Hockney sells for $90.3 mn, smashes living artist record
New York: A masterful swimming pool painting by British legend David Hockney sold for USD 90.3 million in New York on Thursday, smashing a new auction record for a living artist.
"Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" was snapped up after more than nine minutes of bidding, dominated by two rival telephone bidders.
It left for dust the previous record held by American artist Jeff Koons and his "Balloon Dog (Orange)," which sold for USD 58.4 million at Christie's in 2013.
It was standing room only to watch history in the making in the packed salesroom at Christie's, where applause broke out when the epic sale concluded, the painting hammering for USD 80 million.
The buyer's premium and the commission took the final price for the canvas, which adorned the wall of the bidding room, to USD 90,312,500, the auction house announced.
The USD, 90 million price tag, was all the more astonishing given the roughly USD 20,000 that Hockney told CNN his dealer originally sold the painting for in 1972, subsequently believing it had been undervalued.