Andy Warhol's China Photographs May Fetch Over $1 Million at Auction

Andy Warhol's China Photographs May Fetch Over $1 Million at Auction

In what could be some of the most expensive personal photos of all time, over 200 photos from Andy Warhol's three-day trip to China in 1982 will go on auction this April, with an expectation of receiving over $1 million. 

The photos are not without controversy, however. While Curator Jeffrey Deitch views them as art, calling them "very strong images, not just random snapshots," Photographer Christopher Makos referred to the fever around the auction as "nonsense":

[They're] snapshots. Andy was never thinking about the light and dark. He was hoping he had the settings right and that's it.

They raise an interesting question of if one whose proclivity to create art was so strong that everything he made was art or if the photos are being sensationalized and are of status merely by their association with the name. Warhol had traveled to China at the invitation of a local entrepreneur who had commissioned him. The photographs are a very interesting look at history; to view the full collection, click here or visit the exhibition at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong from March 20 to April 2. Let me know in the comments if you think they're art or personal snapshots that have been unnecessarily glorified. 

[via CNN]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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This story isn't surprising. During a visit to a NYC gallery many years ago, I found framed Campbell's Soup can labels on sale for nearly $1,000.00 each. They were signed by Warhol, apparently done for the anniversary of his famed work. Now understand, these were actual soup can labels from the company, meaning the high price was for his autograph.

Just goes to show how ridiculous the art world can be that anything can be considered so special to warrant such high prices. The same goes for industries that support it, such as frame shops.