Visiting Brit: I Bought $2M Warhol at a Garage Sale

Andy Fields picked up the painting for just $5

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 2, 2012 7:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – Andy Fields may inspire you to visit the local garage sale next time around. The British businessman and art collector says he bought a $2-million Andy Warhol painting for only $5 at a Las Vegas garage sale two years ago, the Daily Mail reports. In fact, he hardly noticed it until framing other pictures—then "recognized the bright red lips of an Andy Warhol," he tells the BBC. But the Mail says doubts remain about the authenticity of the painting—a portrait of 1930s actor Rudy Vallee—which Warhol allegedly painted at age 11 or 12.

Why, for example, is it signed "Andy Warhol" when the painter only changed his name from Andrew Warhola in 1949? Because, says Fields, Warhol signed his early paintings later in life. And Fields claims several experts have verified the painting as original. Also, he prefers to have it hung in a gallery rather than sold for megabucks. The work "moves the birth of Pop Art back two decades," he says, "showing Warhol was already doing that sort of stuff at a far younger age."

This 1976 file photo shows pop artist Andy Warhol in New York.
This 1976 file photo shows pop artist Andy Warhol in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
This  image released by Christie's in London on Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011 show a self portrait by Andy Warhol. The self portrait has sold for 10.8 million pounds ($17 million)  double its pre-sale estimate  at a London auction on Wednesday. Christie's says the work had been in a private...
This image released by Christie's in London on Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011 show a self portrait by Andy Warhol. The self portrait has sold for 10.8 million pounds ($17 million) double its pre-sale estimate...   (AP Photo/Christie's, Ho)
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