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Andy Warhol, 'Self-Portrait', 1963-64 |  Courtesy Sotheby’s
Andy Warhol, 'Self-Portrait', 1963-64 | Courtesy Sotheby’s
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Andy Warhol's First Self Portrait for Sale at London Auction

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 14 June 2017
Famous for his striking portraits of female celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor, the American Pop artist, Andy Warhol turned the lens on himself in 1963 for his first foray into self-portraiture.

Offered for the first time at auction, Self-Portrait (1963-64) marked a crucial turning point in the then 35-year-old Warhol’s career when he was propelled into the ranks of artistic icon and joined Van Gogh and Picasso before him as an important self-portraitist.

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1963-64
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1963-64 | Courtesy Sotheby’s

‘In the age of Instagram, Warhol’s fabled prediction that “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” has never felt more prophetic,’ said contemporary art specialist, James Sevier. “And the artist’s first self-portraits – created using a strip of photographs taken in a New York dime store photo-booth – have never felt more relevant to contemporary culture. This is a work of immense art historical importance that marks the watershed moment when Warhol joined the canon of the greatest self-portraitists.’

After being persuaded by his New York dealer Ivan Karp of the legendary Leo Castelli gallery, Warhol created a series of silkscreen self-portraits in the early 1960s. Up until then he had never put himself in front of the camera, but the use of photo-booths appealed to Warhol’s Pop Art sentiment for their mechanical and populist nature. He considered the series a success and continued to create self portraits throughout the 60s.

In 2011, a Self-Portrait quadtych sold for a record figure of US$38,442,500 (around UK£30 million) at Christies, so we anticipate this work will exceed its UK£5–7 million estimate, especially after the sale of Basquiat’s Untitled for an astounding US$110.5 million in May.

You can view Self-Portrait (1963–64) ahead of the sale at Sotheby’s 34–35 New Bond St, Mayfair, London W1A 2AA from June 16, 2017.