The woman will take a picture of Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” during Christie’s 20th and 21st century art press previews in Christie’s New York on April 29, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo courtesy of ANGELA WEISS / AFP via Getty Images)
Angela Weiss | Afp | Getty Images
Andy Warhol’s 1964 portrait of Marilyn Monroe sold for $ 195 million on Christie’s Monday night, making it the most expensive piece of American art ever sold.
Prices suggest that at least the very high-end art markets have withstood the pressure of falling stock prices and rising interest rates. Christie’s and Sotheby’s plan to sell over $ 2 billion in art over the next two weeks, and the historic price of “Marilyn” could increase the confidence of wealthy buyers in other works.
Slightly below the $ 200 million estimate and well below the $ 250- $ 300 million whisper price many dealers wanted, the sale is in a volatile market cycle. It is considered a vote of confidence in art as a store of long-term value. The purchaser was not identified.
“This shows that quality and rarity are always driving the market forward,” said Andrew Fabricant, Chief Operating Officer of Gagosian Gallery and Top Dealer of Wealthy People. “It will give a psychological bump to everyone’s thinking.”
Known as “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” Marilyn was one of five versions of various color schemes that Warhol painted in 1964, two years after Marilyn Monroe’s death. With its bright colors and captivating expression, portraits have become some of Warhol’s most iconic and famous images. The orange version was recently sold to hedge fund billionaire Kengrifin for more than $ 200 million.
“It’s Mount Everest of that era,” said Fabricant. “When these paintings were drawn, everyone in the world knew the story of Marilyn Monroe, the epic loss and epic achievements, and Warhol himself was beginning to become an icon. There are two icons in height. “
The portrait is based on a promotional photo of Monroe in the movie “Niagara”. The portrait became even more famous when a woman brought a gun into Warhol’s factory studio and shot her four stacks shortly after the portrait was completed. The “Sage Blue” painting was damaged and escaped, and the other paintings were repaired. But shooting has made them more attractive and has become part of their title.
The version, sold on Monday, was owned by the Swiss art merchant Ammans, who has owned it since the early 1980s. The proceeds will be donated to charity. The Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation in Zurich said it would use this money to support children’s health and education programs around the world.
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salva” sold at Christie’s for over $ 450 million in 2017, except to break the record for the most expensive piece of American art auctioned to date. It is the second most expensive work of art sold at auction after “Tall Mundy”. The work of Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger”, which sold for $ 179 million in 2015.
Unlike most expensive pieces sold at auction, “Marilyn” was not sold with a guarantee, which is the lowest price that a third party or auction house agrees to buy the piece. Dealers say the seller wanted to maximize their charitable income, and the guarantee usually requires the seller to waive some of the price above the guarantee.
“This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Fabricant said. “Works like this don’t appear very often.”