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Iconic Warhol Painting of Marilyn Monroe Sets Record Sale at Auction

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The New York Times.“We did sell the most expensive painting of the 20th century,” Christie’s specialist Alex Rotter told the paper. “This is a big achievement.”The previous record had been a Jean-Michel Basquiat skull painting that was sold at Sotheby’s in 2017 for $110.5 million.Before Monday’s sale, the painting had been described by Christie’s as “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence,” according to CNN.“Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” which was a publicity shot from the 1953 film Niagara, has been shown in galleries worldwide including the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London.

The portrait is one of many Warhol created after Monroe’s death. The legendary gay artist painted Monroe in a number of colors and forms.

He used a process called silkscreen printing to create most. The process copies images using a mesh silk that’s used as a stencil.CNN reports that he developed a more deliberate process in 1964 that “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” was made from, but he stopped using the technique after creating a small number of portraits with it.Warhol’s previous auction record was "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)," which sold for about $105 million.

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