Pop artist Andy Warhol’s “White Disaster (White Car Crash 19 Times)” went up for auction at Sotheby’s on Wednesday and sold for $84.5 million.
CNN reported, “At the time Warhol created the work in 1963, he had become transfixed with gruesome and morbid images — atomic bomb clouds, electric chairs — and how widely print publications reproduced them, believing that readers had become immune to their impact.”
Sotheby’s tweeted on Wednesday that the painting was the star lot in the sale and the price at which it sold was “monumental.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, this isn’t the most expensive Warhol painting that has been on the market. Sotheby’s reportedly auctioned off “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)” for $105.4 million. The piece that has gone at the highest rate is Warhol’s iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe, which Christie’s sold for $195 million earlier this year.
Who is Andy Warhol?
As I wrote earlier for the Deseret News, Encyclopedia Britannica explains that Warhol was a pioneer of the movement that took pop culture and “apotheosized” it. Warhol rose to fame for his iconic images of Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles. He would later portray famous pop culture figures like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson. Using a technique known as silk-screening, Warhol would draw on photographs to mass produce his iconic image style.