David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist ( Pool with Two Figures ) from 1972 sold for $90 Million at Christie’s auction in New York. After nine minutes of bidding, the sale sets a new record for the highest bid for a work by a living artist. The previous record by a living artist was for a 2013 sale of “Balloon Dog” sculpture by Jeff Koons for $58 Million.
The Seller of the Hockney was a British billionaire, Joe Lewis, who acquired the piece from entertainment billionaire David Geffen in 1995. Lewis keeps a low profile, but there’s reason to believe he was behind the purchase of the contemporary art collection assembled by Victor and Sally Ganz just before it was sold to Christie’s in 1997.