Author Archives: Kristen Yraola

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Andy Warhol:
The Complete Athletes Series

The collector Richard Weisman knew Andy Warhol well when he approached him to produce a series of paintings featuring contemporary sports stars in 1977. For Weisman, the connection between art and sport was obvious: “I felt putting the series together was natural, in that two of the most popular leisure activities at the time were sports and art, yet to my knowledge they had no direct connection. Therefore I thought that having Andy do the series would inspire people who loved sport to come into galleries, maybe for the first time, and people who liked art would take their first look at a sports superstar.” (R. Weisman quoted in K. Casprowiak, “Warhol’s Athlete Series Celebrity Sports Stars,” Andy Warhol: The Athlete Series, London, 2007, p. 71).

Executed in a dazzling array of colorful hues, each individual portrait captures both the glamor and personality of each sports star. From the intensity of Mohammad Ali’s stare to the warmth of Pelé’s smile and the fresh beauty of Dorothy Hamill, it is a mark of Warhol’s artistic ability that he is able to capture the individuality of each personality whilst retaining the unique visual language that is distinctly his own.

Warhol took each of the photographs using his Polaroid Big Shot camera. He took around 60 images of each person, of which he would then select four to be made into screens. Assistants then pre-painted canvases in different flesh tones, onto which Warhol would apply colored areas to signify eyes, lips, hair, jackets, the silkscreen was then applied as the final layer.

One of the distinguishing features of The Athlete Series portraits are the added, almost expressionistic flourishes which Warhol added while the paint was still wet. These marks were often made with a palette knife, the back of a paintbrush or even his own fingers. He first began using his fingers to manipulate the paint directly on the surface of the canvas in the early 1970s and initially used this method to produce an illusionist effect, helping to create a sense of ephemerality and atmosphere in the work. Warhol’s marks outline the important facial features of his subjects, and serve to introduce a physical quality that deviates from traditional portraiture, adding a sense of dynamism and energy to the work.

The resulting portraits demonstrate Warhol’s remarkable ability to capture the zeitgeist of the times.


American Pastimes: Sports & Politics will run from September 4-11 online at

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
Unique Polaroid print
4¼ x 3 3/8 in. (10.8 x 8.6 cm.)


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Justin Vivian Bond

As a self-described “trans-fabulous performance-activist,” Justin Vivian Bond has been on the front line of gender and sexuality debates for decades, paving the way for LGBT visibility worldwide. Beyond being a fixture at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Mx. Bond was one half of the Tony-nominated cabaret duo, Kiki & Herb (with Kenny Mellman), and has starred in John Cameron Mitchell’s 2006 film, Shortbus. Mx. Bond’s memoir, TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels, won a Lambda Literary Award in 2012.

On June 10, the multitalented artist is celebrating “20 of the most exuberant years of subversive glamour and performance” at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, in a show titled, “Happy Tranniversary!

Before our latest online-only sale, Andy’s Eye Candy (May 29 – June 12), which takes place in tandem with LGBT Pride Month, we asked Mx. Bond a few questions about Warhol, cultural obsessions, and the importance of drag in daily life.


1. What was your first Warholian moment, and when did you first encounter him?  

Of course I was aware of his paintings very early in my life but when I was in high school I was working in a bookstore when Jean Stein and George Plimpton’s Edie: An American Biography arrived. I took the book home immediately and that’s when my fascination with the Factory and of the amazing people who inhabited it really began.


2. What or who would be Andy’s muse if he were alive today?

He loved huge, glamorous stars, royalty, and women from wealthy, tragic families so I’m sure he’d be fascinated by Charlotte Casiraghi [the daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco].


3. What are your latest cultural obsessions?

I’m interested in all of the discussions about the struggles we are having to expand language to meet the needs of our growing consciousness around the subjectivity of gender and the diversity of gender expression in the world today.


4. What would you consider Warhol’s most memorable quote or anthem?

Obviously the 15-minute thing.


5. If you could collaborate with Andy on a project, what would it be?

Who wouldn’t want to be the subject of one of his iconic portraits?


