Most Valuable Andy Warhol Art of All Time
Andy Warhol impacted not only the world of pop art, but he also changed both the art world and pop culture as we know it.
At the time of his death in 1987, Warhol was no starving artist — he had already amassed a net worth of $220 million. But his paintings have only gone up in value since then to a degree that he could never have anticipated himself. These are the most valuable.
10. Race Riot
Value: $62.8 million
Bottom line: Created in 1964, "Race Riot" is a silkscreen that is part of Warhol's "Death and Disaster" series, which is comprised of 70 images from newspapers and law enforcement showing everything from car accidents to suicides.
Warhol started the series after seeing an image of a plane crash in a newspaper. He said, "I guess it was the big plane crash picture, the front page of a newspaper: '129 DIE.' I was also painting the Marilyns. I realized that everything I was doing must have been death. It was Christmas or Labor Day — a holiday — and every time you turned on the radio they said something like ‘4 million are going to die.’ That started it.”
This painting is based on an image by "Life" photographer Charles Moore of law enforcement disrupting a Civil Rights march in Birmingham, Alabama. Art curator and collector Sam Wagstaff originally owned the painting but gave it to his partner, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It sold for $62.8 million in 2014.
9. Men in Her Life
Value: $63.4 million
Bottom line: This 1962 painting is like many of the ones Warhol would create of celebrities. This one depicts actress Elizabeth Taylor with her third husband, Mike Todd, and fourth husband, Eddie Fisher.
It sold in 2010 to an anonymous buyer believed to be Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
8. Four Marlons
Value: $69.6 million
Bottom line: In 2014, Warhol's "Four Marlons" went to auction and brought in a whopping sum of nearly $70 million. Made in 1966, the painting depicts the actor as bike-gang leader Johnny Strabler from the film, "The Wild One," released in 1953.
Germany's WestSpiel casino group purchased the image for its casino in Aachen and placed it and two other Warhols in storage in 2009. The work was then sold at Christie's in November 2014 to an anonymous bidder.
7. Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)
Value: $71.7 million
Bottom line: Also part of the "Death and Disaster" series, this painting is based on an image of the aftermath of a Seattle car chase taken by "Newsweek" photographer John Whitehead.
The painting was in Zurich in a private collection for more than three decades before selling in 2007 to an anonymous buyer that is rumored to be Greek shipping magnate Philip Niarchos.
6. Turquoise Marilyn
Value: $80 million
Bottom line: This is one of five colored Marilyns painted by Warhol in 1964. All five were stacked in Warhol's studio, then known as the Factory, when a friend of one of Warhol's assistants, Dorothy Podber, came and asked if she could "shoot" them.
Warhol, thinking she meant with a camera, agreed. She proceeded to pull a gun from her purse and fired putting holes in four paintings. They became known as the "Shot Marilyns."
The only one that was not in the pile was the turquoise painting, which was sold at auction to Chicago art collector Stefan Edlis in 2007.
5. Triple Elvis
Value: $81.9 million
Bottom line: The WestSpiel casino group also sold "Triple Elvis" in 2014. In the painting, created in 1963, Elvis Presley is dressed as a cowboy from the 1960 western "Flaming Star."
Warhol printed several images of the King onto one large canvas roll, before sending it to L.A.'s Ferus Gallery. He included a few frames in different sizes and told the gallery owner to cut the canvas to fit the frames.
4. White Disaster [White Car Crash 19 Times]
Value: $85.3 million
Bottom line: The biggest piece (12 feet by 6 feet) from the "Death and Disaster" series, "White Disaster [White Car Crash 19 Times]" shows a mangled car with a victim inside. The photo first appeared in a 1963 issue of "Newsweek."
The piece came from a private collection, where it had been for over two decades. The new owner is also anonymous.
3. Eight Elvises
Value: $100 million
Bottom line: "Eight Elvises" is from the same roll of images as "Triple Elvis" and was also displayed in L.A.'s Ferus Gallery.
Annibale Berlingieri, an Italian heir and art collector owned the piece until 2008 when it was auctioned to an unknown buyer.
Today, its whereabouts and new owner are still a mystery. The painting has not been exhibited in public since the 1960s.
2. Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)
Value: $105.4 million
Bottom line: As you've probably surmised by now, the "Death and Disaster" series is quite popular with art collectors."Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)" also depicts a twisted body in a mangled car.
This massive art piece is 8 feet by 13 feet and has been on display only once in the past three decades. It had been part of a private collection in Europe since 1989 and was sold to an anonymous collector in 2013.
1. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn
Value: $195 million
Bottom line: "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" is the most expensive Warhol painting sold to date, selling for $195 million in May 2022. It's the most expensive art from an American artist ever sold at auction and the most expensive 20th-century piece ever sold in a public sale.
American art dealer Larry Gagosian cast the winning bid, but we don't know if he purchased it for himself or someone else.