Lot 618
  • 618

Andy Warhol

6,500,000 - 9,000,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Andy Warhol
  • Diamond Dust Shoes
  • synthetic polymer, diamond dust and silkscreen ink on canvas
  • executed in 1980-1981


The Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., New York
Christie's New York, 12 May 2011, lot 156
Acquired by the present owner from the above sale

This work is stamped by The Estate of Andy Warhol and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. and numbered PA70.052 on the overlap.


USA, New York, Gagosian Gallery, Andy Warhol: Diamond Dust Shoes, September - October 1999, p. 46


This work is generally in very good condition. It appears that the very bottom edge of the canvas has been lightly rubbed and there is minor resultant loss to the diamond dust. When examined under ultraviolet light, there appears to be no evidence of restoration.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Diamonds are Forever

Diamond Dust Shoes (Lot 618) captures the glamour and mass consumerism of American culture that Andy Warhol dedicated his practice to exploring. The work is from the first of Warhol’s series to employ “diamond dust”, the perfect medium for depicting stiletto heels, which convey power, success and sexuality. In this painting, the shoes seem to dance to the beat of their own drum, with the shimmering of the diamond dust enhancing this rhythm and movement. Created in the moment that the decadent days of Disco morphed into the economic boom years of Reagan’s America, Diamond Dust Shoes captures both the discotheque dance culture of Studio 54 as well as the bull market of the 1980s. In addition to capturing the essence of Warhol’s late Pop career, Diamond Dust Shoes also harkens back to the artist’s early days as a commercial illustrator in New York.

Andy Warhol came to New York in 1949 with the hope of becoming a commercially successful artist. He soon changed his name to Andy Warhol and began producing illustrations for magazines such as Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker. Many of his illustrations featured women’s shoes. In fact, Warhol won the Art Directors Club Award for Distinctive Merit for an ad he created for the I. Miller shoe company. Outside of his commercial work featuring shoes, he also mounted an exhibition of gold shoe drawings at the Bodley Gallery in 1957 and created an illustrated book, Ã la Recherche du Shoe Perdu.

Warhol soon fused his commercial and artistic sensibilities together by embarking on his Pop Art practice in 1960 when he began to paint clippings from comic books and advertisements, including one for shoes. In 1962, Warhol created some of his most valuable and well known works including Campbell’s Soup Cans, Coca-Cola Bottles, Disaster series and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Elizabeth Taylor. He also continued with the theme of shoes in his Dance Diagrams of this year. In these works he transforms printed images outlining the steps to popular dances such as the Fox Trot from a “how-to” booklet to canvas. These works were displayed in two exhibitions in 1962 that launched Warhol’s fine art career in New York: "New Realists" at Sidney Janis Gallery and a solo show at Stable Gallery. For these exhibitions, Warhol had bases created so that he could place the paintings on the floors of the respective galleries, directly referencing the way in which people dance on the floor. A number of these works were also shown in 1964 in "The Atmosphere of `64" at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

Warhol did not engage with images of shoes again in a major way until he embarked on his series of Diamond Dust Shoes in 1980. He began painting these directly after he completed a number of his Retrospective Paintings, which feature his most famous images from the early 60s superimposed on one another on a single canvas. By engaging with shoes at this particular reflective moment Warhol reveals that he sees his paintings of shoes as some of his most significant works. Clearly Warhol saw the image of the shoe as a creative jumping off point that carried him from commercial illustration to Pop art and as a continuing influence to his practice throughout the last years of his life.

Artist Biography

Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987, USA) is arguably the world's most famous artist. Warhol received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in pictorial design from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. A pivotal figure in the American Pop Art movement, Warhol fused his experience in commercial advertising with a lifelong affinity for celebrity culture to produce iconic works chronicling American consumption. Warhol studied commercial art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh before moving to New York in the 1950s, where he lived until his death in 1987. Warhol’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, both during his life and posthumously, including at Fetus Gallery , Los Angeles (1962); Stable Gallery, New York (1964); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1968); Neue Nationalgalerue, Berlin (1969); Venice Biennale, Venice (1976); Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2003); Gagosian Gallery, New York (2009) and the Metropolitan Museum, New York (2012), amongst many others.