Friday, January 29, 2010
Gursky Photo of Madonna Show Could Fetch $2 Million
Sotheby's upcoming contemporary-art sale in London is getting a dose of celebrity wattage from post-Warholian pop icon Madonna, thanks to a personalized photograph by Andreas Gursky that is scheduled to go on the block Feb. 10. Titled Madonna I, the nine-foot-high photo is an aerial shot of the singer playing to a packed Los Angeles audience on Sept.13, 2001. Part of her Drowned World Tour, the emotionally-charged concert had originally been scheduled for September 11, but was called off in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks. In the photo, Madonna has an American flag tied around her waist.
Gursky, the coveted artist known for his outsize, minutely detailed photographs, gave the photograph to Madonna — an art collector who owns more than 300 paintings by artists from Picasso and Man Ray to Damien Hirst — and inscribed a dedication to her on the back. Sotheby's estimates that the photograph could fetch as much as $2.1 million at auction. Madonna, however, is not the seller. According to the sale's catalogue, she parted with the piece in 2005, either cashing it in or giving it away, leading some to surmise the photo has been consigned by her ex-husband, Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie.