David Hockney’s well-known 1972 painting Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) broke the auction record for a living artist, selling for $90.3 million at Christie’s on Thursday to an unidentified seller.
The Guardian reports: “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) was snapped up after more than nine minutes of bidding, dominated by two rival telephone bidders. The previous record was held by American Jeff Koons and his Balloon Dog (Orange), which sold for $58.4m at Christie’s in 2013…The first man depicts Hockney’s former lover and muse, Peter Schlesinger, who was one of his students at the University of California, Los Angeles. The picture dates back to the year that their great love affair ended, and it is thought the swimmer could be Peter’s new lover. One of Hockney’s most celebrated works, it has featured on the cover of a number of monographs about the artist and was part of an international retrospective that celebrated his 80th birthday in 2017.”