It is a real record sale, but also a work that everyone knows. Andy Warhol’s famous 1964 silkscreen portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold Monday, May 9 for $195 million at Christie’s auction in New York, a record for a work by an American artist.
It broke the previous record for an American artist, which was $110.5 million for a 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat piece sold at auction in 2017.
“This is one of the most iconic paintings of our time. It’s really the pinnacle of American pop,” said Alex Rotter, chairman of 20th and 21st century art at Christies. “This painting is coveted by many, always copied and has always been an icon.”
Done in 1964 two years after Marilyn Monroe’s death, the painting titled “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” is part of a series of Andy Warhol portraits of the actress and has since become one of his most famous works.
The image was then overseen by the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland for many years until the foundation decided to auction the image.
All proceeds from the sale will go to the foundation, which is dedicated to health care and education programs for children.