Looks like John McEnroe is kicking Tatum O’Neal to the curb once more. As Wimbledon gets underway, tennis star and art collector McEnroe is dumping a 20-year-old Andy Warhol portrait of himself and his sexy-but-troubled ex-wife actress Tatum O’Neal. The tennis legend hopes the piece could net as much as be $690,000 at Sotheby’s. It’s just one of four Warhol pieces going under the hammer in London on July 1. Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup can could fetch as much a $7 million.
Is the bad boy of tennis selling the the portrait to get rid of all remnants of Tatum, who was recently busted for buying cocaine in New York City? Nope, it’s just a good market. “The fact is that the value of a Warhol has gone up, so it seemed like an opportune time,” claims McEnroe. “The market’s been strong in art, probably the strongest it’s ever been right now, it seems rather crazy so, it seems like a good time that, the odds hopefully will favor that there will be a good sale.” Proceeds from the sale of the portrait will go to the Habitat for Humanity. Philanthropy, John, really? Or an exorcism?
Regardless, McEnroe met Warhol at Studio 54 in 1979. “I didn’t really know him. He was this weird guy who was always at parties taking pictures. I was amazed when I was told he was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.” McEnroe bid $30,000 at a charity event to commission the artist to paint the portrait. “He came to our house to take the pictures, and just kept saying everything was ‘great’,” says McEnroe. “I heard he would do more than one painting for us, so I got two. But it took a long time to get them. It must have been just before he died.”