Sportress of Blogitude

In Honor Of Wayne Gretzky’s 50th Birthday, Here’s How Andy Warhol Painted Him

Nice. Evidently, in Warhol’s eyes, The Great One is what Andy Gibb might have looked like had he been a hockey player. Shadow Dancing.

A nice article in the Toronto Star today about the day in September 1983 when Wayne Gretzky visited the great artist at his studio, The Factory, in New York. Gretzky arrived late due to a traffic snarl up, but Warhol was nevertheless left charmed by the Gretzky.

Warhol was “not annoyed at all’’ at the tardiness, recalled Frans Wynans, a long-time Canadian art gallery owner who’d commissioned the late pop artist for Gretzky’s portrait.

“Warhol was fantastic, totally delighted, he loved Wayne Gretzky,’’ said Wynans, who was at The Factory with the artist while they waited.

Warhol completed six unique portraits of Gretzky holding a hockey stick, priced at $35,000 (U.S.) in 1984 when they were unveiled. Gretzky was given one of the six — he chose a piece with dramatic orange and blue in it because it resembled Oiler colours.

Four years ago, one of the portraits sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $390,000.

Interesting. I remember hearing something about Warhol painting portraits of Gretzky and ever since then I was certain that not only was Warhol eccentric, the damn guy was off his rocker because I believed these were the Gretzky portraits. Yeah, I don’t get art.

Gretzky looked like this — to Andy Warhol [Toronto Star]