Dennis Hopper’s Bullet-Hole Warhol Sells for $302,500

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Visitors look at Mao paintings by US artist Andy Warhol during the exhibitio

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The contemporary art world was taken by storm Wednesday after a two day auction of the late actor Dennis Hopper’s bullet-holed Andy Warhol Mao painting sold at $302,500. That’s 10 times the original estimated sale of $20,000 to $30,000.

Warhol’s Mao print stood out because it included bullet holes fired after Hopper mistook the portrait of the Communist leader for Mao himself one wild night in the 1970s, according to Christie’s. The actor, who died of cancer last year aged 74, later showed Warhol the bullet holes. Instead of reacting angrily, Warhol called the star a collaborator and took the liberty to label each bullet on the painting. “Warhol’s Mao: one plate” is among 241 artworks from Hopper’s personal collection that was auctioned at Christie’s in New York Tuesday and Wednesday.

(See photos of Picasso’s work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

After five decades of hard living both on and off screen, it’s clear Hopper’s legacy for playing the villain lives on both in his Hollywood films and the contemporary art world.  (Via Reuters)

(Read the Top 10 Most Expensive Auction Items)