Warhol’s ‘Blue Marilyn’ intended to sell for a record-breaking $200m; proceeds to go to children’s healthcare and education

Andy Warhol’s painting Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, otherwise known as Blue Marilyn is intended to sell through Christies at an auction in May for over US$200 million dollars, which would make it the most expensive 20th Century artwork.

The previous most expensive work was also a Warhol piece, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster).

Proceeds from the sale of ‘Blue Marilyn’ will go to the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation, a Zurich-based organisation that pledges to donate to children’s healthcare and education.

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is a 1964 portrait of the movie star, based on her promotional poster for the 1953 film, Niagara. The work was part of Warhol’s “Shot Marilyn” series that consisted ultimately of four colorful silk screens.

How did the series get its name? The story goes a performance artist named Dorothy Podber saw five finished Marilyns leaning up against a wall and asked Warhol if she could “shoot” them. Warhol, thinking she meant shooting photographs of the works, said yes. Podber then pulled a revolver from her bag and shot the Marilyn canvases right in the forehead of each portrait. The bullet only went through four of the five canvases, so subsequently Warhol chose those four to be part of his series “Shot Marilyns”, one of which is the Blue one. 

Pop art fans should check out the new Netflix documentary series, The Andy Warhol Diaries – inspired by Warhol’s personal diaries as dictated to Pat Hackett.

The Netflix series has been produced by Ryan Murphy of American Horror Story and Glee fame.

Go on then, go get your Warhol on.

Antonino Tati



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