Tuesday May 10, 2022
Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe fetches $195 million at auction
A guest takes a photo of Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn painting in New York City. AFP
A painting of the American actress Marilyn Monroe, painted by the pop icon Andy Warhol in the 1960s was sold at Christie's auction in New York on Monday for $195 million.
The painting, named "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn," is one of a series of portraits Warhol painted for the actress in the wake of her death in 1962.
The 1964 painting of Monroe's face, showed her bright yellow hair, pink face and light blue eye shadow. It is regarded as one of 5 Warhol's paintings of Monroe.
It was owned by the Thomas and Doris Amann Foundation in Zurich, and all sale proceeds will go to the foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children around the world.
Warhol was inspired by a promotional image of Monroe from the 1953 movie known as "Niagra."
It is worth mentioning that Monroe was one of the most prominent Hollywood stars before she died of a drug overdose at her home in Los Angeles on August 4, 1962.
The all-time record for any work of art from any period sold at auction is held by Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," which sold in November, 2017 for $450.3 million.
Warhol's silk-screen work is part of a group of his portraits of Monroe that became known as the "Shot" series after a visitor to his Manhattan studio, known as "The Factory," apparently fired a gun at them.
In a statement, Christie's described the 40-inch (100-centimeter) by 40-inch portrait as "one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence."
Alex Rotter, head of 20th and 21st century art at Christie's, called the portrait "the most significant 20th century painting to come to auction in a generation."
"Andy Warhol's Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American Pop and the promise of the American Dream encapsulating optimism, fragility, celebrity and iconography all at once," he said in a statement.