Miguel Bosé,the Spanish pop star to sell two Andy Warhol paintings that the artist gave as birthday presents in the early 1980s will hit the auction block at Christie’s Paris on December 8 and 9, as part of the auction house’s Contemporary Art sale.
The two artworks are titled Oxidation Painting (1980) and Dollar Sign (1981), and their pre-sale estimates are €70,000–100,000 ($75,618–108,026) and €250,000–350,000 ($270,064–378,089), respectively.
Warhol’s Oxidation Paintings are also known as Piss paintings as they were made, as their title suggests, by urinating on a canvas laid flat on the floor, à la Jackson Pollock. Crucially, though, it wasn’t Warhol who relieved himself in the name of art, but a host of “studio minions,” as artnet News’ critic Christian Viveros-Fauné aptly described in the Village Voice. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this series is not among the most celebrated of Warhol’s oeuvre.
Much more successful were Warhol’s Dollar Sign paintings, of which the Pop legend made plenty throughout his career. In February 2014, a dollar sign painting of similar characteristics from the art collection of Jade Jagger (Mick Jagger’s daughter) sold at Sotheby’s London for £362,500 ($551,000).
The artist is a regular fixture on the auction block, and can be consistently relied upon to produce big sales figures, although the highly-anticipated Four Marilyns (1962) sold for just $36 million on an estimate of $40 million–60 million at Christie’s New York earlier this month.
Bosé’s milieu during his youth included numerous luminaries from the 20th century, such as Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. Bosé’s father was the famous Spanish bullfighter Luís Miguel Dominguín, his mother is the Italian actress Lucía Bosé, and his godfather was the film director Luchino Visconti, so his links with the international art world come as no surprise.
“I have always admired Andy Warhol, both as an artist and as a person,” the Spanish musician and actor, best known for his 1984 hit Amante Bandido, told El Mundo. “We began our friendship after I made a trip to New York in the early 80s, during which he designed an album cover for me. Warhol listened to my music at the Factory even before we met,” he added.
“These two paintings are very representative of Warhol’s oeuvre, and collectors will be able to appreciate their high quality and impeccable provenance,” Etienne Sallon, from Christie’s Paris, said about the works, which Warhol signed and dedicated to Bosé.