Sotheby’s Offers Set of Andy Warhol-Sketched Shoes

And there's already a famous bidder in the mix.

Andy Warhol shoe illustrations. Photo: Sotheby's.
Andy Warhol shoe illustrations.
Photo: Sotheby's.

Calling all shoe freaks: Sotheby’s London is selling off Andy Warhol‘s complete 1955 portfolio of hand-colored lithographs of decadent footwear as part of their London Prints & Multiples sale on March 22. The portfolio contains 18 prints in total and is estimated at £100,000–150,000 ($143,972–215,958). Fifteen of the 18 prints were hand-colored, and the portfolio contains 16 individual shoes.

Before he was churning out portraits of American icons and producing strange films in his silver-tinted Factory, Warhol famously got his start in New York City as an illustrator for magazines and advertisements—a fact that greatly influenced his eventual artistic style but also inspired ire from fellow artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, who found him both too commercial and “too fey.”

Andy Warhol shoe illustration. <br>Photo: courtesy Sotheby's.

Andy Warhol shoe illustration.
Photo: courtesy Sotheby’s.

Between 1953 and 1959, at the height of his demand as a commercial illustrator for places like the New York Times and I. Miller shoes, Warhol self-published several portfolios, books, and individual prints. The hand-coloring was done by Warhol, his assistants, and various friends. Lettering was done by Andy’s mother, Julia Warhola.

In typical Warhol fashion, the witty accompanying text often references the works of cultural icons like Alfred Hitchcock, Gertrude Stein, and Marcel Proust, in addition to the English nursery rhyme “Star Light, Star Bright.”

Andy Warhol shoes. Photo: courtesy Sotheby's.

Andy Warhol shoes.
Photo: courtesy Sotheby’s.

With the market for Warhol forever booming, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the elegant sketches surpass their estimate. In fact, one very famous fashion lover has already expressed interest: “I’m a big fan of Warhol and have been for a long time. A few people told me about his shoe illustrations but I hadn’t actually seen any until Sotheby’s sent me the details. I would love to bid on them…,” contemporary footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood said during an interview with Sotheby’s.

“I think a lot of these designs would work practically. I’m particularly interested in the shape of the toe Warhol has incorporated in to a lot of them,” he added.

Sotheby’s London Prints & Multiples sale will take place on March 22.


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