6. Dream dinner-party: you, Warhol, and…?

I was at a party once in the ‘80s where I sat across from Andy at Mick Jagger’s 42nd birthday party in the Mike Todd Room at The Palladium. The Stones were there, Grace Jones, Jack Nicholson, Jerry Hall. That was pretty amazing. But I’d like to have dinner with Andy, Dorothy Parker, Joan Didion, Tilda Swinton, James Baldwin, Tom Spanbauer, Hilton Als, and Billy Baldwin. That’s eight so I guess I’m finished.


7. Imagine Warhol had a Twitter account. What kind of thing might he say in 140 characters or less?

I’m sure you could just crack one of his books point at something and you’d be good to go!


8. Whose portrait would Andy most want to do now?

Well I should hope it would be mine!


9. Soup can or coke bottle?

Electric Chair.


10. Drag every day or only on special occasions?

24/7. As RuPaul said, “You’re born naked and the rest is drag!”


(Image courtesy Justin Vivian Bond. Photographer: David Kimelman). 


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The Warholian Questionnaire:
Deborah Davis

In advance of our latest Warhol sale, Andy’s World, Deborah Davis reveals the similarities between Warhol and the portrait painter John Singer Sargent, as well as the athlete Warhol would most likely immortalize now, and the power of Andy’s fright wig.

Davis is the author of Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X, which The Philadelphia Inquirer called,  “A stunner about a stunner,” and Party of the Century: The Fabulous Story of Truman Capote and His Black and White Ball, among other books. Next year, Simon & Schuster will release her experience traveling across the U.S. in Andy’s shoes, in an upcoming book titled, The Trip.


What was your first Warholian moment, and when did you encounter him? 

I sat in front of Andy at a film event at MoMA in the early eighties and was thrilled to be in his presence.  Later that evening, my husband made some comment about his wig, and I said, “What wig?” Can you imagine how young and naive I was to have thought his outrageous silver hair was real?


What or who would be Andy’s muse if he were alive today?

Ronan Farrow — he’s the boy who has it all, beauty, brains, lineage, celebrity…and a touch of scandal.


What are your latest cultural obsessions?

The Goldfinch, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Pharrell — because he makes me “Happy!”


What would you consider to be Andy’s most memorable quote or anthem?

“I like to be the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place … because something interesting always happens.”


If you could collaborate with Andy on a project, what would it be?

Andy took a life-changing road trip in 1963 (which I chronicle in my upcoming book, The Trip). In that spirit, I’d like to get in a car with him today, drive cross-country (I’d do the driving since he had no license) and see America through his eyes.


Dream dinner party: you, Warhol, and…?

John Singer Sargent. Two great portraitists and social observers who were practically the same person, though in different centuries. They were both serious artists who had to paint a lot of socialites to pay the bills; they both knew where the bodies were buried and, fortunately, loved to kiss and tell!


Imagine Andy had a Twitter account. What kind of thing might he say in 140 characters or less?

140 characters would be too much verbiage for Andy. He’d use Instagram instead.


Whose portrait would Andy most want to do now?

Jason Collins or Michael Sam.  He admired athletes and would appreciate the fact that they have broken new ground in the sports world. Andy always liked to get there first!


Soup can or coke bottle?

Coke bottle, because it really is Pop!


Drag every day or only in special occasions?

Special occasions. As Andy liked to say, “Waiting for something makes it more exciting.”


Christie’s is selling Warhol’s work in a variety of mediums in an online-only auction, running from March 13-25, 2014. (Click here for more details.) For more on this and other online-only auctions at Christie’s, see



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A Slideshow Tour of Andy’s World

“I don’t really feel all these people with me every day at The Factory are just hanging around me, I’m more hanging around them,” Andy Warhol said in a 1967 interview with Gretchen Berg in Cahiers du Cinema.

In Andy’s World, our online-only sale which runs from March 13-25, we get an inside look at the people, places, and things Warhol loved during his life. In the slideshow below, some of our favorite Warhol quotes are paired with photos and drawings by the artist.

