New York - Andy Warhol's "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn", a portrait of iconic American actress Marilyn Monroe, has sold for a whopping $195 million and set a record for the most expensive artwork by a US artist sold at an auction.
The 1964 portrait auctioned on Monday shows Monroe in vibrant close-up — hair yellow, eyeshadow blue, and lips red — on a turquoise background.
According to Christie's auction house in New York, where the sale took place, Warhol's portrait is the most expensive piece from the 20th century ever auctioned, as per the NY press news.
The previous record-holder was another modern master, Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose 1982 painting “Untitled” of a skull-like face sold for a record $110.5 million at Sotheby's in 2017.
The identity of the buyer remains unknown as the auction house said that an unnamed buyer made the purchase Monday night. Following the announcement of the auction of this magnificent portrait last year, the estimates were for as much as $200 million.
Alex Rotter, chairman of Christie's 20th and 21st-century art department said, “It's an amazing price.” Exuberating joy over the beautiful portrait, he added, “Let it sink in, it's quite something.”
Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie's said, “This is where we wanted to be, clearly,” adding, “It proves we are in a very resilient art market.”
The proceeds of the portrait sale will go to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich. This is the foundation which put the painting up for auction. It is awe-inspiring to note that the foundation aims to help children with health care and educational programs, as per the media outlet.
Warhol artworks include more than one image of Monroe however, this particular painting has been exhibited in museums around the world. His Gold Marilyn Monroe is now one of the cornerstones of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.