“Coca-Cola (3)” – which has resided within the same private collection for almost two decades and featured prominently in Warhol exhibitions around the world – is considered a founding painting of the Pop Art movement, which celebrated popular culture and consumerism in post-World War II America.
© 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“Warhol created one of the most
iconic images, both for his own body of work but also for the 20th Century,”
said Brett Gorvy, chairman and international head of post-war and contemporary
art at Christie’s. “He concentrated on the
Warhol himself once wrote, “What’s grand about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same thing as the poorest... you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and, just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke, and no amount of money can get you a better Coke.”
“The genius of Andy Warhol is
that he took this ubiquitous shape known to everybody in the world and turned
it into art,” said Ted Ryan, director of heritage communications, The
Warhol was not the first major
artist to use
“It's very difficult to anticipate how much a painting like this will sell for because we haven't seen an object of this caliber on the market,” he added. “It's difficult to truly anticipate what will happen at the last moment.”
In 2008, Warhol’s “Eight
Elvises” sold in a private sale for $100
million, a record for his work. Another piece by the Pop Art pioneer
featuring the iconic Coke bottle – “Coca-Cola (4)” – went for $35.36 million at
a 2010 auction.
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