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Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe auctioned for $195 million

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An iconic 1964 portrait of Marilyn Monroe by American pop artist Andy Warhol was bought at Christie’s for a file $195 million (€185 million) on Monday.

“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” produced in 1964 two years after the demise of the glamourous Hollywood star, bought for precisely $195.04 million, together with charges, in simply 4 minutes in a crowded room at Christie’s headquarters in Manhattan.

The public sale home owned by French magnate Francois Pinault mentioned in a quick press convention that the successful bid for the “Marilyn” was comprised of inside the room.

Previous to the sale, the portrait was estimated to go for about $200 million, in line with Christie’s.

Whereas falling simply wanting that threshold, it nonetheless beat the earlier file for a twentieth century work, Pablo Picasso’s “Ladies of Algiers,” which introduced $179.4 million in 2015.

The all-time file for any murals from any interval bought at public sale is held by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which bought in November, 2017 for $450.3 million.

Warhol’s silk-screen work is a part of a bunch of his portraits of Monroe that grew to become often called the “Shot” collection after a customer to his Manhattan studio, often called “The Manufacturing unit,” apparently fired a gun at them.

In a press release, Christie’s described the 40-inch (100-centimeter) by 40-inch portrait as “one of many rarest and most transcendent photographs in existence.”

Alex Rotter, head of twentieth and twenty first century artwork at Christie’s, referred to as the portrait “essentially the most important twentieth century portray to return to public sale in a technology.”

“Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is absolutely the pinnacle of American Pop and the promise of the American Dream encapsulating optimism, fragility, celeb and iconography unexpectedly,” he mentioned in a press release.

Warhol started creating silkscreens of Monroe following the actress’s demise from a drug overdose aged simply 36 in August 1962.

The pop artist produced 5 portraits of Monroe, all equal in measurement with completely different coloured backgrounds, in 1964.

Based on pop-art folklore, 4 of them gained notoriety after a feminine efficiency artist by the title of Dorothy Podber requested Warhol if she might shoot a stack of the portraits.

Warhol mentioned sure, pondering she meant she would {photograph} the works. As a substitute, Podber took out a gun and fired a bullet by way of the brow of Monroe’s picture.

The story goes that the bullet pierced 4 of the 5 canvasses, with Warhol barring Podber from The Manufacturing unit and later repairing the work – the “Shot” collection.

The “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” portrait portrays her with a pink face, crimson lips, yellow hair and blue eye shadow set towards a sage-blue backdrop.

Breaking data

It was primarily based on a promotional {photograph} of her for the 1953 film “Niagara,” directed by Henry Hathaway.

At an unveiling at Christie’s headquarters, Rotter mentioned the portrait stood alongside Sandro Botticelli’s “Delivery of Venus”, Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” as “categorically one of many best work of all time.”

Eleven of Picasso’s works bought in Las Vegas for over $108 million

Solely 14 work have bought for greater than $100 million at public sale, in line with French information company AFP, though others are anticipated to have modified fingers for as a lot throughout personal gross sales.

The public sale file for a Warhol is the $104.5 million paid for “Silver Automotive Crash (Double Catastrophe)” in 2013.

In 1998, Sotheby’s bought the orange shot Marilyn for $17 million.

Originally published on RFI

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