OK, not $10 million. $9,975,000.
The UES former firehouse that was Andy Warhol‘s first studio is on the market. 159 East 87th Street, just east of Lexington, is a two-story building that dates from 1910. Art critic Blake Gopnik, who is working on a biography of the artist, told ArtNet News,
“As a successful commercial illustrator, Andy Warhol had spent the previous 13 years working out of his various homes. In 1963, he was only just becoming known as a fine artist, so it’s no wonder he didn’t invest in a fancier studio.“
Warhol was becoming a celebrity himself, both praised and reviled, just six months before debuting his now infamous Campbell’s Soup Can series. Gopnik said,
“The fire house only cost $150 a month, but it was a wreck, with leaks in the roof and holes in the floors, but it was better than trying to make serious paintings in the wood-paneled living-room of his Victorian townhouse, as he’d done for the previous couple of years. Andy moved into the firehouse on January 1, 1963, and his lease on it was terminated the following May —leaving a gap of more than half a year before he moves into the famous Silver Factory.“
Andy painted some his most famous and coveted series here, like Marilyn, Liz and his Disaster paintings. The building is, ironically, currently in use as an art storage facility and realtor Cushman & Wakefield resorted to some artsy language in the listing, saying that it,
“offers a developer a blank canvas to create boutique condominiums, a mixed-use rental or a luxury townhouse.”
For rent 50+ years ago for $150 a month; for sale in 2016 for $10 million. An early silkscreen of Warhol’s, like this Triple Elvis maybe a couple thousand in ’63. It sold at auction for almost $82 million. As an artist I’m asking, what’s a better return on your money?
(via Artnet News)