Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe Painting Sold For $195m
Andy Warhol’s painting of Marilyn Monroe has been auctioned for $195million.
This record-breaking price makes it the most expensive piece of 20th Century art sold and the highest paid for an American work of art.
‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ was painted in 1964 by Warhol using a famous photograph of the singer as inspiration.
The Christie’s auction held in New York was widely regarded as a barometer of the strength of the luxury art market.
Christie’s said the painting is “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence”, with a selling price “in the region.”
The gallery also noted that proceeds from the sale would go to the Switzerland-based Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, which works to establish healthcare and education programmes for children worldwide.
The auction ended with a sale price of $170 million, which increased to $195 million after taxes and fees were factored in.
Bloomberg reports that the winning bidder was US art dealer Larry Gagosian, who owns a chain of art galleries.
The auction sale price smashes the previous record for 20th Century work of art set in 2015 after a 1955 painting by Pablo Picasso – Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) – sold for $179.4million, including fees.
A skull painting by Jean-Michael Basquiat in 1982 held the former record price for the most expensive piece of American artwork sold, auctioning at $110.5million.
The auction on Monday is the first of a two-week series of Christie’s and Sotheby’s art auctions widely regarded as a test of the luxury art market’s health in the post-pandemic age.
Speaking to the New York Times, Phillip Hoffman founder of the Fine Art Group in New York, said there is a “huge amount of pent-up demand” for art.
“Everybody was waiting for the right moment,” he said. “And the right moment has come.