American pop artist Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe portrait called “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” has been auctioned for 195 million U.S. dollars to an art dealer Larry Gagosian at Christie’s in New York, according to BBC. The painting’s auction price is the highest price achieved for any work of art created in the 20th century at auction, breaking the previous record price of 179.4 million dollars set in 2015 for Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger.”
The painting is one of the five Monroe works painted by Warhol in 1964, two years after the actress’s death. The artist used a technique called silkscreen printing to create Monroe’s portrait, a colorful promotional photo of the actress from the 1953 film Niagara, on a canvas. A vibrant close-up of Monroe’s face, wearing blue eyeshadow, is famous.
A performance artist Dorothy Podber, who visited Warhol’s studio at the time, asked the artist to prop five paintings against a wall and opened fire at the paintings. The bullets were shot through two of the five paintings, right on Marilyn’s forehead. The portraits came to be known as the “Shot Marilyns.” The Shot Sage Blue Marilyn that went under the hammer at Christie’s on Monday is one of the three that remain intact from the gunshot.