting sells for record-breaking $90.3 million

18 November, 2018, 19:29 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Hockney Pool with Two Figures 1972

A painting by David Hockney has sold for $90.3m (£70m) in NY, breaking the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction.

The previous record was held by American artist Jeff Koons, whose massive, stainless steel piece Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4 million United States at a Christie's NY auction in November 2013.

"One was of a figure swimming underwater and therefore quite distorted ... the other was a boy gazing at something on the ground", Hockney said.

Ocean Park #137 by Richard Diebenkorn
Ocean Park #137 by Richard Diebenkorn

It sold after more than nine minutes of frenzied bidding, according to Agence France-Presse.

The previous record was set in 2013, when Christie's for 58.4 million dollars was sold the sculpture "balloon Dog" by Jeff Koons. Starting the piece in 1971, the pair had already started going their separate ways.

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

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He has painted houses in Los Angeles, their swimming pools and naked or semi-naked men in the water, in a distinctive palette forever associated with the artist. He apparently has one of the largest privately owned art collections in the world.

Hockney told the network he thought that was "a lot of money at the time, but within six months it was sold again for Dollars 50,000". The buyer was not immediately revealed.

Thursday's sale at Christie's flagship post-war and contemporary evening art was part of marquee art auctions held every year in NY in November.

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He said: "It has all the elements that you would want in a Hockney painting".

Earlier this month he was given the inaugural lifetime achievement award at the Queen Sonja Print Award, where he told the Press Association the prize "makes me feel old". A similar auction a year ago brought in $785.9 million, including Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", which sold for $450 million.

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