Marilyn Monroe Portrait Auctions for $195 Million

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Andy Warhol’s famous piece has set an art auction record.

In 1962, famous pop artist Andy Warhol painted a posthumous portrait of late actress Marilyn Monroe. This piece, named Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, would come to be known as one of Warhol’s most captivating works. In addition to that, it is now one of his most expensive works.

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn was auctioned off at Christie’s auction house in New York. After a mere four minutes of bidding, the piece was ultimately sold off for an impressive $195 million (including fees). With this purchase, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn has broken two art world records: first, it is now the most expensive piece of 20th century art ever sold, beating out the previous record of $179.4 million for a Picasso in 2015. Second, it is the most expensive work by an American artist to be auctioned, beating out the $110.5 million spent on a Jean-Michael Basquiat piece in 2017.

“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American pop,” Alex Rotter, chairman of 20th and 21st century art at Christie’s, said. “The painting transcends the genre of portraiture, superseding 20th century art and culture.”

“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,” said George Frei, chairman of the board of the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation.

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