Christie’s is selling Warhol’s work in a variety of mediums in an online-only auction, running from March 13-25, 2014. (Click here for more details.) For more on this and other online-only auctions at Christie’s, see





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Warhol on Love: 12 Quotes From The King of Pop Art

In celebration of our online-only Warhol @ Christie’s: Love sale, which runs from 23 January through 4 February, 2014, we’ve found twelve quotes from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)) to set your heart aflutter.

According to Andy:

1. “People should fall in love with their eyes closed. Just close your eyes. Don’t look.”

2. “When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”

3. “As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.”

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987) Love silkscreen inks and colored paper collage on paper 30 ½ x 21 ½ in. (77.5 x 54.6 cm.) Executed in 1983.

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987), Love


4. “I wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever.”

5. “I think everybody should be nice to everybody.”

6. “Brigitte Bardot was one of the first women to be really modern and treat men like love objects, buying them and discarding them. I like that.”

7. “A friend of mine always says, ‘Women love me for the man I’m not.’”

8. “Every time I have a ‘romance’ I’m so nervous I bring the whole office with me… They all come to pick me up and then we go to pick her up. Love me, love my office.”


ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987), Couple Embracing


9.  “I always run into strong women who are looking for weak men to dominate them.”

10. “Some people think that violence is sexy, but I could never see that.”

11. “Most of the people in offices are actually getting paid while they day-dream up their new seductions.”

12. “I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have a fantasy. Everybody must have a fantasy.”




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Warhol Questionnaire: Billy Hough

This month, Billy Hough will don a Warhol-appropriate fright wig and perform “Scream Along with Billy”, his self-described “punk cabaret act” with Susan Goldberg, at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Hilton Als writes in The New Yorker, “Hough’s rough, melancholy voice is a big instrument that belies his diminutive size.” In a new twist, Hough and Goldberg will pay tribute to Warhol as well as the late Lou Reed with “Songs For Drella”, a provocative show that would likely make Andy titter. We caught up with Hough via email in advance of our upcoming sale, Andy Warhol @ Christie’s: Love, and Hough revealed his appreciation of Basquiat, the Velvet Underground, and more.


What was your first Warholian moment, and when did you first encounter him?

I was always intrigued with the artwork, but in college I found the Velvet Underground and the Paul Morrissey movies (Flesh and Trash) simultaneously.  They seemed to call to me from a hidden universe I then became determined to find; and though it was 20 years later, and the original cast was mostly gone by then, it was of no matter. A year later, “Songs for Drella” came out, and I was a goner.  Still am.

What or who would be Andy’s muse if he were alive today?

Andy’s shifts of focus and inspiration were always surprising, if not shocking. Therefore, I am almost destined to mis-guess; however, I do think he would have made some comment on the recent crop of celebrities who are simply the mainstream’s validation of some of his ’60s Superstars [who were] famous for having sex and doing drugs on camera. Not to say that any of our TMZ crop could hold a candle to Jackie Curtis or Edie [Sedgwick], Little Joe or Holly, but perhaps Andy would have found a way to dignify some of the baseness of modern stardom.

What are your latest cultural obsessions?

Personally I’m a bit burned out on the disposable nature of everything, so I’ve gone back to the tried and true, “in” classics: The Iliad (Stephen Mitchell’s brilliant new translation), Ted Hughes’ gorgeous “Tales from Ovid”, and I am working with the Altman clan on a critical re-appraisal of the films of Robert Altman. That and my usual punk rock.

What would you consider Warhol’s most memorable quote or action?

The blank stare.

If you could collaborate with Andy on a project, what would it be?

I wouldn’t deign to, not being a visual artist, but I’m most jealous of the idea of he and [Jean-Michel] Basquiat [urinating] on canvases.  That I’d get in on in a heartbeat.

Dream dinner-party: you, Warhol, and…?

Now…sadly…Mr. Reed. Though in truth, if I had a fantasy night, I’d skip dinner and do amphetamine all night with Billy Name and the girls from the a: A Novel era.

