NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A drawing by American Pop Art master Roy Lichtenstein, which was won for $10 in a 1960s lottery, could fetch more than $1 million when it is auctioned in May, according to Christie‘s.
“Drawing for Kiss V,” the original work for the artist’s famous “Kiss V” from 1964, is expected to be among the highlights of Christie’s post-war and contemporary art auction on May 11.
The owner obtained the graphite and wax crayon-on-paper work 45 years ago at an Artists’ Key Club Happening, which was a type of artistic or performance event. The club was formed by a group of emerging pop artists in the early 60s.
Attendees were told to gather at New York’s Hotel Chelsea, a legendary hangout for artists, musicians and bohemians, and register in a lottery in exchange for a key to a locker at Penn Station, which was undergoing renovation.
Each locker held a work donated by artists, including Lichtenstein, Christo and Andy Warhol. One lucky $10 lottery ticket led to the locker holding “Drawing for Kiss V.”
The unidentified owner has had the work in a collection ever since.
“‘Drawing for Kiss V’ is a master work created by Roy Lichtenstein in 1964 while at the height of his creative powers,” said Jonathan Laib, specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie‘s.
“In this incredible drawing Lichtenstein accomplishes much of what defines his greatest works; the lingering effects of this drawing are lasting, it finds its way into the crevices of the mind and lingers freezing time to create experience.”
The work is from Lichtenstein’s celebrated series of iconic portraits of dream-girls, which he executed between 1961 and 1965.
Christie’s sold “Study For Crying Girl,” a drawing from the same series, for more than $1.7 million in 2007. The record for a Lichtenstein, who died in 1997, was set in November in New York when the auction house sold “Oh...Alright” for $42.6 million.