Andy Warhol - Editions, Photographs and Design Hong Kong Friday, June 14, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I’m doing shoes because I’m going back to my roots. In fact, I think maybe I should do nothing but shoes from now on”
    — Andy Warhol
    Andy Warhol’s enduring interest in women’s footwear in all its elegant, elaborate, and extravagant manifestations – be it classic pumps, jewelled heels, or glittery stilettos – can be traced back to the early days of his career as a commercial illustrator. Starting from the late 1940s, the young artist began to produce blotted-line drawings of women’s shoes for fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Life and Vogue on a regular basis. The weekly advertisements Warhol designed for the shoe company I. Miller even won him the reputation as “the Leonardo da Vinci of the shoe trade” from Women’s Wear Daily, the journal also known as the “Bible of fashion” in the industry.


    Andy Warhol, A la Recherche du Shoe Perdu (In Search of the Lost Shoe), c. 1955. Artwork: © 2024 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 

    Commissioned to create an ad campaign for Halston – the eponymous fashion brand of the acclaimed designer Roy Halston Frowick, with whom Warhol developed a long-lasting friendship and powerful professional relationship – Warhol received a large box of Halston shoe samples. After his art assistant Ronnie Cutrone emptied the box, the accidental arrangement of the shoes, now haphazardly scattered across the floor, immediately captured Warhol’s imagination. He took numerous polaroid pictures of the spontaneous composition, which would later become the visual basis for his enchanting Shoes series.  


    Andy Warhol, Polaroid from the Diamond Dust Shoes Series. Artwork: © 2024 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 


    Long after Warhol had mastered his signature silkscreen technique, the incessantly innovative artist further introduced "diamond dust" to his printmaking process around 1979. When he first discovered the material through his chief printer Rupert Jasen Smith, Warhol found its texture too powdery, and its effect too chalky. By instead opting for larger particles of pulverised glass, Warhol was able to create a shimmering and slightly textured surface in his screenprints. With their alluring subject and dazzling effect, his "diamond dust" prints from the Shoes series not only visually represent, but also physically embody, the glamorous consumerism of twentieth-century America, which Warhol consistently cherished and celebrated.

    • Provenance

      Sotheby's, New York, 19th and 20th Century and Contemporary Prints, 18 February, 2000, lot 640

    • Literature

      Frayda Feldman and Jörg Schellmann 257

    • Artist Biography

      Andy Warhol

      American • 1928 - 1987

      Andy Warhol was the leading exponent of the Pop Art movement in the U.S. in the 1960s. Following an early career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol achieved fame with his revolutionary series of silkscreened prints and paintings of familiar objects, such as Campbell's soup tins, and celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe. Obsessed with popular culture, celebrity and advertising, Warhol created his slick, seemingly mass-produced images of everyday subject matter from his famed Factory studio in New York City. His use of mechanical methods of reproduction, notably the commercial technique of silk screening, wholly revolutionized art-making.

      Working as an artist, but also director and producer, Warhol produced a number of avant-garde films in addition to managing the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground and founding Interview magazine. A central figure in the New York art scene until his untimely death in 1987, Warhol was notably also a mentor to such artists as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.


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Shoes (F. & S. 257)

Screenprint in colours with diamond dust, on Arches Aquarelle paper, the full sheet.
S. 101.6 x 150.5 cm (40 x 59 1/4 in.)
Signed and numbered 41/60 in pencil on the reverse (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by the artist (with his copyright inkstamp on the reverse), framed.

Full Cataloguing

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$533,400

Contact Specialist

Nick Wilson
Senior Director, Head of Editions, Photographs and Design, Asia
+852 2318 2022

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Editions, Photographs and Design

Hong Kong Auction 14 June 2024