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Lot Details

This is Andy Warhol's famous vintage photograph of the legendary New York nightlife impresario Steve Rubell, founder of Warhol's favorite nightspot, Studio 54 in Manhattan, the subject of so many of his diary entries. Andy Warhol took this photograph when Rubell was chosen to appear on the cover of Warhol's Interview magazine in 1979 - at the height of his fame and notoriety. Rubell went on to found the famed nightclub The Palladium, which featured the works of Warhol, Haring, and Basquiat on its walls.

This Warhol work has superb provenance as it was acquired from the Estate of Steve Rubell. In fact, this very polaroid was featured on a front page article in the "Arts" section of the New York Times on this historic sale entitled "Selling Some Old Sparkle from Nights at Studio 54" and it was widely reproduced in national press stories and morning television programs - many also featuring this Andy Warhol photograph as the star item from the Rubell estate.

Rubell died in 1989 of AIDS, but his collection of 1970s Studio 54 memoribilia, including this iconic, rare original photograph taken by Andy Warhol, had never come to market prior to now. It is a marvelous memento of the 1970s disco era -- and a reminder of the man behind the famously discriminating parties -- with Brooke Shields, Raquel Welch, Grace Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Calvin Klein, Sylvester Stallone, Muhammad Ali, Diana Ross and Lillian Carter. (Remember her?) Rubell's former lover, who held on to this photograph for a quarter century, shed new light about the enigmatic nightlife impresario in a recent interview with the New York Times: "He really just wanted you to have a good time, period. Whatever it cost, he always picked up the bill."

This fantastic vintage original Warhol polaroid is unique. For fans of Warhol, and anyone who remembers the heady days of Studio 54 in Manhattan, this is a highly collectible, one-of-a-kind memento of an important and memorable era.

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Provenance:
  • Sale of the collection of Steve Rubell, 2013
  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 4.25 x 3.5 in. (10.8 x 8.89 cm.)
Accepted: Wire Transfer, Check
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