Andy Warhol portrait of Mao goes on auction in Hong Kong
Friday 17/March/2017 - 12:15 PM
An Andy Warhol painting of Chairman Mao is to be auctioned in Hong Kong - and it could go to a Chinese bidder for a "homecoming" of sorts، according to "BBC". The portraits immortalised the founder of China's Communist Party as a pop art commodity in the vein of Warhol's Marilyn Monroe and Campbell soup.
Based on a photo in Mao's Little Red Book، the portrait series is among the most famous images of the 20th Century.
The auction of this work is expected to fetch as much as $15m (£12.1m).
This particular Mao portrait was sold in 2014 in London for £7.6m ($9.4m) and the current owner، who is not identified، has now put it up for sale with Sotheby's in Hong Kong، with the auction expected on 2 April.
Warhol began his series of silk-screen portraits of Mao in 1972 when ties between then cold-war foes China and US began to thaw after the historic trip to Beijing by US President Richard Nixon. The photograph that Warhol used for the portrait was one that adorned the inside cover of the so-called Little Red Book، itself an symbol of Chinese communism and a work of propaganda. More than a billion copies are thought to have been published، making the book one of the most widely produced of all time.
During Mao's reign it became virtually mandatory to own and carry a copy.