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LIVE 24-SEVEN


hated it so much they banned her from hanging it in the sitting room and forced her to keep it in her bedroom. When her Arizona home was twice burgled, the intruders gave the same assessment both times, tiptoeing straight past.


Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, the work had a much better reception: Woolworths-framed prints sold in their millions, often to be hung next to the flying ducks of suburbia. Because the print was never sold in America, Buehler remained unaware of its popularity, but in the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa, it became an icon of kitsch and has featured in books on retro art around the world.


The first prints of The Chinese Girl became available in Britain in 1956, selling for just £2 each, the equivalent of about £30 today, however with the increasing return to favour of this master of kitsch originals can sell for thousands at auction. In 2013, |The Chinese Girl sold at auction for over £980,000.


period, was also used in on the walls of Stanley Kubrick’s domestic interiors in A Clockwork Orange.


As Lynch’s work became increasingly mass-produced, his success turned into his downfall as people hunted for new work and original looks. As his art fell from favour, prints of Tina and its companions were considered worthless and were disposed of as tastes inevitably changed. Indeed, Lynch himself played an active role in this. Towards the end of his life he destroyed many of his original paintings or donated them to charity. Today his prints are becoming hugely sought after, with examples fetching in excess of £100, so imagine what one of the originals deposited at a charity shop all those years ago would now be worth? Did you buy it???


Lynch’s success is in part due to the similarity of his style to the Russian artist Vladimir Tretchikoff, who was considered revolutionary in the 1960s for selling his work for £1 in an attempt to democratise the art world.


With her copper green face and unfinished background, The Chinese Girl was never an obvious masterpiece, but remains his most enduring and recognisable creation. Cheap copies of this obscure portrait by a Russian artist were once so popular that it became one of the best-selling prints of all time. The original was purchased by Mignon Buehler, the teenage daughter of a businessman, at an exhibition at Marshall Field's department store in Chicago in 1954, where she paid $2,000.


The stories of the painting and its mass-produced copies couldn't be more different. After Buehler bought it, The Chinese Girl hung in her dining room for 20 years. In the 1970s, she gave it to her daughter, who took it with her wherever she lived. Her flatmates


LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


In just two generations we have seen these works rise, fall and rise once again! Now snapped up by the bright young things whose love affair is based on a combination of vintage glamour, sentimentality and tongue in cheek taste! Whatever your thoughts on this most populist of art, it’s most definitely back in fashion, so if you have one stuffed in the attic or under the stairs, just stop and think before throwing it out… you might be sitting on a pretty penny, or if you are lucky enough to have an original…a small fortune!


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