Art Basel

June 20 2014

Image of Art Basel

Picture: Skarstedt Gallery via Artnet

Talking of fairs, it's Art Basel at the moment, probably the world's leading modern art fair. Things sell for silly money, like the above Andy Warhol self-portrait (one of countless versins), which Artnet news reports has sold for more than $30m. To put that into perspective, the Van Dyck self-portrait recently bought by the National Portrait Gallery, London (and one of only 8 known to have been painted) cost £10m. 

Update - a reader writes:

Yes, quality in art and monetary value these days seem to have little in common. I met Andy Warhol in the 1980s when he came here to Kong Kong for an exhibition of his Xerox-type portraits of local big-wigs, whether done by him or his "Factory" workers I know not. It was quite difficult carrying on a conversation with him because of his minimalist line in dialogue. At the time this seemed to me quite smart because his verbal technique generated maximum publicity with minimum effort. It was interesting to see that when he died his apartment was filled  with antiques like a country house; there were no "Factory" products in sight.

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