A Merlin by Andy Warhol became the most expensive painting of the 20th century

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Buyer’s identity unknown

A Merlin painting of Andy Warhol becomes
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One of the screen-printed copies of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn, made in 1964 that turned into a globally recognizable icon, has broken one of the contemporary art records today, becoming the 20th one ever sold at public auction. It has become the most expensive work of the century.

The work “Shot Sage Blue Merlin” (101×101 cm), which was auctioned today at Christie’s House in New York, reached the figure of $195.04 million with taxes, when estimated by Christie’s, which has publicized this sale for several weeks. , they put it at the initial figure of 200 million.

The identity of the buyer is unknown, while the seller was the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, created by one of the greatest contemporary art tycoons and philanthropists, a friend of Andy Warhol’s and buyer of most of his works.

The Foundation has pledged to allocate the amount of Marilyn and 35 other works from today’s sale to various projects in the world of health, education, and improving and improving the lives of millions of children.

iconic work of pop art

Christie’s leaves no merit to the record for Marilyn, even comparing Marilyn’s half-smile with another equally enigmatic smile of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and even To her related to the statue of Venus de Milo and Nefertiti, to name a few. For some of the women who have marked the history of art.

There is no doubt that the original image of the actress, drawn by Warhol from a poster for the film “Niagara” (1953), has been eclipsed by the interpretation of the pop painter who violently painted the same picture in 1964. was reproduced (according to its definition) with colors and thus multiplied the fame of the actress, who died two years ago.

Warhol had already tried the multiplication of a photograph as a Pop Art object two years earlier with minor variations, with remarkable success: he did it with the famous Campbell’s soup cans, which are today the star pieces of the New York MoMA. One of them, and later The Doptich of Marilyn (where the actress appears reproduced 50 times), holds a prominent position at the Tate Modern in London.

a bullet shot

“Shot Sage Blue Merlin” translates to “Shot of Merlin at Sage Blue”, and it follows a quirky story from the years when Warhol’s “Factory” was the center of creativity with characters rich in character. Thoughts but also in extravagance.

Warhol had created a series of five screen-printed Marilyns, all strictly identical but different colours, to the point that they are identified by the background color that outlines the actress’s head.

An East Village artist and performer named Dorothy Podber, who called herself “The Witch” at the time, asked her friend Warhol if she could stop by his studio to “shoot” and Andy gave her permission. , thinking she “wanted to shoot some pictures”, but the next day she showed up with a revolver and fired one or more shots at Marilyn’s 1 meter by 1 meter canvas.

Although only one of them was damaged, four went down in history with the title “shot” (shot) because apparently they were behind the one who suffered the impact. They were sold in private transactions, and one of them, the Orange Fund, is believed to have already reached the magic figure of 200 million.

existence of myth

Warhol’s Marilyn, as pointed out by Christie’s, has become a symbol of American show business culture and an ironic reflection on fame and stardom (as Warhol himself demonstrated with Mao Tse-tung), but also the woman’s A sensual image.

That Marilyn’s name and image still exists in Western male fantasy was demonstrated just a week ago by Kim Kardashian, who gained prominence at the much-mediumed Met Gala in the tight dress the actress wore then. When she played the role of Celebrated Happy. President JFKennedy’s birthday.

Kardashian announced that she went on a diet to lose seven kilos and thus “fit” into the legendary sequined suit. It showed, in any case, that the entire “Marilyn universe” still arouses passion and is still in the news sixty years after the death of the actress.

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