Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe painting sold for record-breaking $195m

Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe painting sold for record-breaking $195m

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Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe painting sold for record-breaking $195m

An iconic painting of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol has been auctioned for $195m (£158.17m) – making it the most expensive piece of 20th Century art ever sold.

The painting, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, was painted by Warhol in 1964 using a famous photograph as inspiration.

The amount is also the highest ever paid for an American work of art.

The Christie’s auction in New York was widely seen as a symbol of the luxury art market’s health.

Ahead of the auction, Christie’s wrote that the painting is “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence”, with a selling price “in the region” of $200m.

The auction ended with a sale price of $170m, which rose to $195m with taxes and fees taken into account.

The previous record price for a piece of American artwork was $110.5m for a skull painting created in 1982 by Warhol’s sometimes friend and sometimes competitor, Jean-Michael Basquiat.

The final price also smashes the previous record for a 20th Century work of art, set in 2015 when a 1955 painting by Pablo Picasso – Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) – sold for $179.4m, including fees.

In March, George Frei, the chairman of the board of the Thomas and Doris Amman Foundation, said in a statement that the painting of Monroe “bears witness to her undiminished visual power in the new millennium”.

“Marilyn the woman is gone; the terrible circumstances of her life and death are forgotten,” Mr Frei said. “All that remains is the enigmatic smile that links her to another mysterious smile of a distinguished lady, the Mona Lisa.”

Bloomberg reports that the winning bidder was US art dealer Larry Gagosian, who owns a chain of art galleries.

According to Christie’s, all the proceeds of the sale will go to the Switzerland-based Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, which works to establish healthcare and education programmes for children around the world.

The auction on Monday is the first of a series of art auctions planned by Christie’s and Sotheby’s over the next two weeks, widely considered to be a test of the luxury art market’s health in the post-pandemic era.

Philip Hoffman, the founder of New York-based advisory company the Fine Art Group, told the New York times that there is a “huge amount of pent-up demand” for art.

“Everybody was waiting for the right moment,” he said. “And the right moment has come.”




London outrageously named only world’s third most popular city among tourists – here are the 2 that beat it

Ayokunle Oluwalana  18 hrs ago

If there is one thing that unites humans it would be the fact that everyone thinks where they live is the best. That feeling seems to be heightened when you’re a Londoner. Londoners from different parts of the city all have this idea that where they live or were brought up is the best.

Ask an Australian person who moved to Clapham, they’ll say South London is best. Ask a person who grew up above the river, there is one line that would ring loudly – ‘nothing good happens south of the river’. If there is another major point that unites Londoners is that a fair few think this is the best city in the world, and rightly so.

From the amazing transport links, the mix of culture, the range of food and the bustling nightlife, London has always been a tourist hotspot. As the pandemic changed the travel habits of individuals, as the world opens back up, tourists lining the streets have become a common sight again. A report by Travelness ranked the top 20 cities based on Mastercard’s Global Destinations Cities Index and 2 cities beat lovely London to first place.

Beating London to second place was a common rival when it comes to the best destination in Europe; Paris. Paris has long been one of the people’s favourites for a visit. A city steeped in history like London, Paris has notable landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and Arce de Triomphe. The delightful food and the cool bars are all that make Paris a worthy second place and it’s easy to see why 19.10 million visited it in the last year.

London lost out on second with 19.09 million international visits over the last year showing London still has some pull. With the history, places such as Trafalgar Square, the historical buildings, and the vibrant city life, London might feel a bit scorned only coming in third. London is no stranger to the tourist life and a host of tourist shops line the streets of West End all giving visitors a chance to pick up a souvenir to mark their journey.

Beating both London and Paris though is another powerhouse in the tourist world: Bangkok. In the capital of Thailand, a whopping 22.78 million international visitors graced the streets of Bangkok. The city is a constant wall of noise as rooftop bars line the streets and night markets give you a chance to embrace a cultural norm.

The massive shopping mall, Siam Paragon, gives families and visitors a chance to experience so much in the confines of a department store. The Jim Thompson House is a walk through history and gives you a chance to engulf yourself in Asian art and one of a kind displays.

The top 20 list is a mix of cities stretching all over the globe so London coming third is still an impressive task. cities such as Dubai, New York, and Milan make up the rest of the list. The full top 20 list:



  1. Bangkok – 22.78 million visitors
  2. Paris – 19.10 million
  3. London – 19.09 million
  4. Dubai – 15.93 million
  5. Singapore – 14.67 million
  6. Kuala Lumpur – 13.79 million
  7. New York – 13.60 million
  8. Istanbul – 13.40 million
  9. Tokyo – 12.93 million
  10. Antalya – 12.41 MILLION
  11. Seoul – 11.25 million
  12. Osaka – 10.14 million
  13. Makkah – 10 million
  14. Phuket – 9.49 million
  15. Pattaya – 9.44 million
  16. Milan – 9.10 million
  17. Barcelona – 9.09 million
  18. Palma De Mallorca – 8.96 million
  19. Bali – 8.26 million
  20. Hong Kong SAR – 8.23 million


Written by: Ayokunle Oluwalana 

REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort



If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one. – Dolly Parton


Happiness is…living in London



Why does Wally (of Where’s Wally fame) wear stripes? He doesn’t want to be spotted.


Love is…a smile that lights up your day.


A time to visit Bangkok…A time to visit Paris.





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