The “Bellwether of the Art Market” and His Dachshunds

It’s jokingly said that if you remember the 60s,  you weren’t there, but conversely, if you recall Andy Warhol, you probably were of the generation that knew what the Velvet Underground was, why the fuss over a painting of a Campbell soup can, and the fact that it was Warhol who said, “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”

Though he grew up with cats, Warhol’s boyfriend, Jed Johnson, persuaded him to get a dog in the early 70s. The dog was a

Dachshund,Andy Warhol, Art

Andy Warhol with one of his Dachshunds

Dachshund named, “Archie,” and Warhol was besotted. He took Archie everywhere, including art openings, Studio 54, and restaurants (where he would hide the dog if a health inspector came by). Archie would be taken to press conferences because he was Warhol’s “alter ego” and if Warhol got a question he didn’t like, he’d throw it to Archie as a way to deflect it.  Warhol wouldn’t even consider traveling to London because it meant either leaving Archie at home, or putting him in quarantine for six months.

Warhol and Johnson grew their “family’ when they got another Dachshund named, “Amos.” Amos was described as being an actual dog as compared to Archie who preferred the society of people. With Amos around, Warhol felt more at ease at leaving the dogs behind knowing they had each other for company.

Warhol makes a fine subject for NPDD because it seemed the dogs in his life were mostly purebreds. After painting a portrait of a Cocker Spaniel named, “Ginger” who belonged to a prominent art collector, Warhol’s manager/agent suggested that Warhol paint an entire series of dogs (and cats), and he did.  The Dogs and Cats series remains among Warhol’s lesser-known works, and includes eight silk-screened paintings of a Great Dane, West Highland Terrier, Dachshund, Boxer, King Charles Cavalier, and Cocker Spaniel.

Interestingly, Andy Warhol and his Dachshund themselves would became the subject for another famous artist, Jamie Wyeth. “He’d come down here (the Pennsylvania farm where Wyeth lives) for the weekend,” Wyeth recalled in an interview for the New York Times, “but I don’t think he was too crazy about the country.”

As for our post title, Andy Warhol was once described as the Art Market’s Dow Jones, as well as a “Bellwether of the Art Market,” and for good reason. In 2017,  Andy Warhol artwork’s total sales at auction were $286 million. Thirty two years after his death, Warhols sold 1,271 objects at auction, and the average sale price for an Andy Warhol sold at auction was $1.3 million.

Image: Dog (Cocker Spaniel) by Andy Warhol from 1976


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