Bill Ray: Andy Warhol with Polaroid camera, New York, 1980
"Sixteen Jackies" by Andy Warhol, silk screen on canvas.
At the Sotheby's sale on Tuesday evening, a Warhol from 1964, "Sixteen Jackies" (est. $20-30 million), featuring a mixed composition of several Jacqueline Kennedy portraits in blue, brown, and white sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $20,242,500 . Most experts thought that excessive estimates dampened enthusiasm at Sotheby's $128 Million Contemporary Art Auction.
The four images of Jacqueline Kennedy, each repeated four times, were enlargements of news photographs that appeared widely and continually in the media after the assassination. Taken from issues of Life magazine, the images depict, from top to bottom: Jackie stepping off the plane upon arrival at Love Field in Dallas; stunned at the swearing-in ceremony for Lyndon B. Johnson aboard Air Force One after the president's death; grieving at the Capitol; and smiling in the limousine before the assassination. 16 Jackies combines a number of themes important in Warhol's work, such as his fascination with American icons and celebrities, his interest in the mass media and the dissemination of imagery, and his preoccupation with death.
The more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away and the better and emptier you feel."--Andy Warhol, 1975
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