RELEASE: CHRISTIE’S TO OFFER ‘VEGETARIAN VAMPIRES’, A SURREALIST MASTERPIECE BY REMEDIOS VARO

New York

New York – On May 27, Christie’s Evening Sale of Latin American Art will offer an outstanding Surrealist work by Remedios Varo, Vampiros vegetarianos (Vegetarian vampires). Never before offered at auction, Vampiros vegetarianos was executed at the height of the artist’s career in 1962, and featured prominently in her final exhibition at the groundbreaking Galería Juan Martín in Mexico City. A trailblazer and outlier within the context of modern art, the Spanish born, Mexican artist is best known for her dream-like paintings brimming with myriad sources, ranging from the supernatural to spirituality and science.

Virgilio Garza, Head of Latin American Art, commented: “Vampiros vegetarianos is a wonderful work and serves as an incredible anchor to our sale which features an important selection of works by several leading women surrealists artists, including Leonora Carrington, Alice Rahon and Bridget Tichenor.”

The scene depicted reveals a windowless medieval chamber illuminated by starlight from an oculus replete with a delicate silvery railing. Three emaciated characters sit around a bistro-style table eagerly sipping liquid from long thin straws. Their robes, made in the Surrealist decalomania technique so favored by Varo, take on a fiery glow with their tattered threads springing up like newly water plants.

Another visually arresting aspect of these vampires is their headgear, a play on Mercury’s winged helmet – but here those of bats have replaced the birds’ wings. Birds, bats, wings, flying creatures of all sorts are a staple in Varo’s work, often hinting at flights of fancy and mystical ascendancy. These whimsical creatures are pictorial relatives of the many hybrid creatures featured in the paintings of the Surrealist Leonora Carrington, Varo’s closest friend in Mexico.

The focus of the work and locus of the title’s pun is the meal on the table, a scattering of red fruits so meticulously rendered and brilliantly hued that they glow like embers. Of particular note, the tomatoes on the table are the main ingredients in a popular cocktail mixed in Mexico known as sangrita. Drinks made with tequila and sangrita are known as Vampiros. A favorite cocktail of Carrington, one can imagine her and Varo as they merrily planned one of their many naughty hijinks.

---

Note to Editors:

EXHIBITION:

Christie’s New York

May 23-27, 2015

AUCTION:

Christie’s New York

May 27, 2015 Lots 1-82 7:00pm

May 28, 2015 Lots 82-264 2:00pm

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.