Hockney painting sells for €70m at auction

David Hockney painting auctions for record $90M

David Hockney painting auctions for record $90M

A painting by English artist David Hockney sold for $90.3 million during an auction at Christie's in Manhattan on Thursday.

It sold following a 10-minute battle between two rival bidders via telephone, after the price passed $70m.

It was standing room only in the packed sales room at Christie's in NY, where a smattering of applause broke out when the sale concluded, the painting hammering for $80 million.

The previous record was held by American artist Jeff Koons, whose massive, stainless steel piece Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58.4 million USA at a Christie's NY auction in November 2013. It is one of the 81-year-old artist's "pool paintings" and is considered one of his premier works.

The previous record was held by Jeff Koons's "Baloon Dog (Orange)", which sold in 2013 for $58.4 million.

His painting depicts two men, one swimming under water while the other watches from the side of the pool.

But, while grappling with the breakdown of their relationship, Hockney realized after months of work that he wasn't happy with the composition - the angle of the pool was all wrong.

The standing figure is said to represent Hockney's former partner Peter Schlesinger, whom the British artist met in 1966 while teaching art classes in California.

He said: "It has all the elements that you would want in a Hockney painting".

Christie's described it as "one of the great masterpieces of the modern era".

Started in 1971, Portrait of an Artist was inspired by two unrelated photos that had fallen together in Hockney's studio.

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