David Hockney painting fetches record $ 90 million at NYC auction

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There's a new record for a painting by a living artist. The Times reported that, earlier this week, a Sotheby's auction produced new highs for three African-American artists and a 42-year-old female painter.

Hockney began work on the painting when he was inspired by the random placement of two photos on his studio floor.

Hockney's 1972 work "Portrait of an Artist" (Pool with Two Figures), has been sold for $90 million (£70 million), at Christie's in NY on Thursday.

There is also sudden demand for the work of Hockney, who is 81.

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The price went far to boost the success of Christie's post-war and contemporary art auction, which took in a total of $357.6 million, roughly the middle of its expected range, with 41 of the 48 lots on offer finding buyers. After it was announced last week, "everyone was ringing to leave a bid", said Christie's President Jussi Pylkkanen, the evening's auctioneer. The final price of $90.3 million includes a $10.3 million buyer's premium.

The painting was bought by a client of Marc Porter, chairman of Christie's Americas. One, fully clothed, stands at the edge of a swimming pool gazing down at another, who's submerged.

Upon his return to London, Hockney worked 18 hours a day for two weeks to complete the new painting before it was scheduled to be sent to NY. Hockney's 1972 work depicts a landscape reminiscent of the South of France containing two men including the artist's former lover Peter Schlesinger. "Freud is a passion of his". A similar auction past year brought in $785.9 million, including Leonardo Da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", which sold for $450 million.

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