Man bought sketch by young Warhol for $5

 Media Images 59448000 Jpg  59448383 Warhol

In 2010, Andy Fields bought a $5 stash of paintings at a garage sale. When he later took one of the frames apart, he found the above sketch. Turns out, it's likely an Andy Warhol original that the Pop star drew when he was just nine or 10 years old. Fields told reporters that he bought the paintings "from a man who had abused drugs and whose aunt had cared for Warhol in his youth." The portrait is thought to be of singer Rudy Vallee. If it's a Warhol, it's estimated to be worth $2 million. Not a bad score. "Man Buys Warhol Sketch for $5"


  1. Regardless, it looks like it had been kissed many times.  Which is very sweet of that young upstart, Mr. Warhol.

  2. Only worth 2 million because some art collectors have too much money.   I’m sure some of his old teachers are going to be going through their closets just trying to find something that was painted by the young Warhol, and all the other famous artists too.  While it is interesting historically, I can’t say that it really has any artistic value, as it isn’t much different than any other painting done by a child, although perhaps a bit better than many his age (but not the best I’ve seen).

  3. My guess is it’s fake. Even though it makes for great media, the whole “I took apart the frame and I found a long lost:_________” Picasso/Rembrandt/Blake/Warhol is the most common trick to answer for fraudulent works that have no provenance.  Since the whereabouts of a work can’t be accounted for (ie because it was just whipped up in someones basement), the easiest way to create legitimacy is to invent a story that it was hidden for that period of time.

    Plus he bought the frame from “someone who abused drugs”, which is code for “Unfortunately this man is too unreliable to ask any real questions regarding where the drawing has been all these years”.  The the Aunt who “cared for Warhol”, likely she is also deceased, as is Warhol, so no one can disprove that either. It’s also odd that a non family member would ever be caring for him as a child. He was often sick, had a stay at home Mom, and a bunch of older sibling who watched him. 

    If Warhol drew this when he was 9/10, his “babysitter” would have had to have hung onto it for quite some time until he was famous. Plus, very, very little of his juvenilia survived (which is why this would be worth so much if it’s real), so how did this survive and pop up all of a sudden?

    I’m not saying it’s impossible that this is authentic, but all the classic signs of art forgery are present. 

    1. That’s a good point. I know some in his family go by Warhol and others Warhola — I wonder if he would have been image-savvy enough at 9 to be thinking of these sorts of things. But then this is Andy Warhol, so probably he was.

    2.  Exactly, he only started to use “Warhol” after someone else misspelled his name that way on a magazine credit when he was working as a commercial artist.

      1. And in the BBC interview, he says the vendor’s aunt took care of Warhol when he was sick with “Cholera” –  he had Chorea!

  4. I call fake. Even if it’s real I call fake, because I’m tired of the whole “I found the Hope Diamond at a garage sale” thing.

  5. The problem is, the Warhol estate is under a directive to not authenticate all of his paintingsdrawings. they are notorious for claiming real works to be fakes. Thus, you never know. 

    1. The problem is, the Warhol estate is under a directive to not authenticate all of his paintingsdrawings. they are notorious for claiming real works to be fakes.

      Also Picasso, allegedly.  [But then, how good is the provenance of this story?]

  6. I am here to complain about the “when he was just nine or 10 years old” bit.  Let’s say “9 or 10”, or let’s say “nine or ten”, but I always feel like this boundary case is horribly yucky, even if enshrined in the AP & Chicago style manuals.

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