David Hockney is heralded as one of the most iconic British artists of the 20th century and a linchpin of the pop art movement in the ‘60s. The multifaceted Hockney is now on track to claim the auction title of creating the most expensive artwork by a living artist, a label currently given to Jeff Koons for his Balloon Dog sculpture. Recognized for his jewel-toned paintings of poolside scenes, a forthcoming auction of the artist’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) painting at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale this week may very well dethrone Koons. The piece currently has an estimated sale value of $80 million USD versus Koons’ 2013 record of $58.4 million USD.
Hockney created the artwork back in 1972 and is billed as the most valuable one of all of his pool-related pieces. “Swimming pools, specifically the private backyard pools commonplace in Los Angeles, were a major subject of Hockney’s work since he moved to the city from the UK in 1964,” said Quartzy.