ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
This property has been sourced from overseas. Whe… Read more
ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)

Diamond Dust Shoes

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
Diamond Dust Shoes
signed and dated 'Andy Warhol 1981' (on the overlap)
synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks with diamond dust on canvas
50 x 41 7/8 in. (127 x 106.3 cm.)
Painted in 1980-1981.
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Special notice
This property has been sourced from overseas. When auctioned, such property will remain under “bond” with the applicable import customs duties and taxes being deferred unless and until the property is brought into free circulation in the PRC. Prospective buyers are reminded that after paying for this lot in full and cleared funds, if they wish to import this lot into the PRC, they will be responsible for and will have to pay the applicable import customs duties and taxes. The rates of import customs duty and tax are based on the value of the goods and the relevant customs regulations and classifications in force at the time of import. The final amounts will be determined by PRC Customs and other competent authorities at the time of import. Neither Christie’s nor the seller warrants or guarantees the accuracy of this information and we are not responsible in any way for any errors or omissions. Potential buyers are responsible for satisfying themselves as to the amount of import customs duty and tax payable for lots which they buy and intend to import into the P

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Lot Essay

'I'm doing shoes because I'm going back to my roots. In fact, I think I should do nothing but shoes from now on' - Andy Warhol (A. Warhol quoted in P. Hackett, (ed.), The Andy Warhol Diaries, New York, 1989, p. 306)

Vivid in colour and dazzling in effect, Andy Warhol's Diamond Dust Shoes captures the most important themes of the artist's life and artistic career. Painted in 1980-1981, this work is a brilliant convergence of the artist's past and present - the image of shoes marks an important return to one of the major motifs of Warhol's past while the use of diamond dust echoes Warhol's opulent lifestyle at the centre of the nightclub era, concurrent with the re-opening of Studio 54, the legendary nightclub, in 1981

Andy Warhol was one of the most important artists in the Pop Art movement. Prior to his immense success as an artist, in the 1950s Warhol was a prize-winning commercial illustrator, namely working in advertising for the I. Miller Shoe Company. Warhol's whimsical and imaginative drawings of shoes gained popularity and eventually came to be his personal calling card. They even led to an illustrated book,A la recherche du shoe perdu. Throughout his career the artist often returned to the theme of shoes in his drawings and sketches of fanciful or elegant women's pumps.

In Diamond Dust Shoes, the arrangement of numerous shoes evokes Warhol's signature use of repetition, as also seen in his Marilyn Diptych of 1982, currently in the collection of the Tate Modern. By displaying the shoes against a glittery background of 'diamond dust' Warhol heightens the composition's sense of glamour, opulence and elegance, themes which are the keystone of much of Warhol's oeuvre. Warhol, an innovative screenprint artist, began to use 'diamond dust' in his works in 1979, after his printer Rupert Smith bought Warhol a sparkling diamond powder that he thought the artist might use in his work. Captivated by the medium's luminescent quality, but unfulfilled with the powder's dryness, Warhol opted for galvanised glass to produce the dazzling sparkle created in Diamond Dust Shoes.

This particular canvas has been in the same private collection since it was painted and given as a gift by Warhol to his friend, a shoe designer for the renowned American fashion label Halston, who sent Warhol a box of shoes to photograph for the series. Warhol often gave away his work to friends - in fact, Warhol had also given a Diamond Dust Shoes painting to the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at the beginning of their friendship. A rare example in the Diamond Dust Shoes series for its peachy diamond background and its lavish shoe colours - bright crimson, electric cobalt and emerald green - this painting is an especially dynamic and rare work from the group.

In a 1999 exhibition dedicated to Warhol's Diamond Dust Shoes series, Andy's friend, Vincent Freemont writes, 'With the Diamond Dust Shoes, Andy was able to combine some of his favorite themes - movie star glamour, high fashion, and money. The merger of women's shoes and diamond dust was a perfect fit....Andy created the Diamond Dust Shoe paintings just as the disco, lamé, and stilettos of Studio 54 had captured the imagination of the Manhattan glitterati. Andy, who had been in the vanguard of the New York club scene since the early 60s, once again reflected the times he was living in through his paintings" (V. Fremont, Diamond Dust Shoes, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 1999, pp. 8-9).

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