Imagine Warhol had a Twitter account. What kind of thing might he say in 140 characters or less?

I have the feeling that he would have found a use for Twitter that we haven’t seen yet.

Whose portrait would Andy most want to do now?

With the “celebritization” of anyone, I wonder if Andy would focus on those out of the spotlight. But this time, instead of making them Superstars, he would leave them, happily, under the radar.

Soup can or coke bottle?

Soup can.

Drag everyday or only on special occasions?

Every day is a special occasion.


“Songs for Drella” will take place on Monday January 6, 2014, at 9:30 PM. at Joe’s Pub in New York City.

(Image: (c) 2013 by Nina West.)


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A Holiday with… Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate has been a Hollywood favorite since she first starred on Fox’s Married…with Children as a teenager. Since then, the actress made audiences laugh in movies like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead and, more recently, Anchorman 2, the follow-up to her role in 2004’s hilarious newsroom comedy.

Off-screen, things haven’t always been easy. In 2008, Christina fought (and won) a public battle with breast cancer, going on to found Right Action for Women, a foundation dedicated to making breast cancer screenings accessible. Since then, she has married and has given birth to a lovely daughter, Sadie. Whether they’re home in Los Angeles or traveling to New York City, the holidays are extra special for her these days. Last year, Applegate talked with Christie’s about her favorite holiday memories and the work of art that made her cry at the Louvre. We’re revisiting this interview during our online-only sale, Warholiday (1-12 December).



How will you spend the holidays this year or can you tell us about a recent holiday that was special?


Last year was special because Sadie really had an understanding of the holiday season. It was my favorite one so far. She was squealing at Christmas lights and singing Christmas songs all day. Truly magical. She got it.


Do you and your family like to get away for the holidays or spend them at home? What’s special about both? 


For Sadie’s first Christmas, we went to go see my family, which was wonderful, but we really enjoy being at home, too. It’s less stress without travel. But I am looking forward to bringing her to New York this year, when I go for the Anchorman 2 premiere just before Christmas. I can’t wait for her to see the glory that is Manhattan at Christmas time.


Do you have a favorite holiday memory and/or favorite holiday tradition from childhood?


My favorite memories of Christmas are celebrating at my grandmother’s house in Indiana until she passed away in 1996. Just being with her was wonderful. Now, we’ve adopted the tradition of “Max the Magical Elf.”  In the days leading up to Christmas, Max disappears every night and reappears in the morning in a different place where Sadie has to find him.


What kind of gift do you find most meaningful?


My favorite memory of Christmas presents is from when I was six years old and came down and had 101 gifts under the tree — albeit, one pencil wrapped in paper, or a pad of paper wrapped in paper. Nonetheless, it was an incredible sight to see.


What kind of imagery do you associate with the holidays? Snow? Christmas lights?


I associate snow with Christmas. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see it because I live in Los Angeles.  A big, beautiful tree gives me the spirit of the holiday here.


Is there something you like to watch every holiday season? Holiday music you enjoy? 


“Kay Thompson’s Jingle Bells,” performed by Andy Williams. It makes me laugh, it’s just so great.


Do you own or have you seen a piece of art that particularly inspires you?


Winged Victory of Samothrace. The first time I saw it I wept at the Louvre.


Do you have a favorite holiday look?


I live in Southern California, so our clothing doesn’t really change much over the holidays, but when I was living in New York I loved seeing people on the street and their original and cool ways of how to make a coat look awesome.


What’s something in your home in that means something to you?


I did a movie with Cameron Diaz and as a wrap gift she gave me the oversized Helmut Newton book.  It stands on a stand in my living room to this day.  It has some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen.  In and of themselves, the book and the stand are art.


What are you most grateful for right now? 


Getting to spend time with my daughter. Having the opportunity to take some time off to just be with her all day long. It’s invaluable.


ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
Poinsettias (See F. & S. IIIA.51)
screenprint in colors on paper, an unpublished work from an edition of an unknown size
21½ x 15¼ in. (54.6 x 38.7 cm.)
Executed circa 1983.