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David Hockney Claims Title for World's Most Expensive Artwork by Living Artist

Dethroning Jeff Koons.

David Hockney snapped up the title of world’s most expensive artwork by a living artist at Christie’s recent Postwar and Contemporary auction. The record-breaking $80 million USD sale of the British’s artist’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) painting surpassed Jeff Koons’ 2013 record of $58.4 million USD. The auction also triples Hockney’s personal auction record of $28.4 million USD this past May.

“David Hockney’s brilliance as an artist is on full display with this monumental canvas, which encapsulates the essence of the idealized poolside landscape, and the tremendous complexity that exists within human relationships,” said Alex Rotter, co-chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s to ABC News. “With this painting, Hockney cemented his placement within the realm of history’s most venerated artists.”

Hockney made the painting back in 1972 and is heralded as the most valuable one of all of his pool-related pieces. The piece is actually the second iteration with the original version portraying a figure that represented American artist Peter Schlesinger who Hockney had a five-year relationship with. After their breakup, Hockney discarded the initial version of the painting, as per ABC.

Elsewhere in art, the Brooklyn Museum has a Frida Kahlo exhibition on the way.

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