Carol Vogel tells the story of a gift Andy Warhol gave to a young woman who worked at the Factory as a typist that will be sold at Sotheby’s on Nov. 11th. In explaining her decision to sell, Cathy Naso puts her finger on a big problem for people bought early–fear when a work becomes much too valuable to hold on to any longer:
“I’m older now and I’m not looking at it,” Ms. Naso said the other afternoon, sitting in an office at Sotheby’s with the painting propped up nearby. “I began getting nervous that something might happen to it.”
It did hang for a time in her kitchen in Connecticut. But then she grew afraid that it might be stolen, so she carefully secreted it away in a closet. “I didn’t put it in the closet because I’m a crazy person, but because I’ve treasured it,” Ms. Naso said. “It was Andy and it was his portrait.” […]
As a reward for her transcription work — “Andy insisted we type out every burp, every stutter” — he gave her a five-inch-square flower painting, which she still has. But it was understood that there was more to come. One day, when he was working on a series of self-portraits, painting the backgrounds himself, he asked her what background colors she liked best.
“It finally dawned on me later that he wanted to give me one in the colors I liked, but at the time I was clueless,” she said. She chose a combination of red and purple.
“Because it has been in a closet for so many years, the colors are as vibrant as they were when they left the Factory,” said Tobias Meyer, international head of Sotheby’s contemporary-art department. It is also well preserved because it was never stretched, he said, and because Ms. Naso framed it simply, under glass.
Inside Art: Thanks (New York Times)