The expectation was to reach or exceed 200 million dollars. Got close. One of Andy Warhol‘s most famous works, known as Blue Marilyn or ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ , reached an impressive $195 million at the auction held by Christie’s. The buyer was not revealed, but with that value, Warhol surpasses Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s painting, which in 2017 reached $110.5 million.
Warhol’s painting was painted just two years after the actress’ death, which will reach the 60-year milestone in August. It is considered special for the combination of colors and was taken from a photo used to promote the film Niagara Falls, from 1953 (one of Marilyn’s best as a dramatic actress), as well as having been – literally – the target of shots of performance artist Dorothy Podber.
The auction was fast and in less than 20 minutes the painting had a new owner, but the competition was fierce. The work was put up for sale by the Swiss Foundation Thomas and Doris Ammann, in Zurich, and will use the proceeds for its activities focused on health and education issues around the world.
With this painting, Andy Warhol becomes the most expensive American plastic artist. And Marilyn Monroe continues to be deified as arguably one of the greatest Hollywood legends of all time.