81-year-old English painter, David Hockney, is on track to enter the record books when his painting, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” goes up for sale. If the 1972 painting reaches its asking price of $80 million, it will become the highest sold painting by a living artist, beating out Jeff Koons’ “Orange Balloon Dog” which sold for $58.4 million.
The painting’s current owner, the billionaire forex trader, Joe Lewis, is currently being courted by the major auction houses, including Sotheby’s and Christie’s, according to Bloomberg. His collection also includes paintings on loan to the Tate in London from Frances Bacon, Henri Matisse, Lucian Freud, and Pablo Picasso.
The painting, which depicts Hockney’s boyfriend, artist Peter Schlesinger, standing at the edge of a swimming pool, looking down on another man swimming, is considered one of Hockey’s greatest works. Last May Sotheby’s set two auction records for Hockney’s work, including the $28.5 million sale of “Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica”, a landscape painted in 1990.