Christie’s Auction House Set to Sell Andy Warhol’s Portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Christie’s on Monday unveiled an iconic Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe which they say will be auctioned off at monumental value.

Pulling back the curtain on Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, a vibrant portrait of iconic film actress Marilyn Monroe, the auction house gushed over the artwork, saying it believed the piece would become the work of the most expensive 20th century art to be sold at auction.

“When asked to recognize certain paintings, Marilyn aligns herself with Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa,” said Alex Rotter, president of Christie’s 20th and 21st Century Art. “I think I see it in your faces because there’s something very, very special about these paintings.”

Christie’s played the reveal close to the chest, forcing film crews to turn in their gear until it was time to present the portrait. For the famous auctioneer, it was an event that wanted to bring home the glitz and circumstance, even noting that paintings like this change the market itself.

The portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Photo by Dean Moses
The portrait of Marilyn Monroe. Photo by Dean Moses

Rotter predicted that Warhol’s epic could sell for around $200 million and heralded it as one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence.

“The most important 20th century painting to come to auction in a generation, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is the absolute pinnacle of American pop and the promise of the American dream encapsulating both optimism, fragility, fame and iconography. Painting transcended the genre of portraiture in America, replacing 20th century art and culture. Alongside Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Warhol’s Marilyn is categorically one of the greatest paintings of all time and this is a unique opportunity for a generation to present this masterpiece publicly at auction,” Rotter said.

Alex Rotter and Marc Porter. Photo by Dean Moses

Before going up for auction in May, the colorful portrait of the Hollywood starlet is expected to tour the world and make a stopover in Asia. However, when the artwork does sell, Christie’s has pledged that the proceeds will go to charity and the funds are pledged to benefit children in need.

“At Christie’s, charity sales motivate us. Philanthropy is at the heart of our mission and we are proud to have raised significant funds for foundations and non-profit organizations. As a global company, we believe that engaging in dialogue is absolutely essential to having a social impact around the world. Today, we couldn’t be prouder to partner with the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation in the sale of Shot Sage Blue Marilyn as we support the valiant efforts of siblings to create health care and recovery programs. education that will have a direct and lasting impact on the lives of children for the better,” said Marc Porters, president of Christie’s Americas.

The participants rushed to photograph the painting. Photo by Dean Moses
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