September 20, 2013 - 17:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - More than 40 works by Andy Warhol went on display in Hong Kong for a sale aimed at introducing Chinese collectors to the American pop artist known for his Mao portraits, The Telegraph said.
The selling exhibition organised by Sotheby's gallery arm features earlier lesser well-known works by Warhol before he found fame with his colourful images of the former Chinese leader and Campbell's soup cans.
The works, primarily on paper, are valued at between US$15,000 and US$1 million, with "Ten One Dollar Bills" being the most expensive piece.
Other pieces from the artist's travels in Asia during the 1950s include a ballpoint pen sketch of a Hong Kong street scene, views of Bangkok, a drawing of a gold leaf shoe and a folding screen with colourful butterflies painted on it.
"We've really been seeing both in our private sales and in our auction sales that China is becoming a very big part of our business," Jacqueline Wachter, a contemporary art specialist at Sotheby's, said.
"It is important to bring him to a new market and try to educate that market in his work," Wachter said, adding that Chinese clients were beginning to collect contemporary art.
The city got a taste of Warhol earlier this year when the Hong Kong Museum of Art held a popular exhibition of some of his most famous works, including Marilyn Monroe and Mao, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors.
"Audiences in this part of the world are not yet too familiar with the 50s of Warhol," Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery Angelika Li told AFP.
The appetite for art is increasing with Hong Kong acting as a central hub for showcasing international artists.
"It's a really growing, vibrant art community, this is the perfect place to have this show," Li said. To accommodate the growing interest in art in the region, "it is natural that we have such an iconic name that is no stranger to Asia", she said.
The selling exhibition, titled "From Warhol, With Love" will be open to the public until September 24.
Hong Kong also hosted its inaugural edition of Art Basel, an international premier art fair, earlier this year.