Warhol print of silver screen icon Marilyn Monroe sells for $280 million
Posted On May 10, 2022
A print of a Marilyn Monroe portrait by pop artist icon Andy Warhol has sold at auction for more than $280 million.
The artwork, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, was auctioned by Christie’s in New York.
It sold for a whopping US$194.04 million ($281.25 million) but even at that hefty price tag it failed to meet its pre-sale estimate, a record US$200 million ($288.4 million).
It’s not known who bought it, but it’s one of the most expensive artworks ever sold.
It was sold as part of a collection from Swiss art collectors Thomas and Doris Ammann.
Warhol created the original piece in 1964, but it wasn’t the first time he’d been drawn to the superstar’s image.
Using a technique called silkscreen printing, which duplicates images on paper or canvas using a layer of fine-mesh silk like a stencil, he began creating them in 1962, shortly after Monroe’s death.
As with his depictions of other famous figures, including Elvis Presley and Chinese leader Mao Zedong, the Pop artist created numerous versions of Monroe’s portrait in various different colours and configurations.
Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is based on a photo of Monroe taken in 1953 for the film Niagara.
In a press statement prior to the sale, Christie’s chairman of 20th and 21st century art, Alex Rotter, described the work as “the absolute pinnacle of American Pop” and “the most significant 20th century painting to come to auction in a generation.”
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