HomeNewsAndy Warhol's Iconic Marilyn Monroe Painting Auctioned for Record $195M

Andy Warhol’s Iconic Marilyn Monroe Painting Auctioned for Record $195M

Pop artist Andy Warhol‘s iconic painting of actress Marilyn Monroe has been auctioned on Monday for a whopping $195 million.

The portrait which was sold in less than 4 minutes of bidding at the Christie’s auction house in New York broke all records thus making it the most expensive piece of 20th-century artwork sold ever.

Warhol’s 1964 portrait of Marilyn Monroe, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is considered to be one of his best-known paintings. Warhol painted the image by using a famous picture as the inspiration.

Previously this record of the most expensive painting of 20th-century ever sold was held by a 1955 painting by Pablo Picasso – Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) which was auctioned for $179.4 million in the year 2015.

Warhol’s portrait becomes the most expensive 20th-century artwork sold ever

The portrait also made a record of becoming the most expensive artwork created by an American artist ever at an auction.

Previously, this record was created by a 1982 skull painting by Jean-Michael Basquiat which was sold for $110.5 million in 2017.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” holds the record of the most expensive artwork auctioned ever from any period. It was sold for a mind-boggling $450.3 million in 2017.

Christie’s in her statement said that the 40-inch by 40-inch portrait is “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence.”

Who is the buyer of the Portrait?

Speaking about who is the buyer of this amazing painting, a US art dealer and owner of a chain of galleries, Larry Gagosian, is the buyer who has reportedly given the highest bid at the auction.

This latest artwork sale of Warhol broke his own previous record. It was held by the Silver car crash (Double disaster) that was sold for $105.4 million in 2013.

Alex Rotter, chairman of 20th and 21st-century art at Christie’s said, “Shot Sage Blue 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 added, “The painting transcends the genre of portraiture, superseding 20th century art and culture.”

All the proceeds of the sale will be directed to the Switzerland-based Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, as per Christie’s. The foundation strives toward establishing healthcare and education programmes for children worldwide.

George Frei, the chairman of the board of the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation, had said earlier in 2022 that the painting “bears witness to [Monroe’s] undiminished visual power in the new millennium”.

He further said, “Marilyn the woman is gone; the terrible circumstances of her life and death are forgotten. All that remains is the enigmatic smile that links her to another mysterious smile of a distinguished lady, the Mona Lisa.”

A little about Marilyn Monroe

The glamourous Hollywood star Monroe featured in 29 movies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Some Like It Hot among others. The actress who was popular as a fashion icon passed away in 1962 at the age of 36 due to an overdose of drugs.

In the Shot Sage Blue Marilyn painting, the actress can be seen in a pink face, red lips, yellow hair, and blue eye shadow against a blue background.

The auction that was held on May 9, 2022, is scheduled to continue for the next two weeks. Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction will be the litmus test for the luxury art industry, especially after the pandemic era.

Stay tuned for the latest news!

Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda


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