An Interesting Piece of Art Can Change the Look of an Entire Room

November 08, 2010

Looking to spice up your Chicago home’s decor? Does hanging a piece of art from the Playboy Art Collection sound spicy enough for you?

Chicago-based Playboy, which houses a collection of 5,000 contemporary artworks and more than 20 million photographs in a storage facility in the city, will be selling 125 fine art pieces at Christie’s on December 8 in an auction dubbed, “The Year of the Rabbit.”

The sale will include 80 photographs, more than a dozen contemporary works and 24 cartoons.

Photo of Dan Aykroyd and Pamela Anderson

This piece would definitely grab some attention hung over the mantle in the living room.

Nearly all of the items for sale have appeared in Playboy magazine, including photos of such famous participants as Chicagoan Jenny McCarthy, Anna Nicole Smith, Brigette Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, but it’s not all playmates of the month.

Other items available for auction include:

*A photo of comedian Dan Aykroyd in a conehead costume with Pamela Anderson.

*Portraits of Duke Ellington and Dennis Hopper

*A bunch of layout boards that were marked up by Playboy’s art directors, some with penciled ratings of the pinups on a scale of 1-100.

*A 1970 portrait of Hef in his signature smoking jacket and pipe. Its worth is $5,000 to $7,000.

*A 1966 watercolor of a reclining nude that hung in Hef’s bedroom at the Playboy Mansion. Painted by Salvador Dali, it is estimated to sell for $100,000 to $150,000.

Would you pay $2 million for this Mouth No. 8?

*A 1966 oil painting by pop artist Tom Wesselmann entitled “Mouth No. 8,” which depicts the artist’s iconic theme of a woman’s open, lipsticked mouth. It’s expected to bring in $2 million to $3 million.

“Playboy helped to change the very direction of commercial art – breaking down the wall between fine art and commercial art,” Hefner told The Associated Press in an interview at his Los Angeles mansion. “Before Playboy and a few other places, commercial art was essentially Norman Rockwell, very realistic. And we introduced into commercial illustration the whole notion of everything from abstract to semi-abstract to stuff that you found on a gallery wall.”

This is the second time Playboy has auctioned off items through Christie’s. With that much in storage in Chicago, I’ll bet it won’t be the last.

To find out more information on the auction, check out

Categories: Events, Remodeling

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