Tue 10 May 2022:
The famous 1964 silk-screen portrait of Marilyn Monroe by pop artist Andy Warhol has sold for $195 million, making it the most expensive 20th-century artwork ever sold at a public auction.
Following her death in 1962, Warhol painted a series of portraits of the actress, including Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, which has become one of pop art’s most well-known works.
It sold for exactly $195.04 million, including fees, in just four minutes in a crowded room at Christie’s headquarters in New York on Monday. Its estimate was $200m.
“‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ is the absolute pinnacle of American Pop,” Alex Rotter, chairman of 20th and 21st Century art at Christie’s, said in a statement announcing the auction. “The painting transcends the genre of portraiture, superseding 20th century art and culture.”
The sale broke the previous record for an artwork made in the 20th century, set by Pablo Picasso’s 1955 painting Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O), which sold for $179.4m, including fees, in 2015. It also became the most expensive American artwork sold at auction, a record previously held by a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which sold for $110.5m in 2017.
“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American pop,” Alex Rotter, the chairman of 20th and 21st Century art at Christie’s, said in a statement announcing the auction. “The painting transcends the genre of portraiture, superseding 20th century art and culture.”
The painting is built on a promotional photo of Monroe from the 1953 film Niagara, screened with bright colors over her eyes, hair and lips.
Its title refers to an incident in which a woman shot at a stack of four Marilyn portraits in Warhol’s studio with a pistol, although Shot Sage Blue Marilyn was not struck by a bullet.
Monroe was a well-known Hollywood actress who died of an overdose at her Los Angeles home on August 4, 1962.
Warhol passed away in 1987.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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