From Ali to Pele – Christie’s to auction Andy Warhol’s portraits of athletes this November

You can be as passionate about art as you can be about sports! Imagine a world where both these passions come together! A world like this exists and it’s called Andy Warhol’s “Athletes” series. The series was completed between 1977 and 1979, which was commissioned by businessman Richard L. Weisman. Christie’s is set to sell a selection of works from the collection that features iconic sports legends right from Muhammad Ali at the top to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pelé, and Chris Evert. Did you know in 2009, the “Athletes” works gained a reputation when 10 of them were stolen from Weisman’s Los Angeles home? Weisman thankfully got them back and now the series is expected to bring in at least $15 million in all. The works in the series are multi-colored acrylic and silkscreen on canvas images of iconic sports stars from Muhammad Ali who is still reining at the top and expected to rake in the highest at $4 million to $6 million—to football star O. J. Simpson and figure skater Dorothy Hamill, which each carry an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.

Weisman’s eclectic collection at Christie’s also includes pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Norman Rockwell and Alberto Giacometti. Andy Warhol’s Portraits of Athletes to Hit the Block at Christie’s this November.


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