1928 - 1987
silkscreen ink on synthetic polymer paint on canvas
on verso signed and dated 1986
40 x 40 in, 101.6 x 101.6 cm
Estimate: $50,000 - $80,000 CAD
Sold for: $145,250
Collection of John Kobal (1940 - 1991)
By descent to the present Private Collection, Ontario
Please note: this work is unframed.
John Kobal (1940 – 1991) was a lifelong collector of magazines, postcards and movie memorabilia, as well as the author of some 30 books about the movie industry.
A chance meeting with Marlene Dietrich in Montreal in the late 1950s led him to develop an interest in the “Golden Age” of Hollywood. After a brief career in acting in London, England, he started collecting movie stills. Most were discarded by the cinemas after a movie run ended, and Kobal acquired them wherever he could. He approached movie companies, the stars themselves, or even occasionally took discarded stills from the trash cans of London’s Wardour Street, known as “Film Row” for its numerous movie company offices.
His passion for collecting led to an interest in the artists behind the camera, and in the 1970s he set about acquiring the original negatives in order to create reprints, which formed the basis of exhibitions he mounted in London, New York and Los Angeles. He is now credited with rediscovering many of the Hollywood Studio photographers. Prior to his death in 1991, aged just 51, he donated his vast collection of about 200,000 vintage and later prints to the John Kobal Foundation. The collection traces the history of Hollywood from 1916 to the late twentieth century.
Andy Warhol knew Kobal through their shared interest in movie history, and he photographed him for this portrait in 1986. A copy of this work is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 6162), along with a photograph of Warhol taking the photograph of Kobal (NPG x134411).
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