Buyer Pays $85.4 Million for Warhol Car Crash Pictures

Buyer Pays $85.4 Million for Warhol Car Crash Pictures

November 17, 2022

Huge silk screen prints of a mangled car fetched a “monumental” price at a Sotheby’s auction in New York City.

Andy Warhol created the 12’ x 6’ montage of nineteen car crash pictures in the early 1960s, when he became concerned that repeated violent images in popular media desensitized people. “What distinguishes [the artwork] is not only its immense scale, which really bewilders anybody who stands in front of it … but also its palette,” explained David Galperin, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in New York. “It really seems to glow, the way that the black silk screen is registered against the sharp white background,” he added. Galperin also compared White Disaster, or White Car Crash 19 Times, to religious icons.

The work was on sale in one of two major auctions held at Sotheby’s New York that fetched a combined $314.9 million.

Car Crash Injuries

We rather assume that if the Warhol pictures included images of the crash victims, no one would have paid $85 for the piece, let alone $85 million. These physical injuries are so severe that most people turn away in horror when they see them.

Severe lacerations are the most common turn-away-in-horror injuries. Most passenger vehicles have tempered glass windows that shatter upon impact. That could be good or bad. The tiny shards usually don’t cause serious injuries, at least if the victim is an adult. Child victims are another story. The slightest scratch could cause a deep surface wound. And, the tempered glass showers these victims with shards of glass.

Other injuries aren’t horrible to look at, but they are life altering. Broken bones are a good example. Broken arm and leg bones are very common in car wrecks. Broken chest and pelvis bones aren’t quite as common, since seatbelts often hold victims in place. Broken arm and leg bones often never entirely heal. Some lost range of motion in a knee or shoulder is usually inevitable. These permanent injuries also make victims more vulnerable to frozen shoulder and other subsequent injuries.

We haven’t talked about emotional car wreck injuries. Severe lacerations often make victims look like Frankenstein’s monster. So, they often withdraw from social and other events. Additionally, the trauma is so severe that about half of car crash victims, young and old, suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer obtains the financial compensation these victims need to deal with their physical and emotional injuries, so they can live the rest of their lives.

Pictorial Evidence in Car Wreck Cases

Photographs are usually important in car crash claims. They don’t have to be huge silk screen prints to make a difference in a case.

Pictures of physical vehicle damage are often relevant to noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. The worse the damage, the more difficult it is for victims to recover from these crashes. Additionally, these photographs often prove impact speed and angle. That’s especially true if an accident reconstruction professional evaluates these pictures.

Motion picture evidence is usually available as well. At least one security, traffic, or other camera covers almost every intersection in Los Angeles. So, at trial , jurors often get to see the same crash from multiple angles. Cameras at other nearby locations may capture relevant images as well. For example, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) might be leaving a bar, speeding excessively, or using his/her cellphone while driving. Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. Lawyers can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.

Credit: Photo on Freepik

Sharona Hakim

Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.

Call our Beverly Hills office to schedule a free consultation.

Evening, weekend and out-of-office appointments are available on request.

How can we help you ?

Fill out this form, and we'll set up a free consultation!