First online sale of 125 Andy Warhol paintings

New Delhi: Collectors from all over the world, including India, can bid online for 125 paintings by American pop art icon Andy Warhol in the first online sale by auction house Christie`s, it said in a statement.

Among the highlights of the first sale from Feb 26 to Mar 5 is a trial proof for the lithograph "I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever (1964)", based on an image of Marilyn Monroe`s lips; "Campbell`s Chicken with Rice Soup (1964)" from the tin soup can series filled with concrete and "New Coke" (1985), a semi-abstract image of an overturned Coke can and its spreading puddle.

Warhol shot to fame in the late 1950s with pop art prints and images of popular cultural symbols like Hollywood celebrities and lifestyle motifs commenting on post-war mindsets and explosion of the material culture in the US in a kneejerk against World War II.

The sale is a partnership between the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Christie`s, the auction house said. Estimates for the works that span the artist`s career in a variety of mediums range from $600 (Rs.33,000) to $70,000 (Rs.38.50 lakh).

A spokesperson for Christie`s said the sale would offer both "seasoned collectors and first-time buyers extraordinary global access to Warhol`s work".

The timed online format allows clients to browse, bid, receive instant updates by e-mail or phone if another bid exceeds theirs, organise shipping and pay from anywhere in the world.

In 2013, Christie`s will launch several more online sales of Warhol`s original works from the foundation`s collection. The last Andy Warhol auction at Christie`s in New York Nov 2-4, 2012, had realised $17 million.

Proceeds from these and all subsequent sales under the partnership will benefit the Warhol Foundation`s grant-making programmes that support artists and non-profit arts organisations.

Michael Straus, chairman of the Board of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, stated: "This long-term, multi-platform series of sales will provide important endowment strength for our programmes in support of contemporary arts organisations and artists. Just as important, though, the initiative will bring Andy Warhol`s art to the widest possible audience, preserving and extending his legacy."

Joel Wachs, president of the foundation, added: "At the same time as it broadens the base for the foundation`s grantmaking, this online-only sale will greatly expand access to Andy Warhol`s work, in a fundamentally democratic manner that is entirely consistent with his art."