David Hockney painting breaks record, selling for $90.3 million at auction

One of British artist David Hockney’s most iconic works sold for $90.3 million at auction on Thursday night, Christie’s confirmed in a press release.

The 81-year-old’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” set the record for the highest auction sale for a living artist, according to Christie’s. Previously, the honor belonged to Jeff Koons, whose “Balloon Dog” sold for $58.4 million back in 2013.

Hockney painted the piece back in 1972, with his dealer selling it for only $18,000 at the time, CNN reported.

Recounting the sale in an interview with the outlet from his Hollywood Hills studio in 2017, Hockney said, “I thought it was a lot of money at the time, but within six months, it was sold again for $50,000.”

Opening up about the piece’s origins, Hockney told CNN he was inspired by “two photographs on my studio floor, one of [former boyfriend Peter Schlesinger] and another of a swimmer, and they were just lying there and I put them together.”

Opening up about the piece’s origins, Hockney told CNN he was inspired by “two photographs on my studio floor, one of [former boyfriend Peter Schlesinger] and another of a swimmer, and they were just lying there and I put them together.”

Hockney told CBS news 2 years ago he’s never understood the painting’s popularity, but noted to the outlet: “If there were a formula for that, there’d be a lot more of them, wouldn’t there.”

Much of Hockney’s artwork has focused on pools, something he told CBS News he always found “interesting.”

Source: PEOPLE

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