For the next two weeks, Christie’s will project Andy Warhol’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe onto the facade of Rockefeller Center


Marilyn Monroe is everywhere right now: in a juicy new one Netflix documentationin a upcoming NC-17 moviein a just launched Clothing line by JC Penney– and now on one of New York’s most iconic buildings.

Beginning tonight, Friday, April 29, Christie’s will project an image of Andy Warhol’s iconic portrait of the actress onto the facade of Rockefeller Center to increase enthusiasm for the painting’s sale. from the collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann, on May 9th.

It’s a big marketing gamble for what could be big business: painting, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964), has an external chance of becoming that the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. The possibility of crossing the $450 million mark Leonardo Da Vinci Salvator Mundi It may be slim, but the artwork already has a telling record to its name: the $200 million pre-sale estimate is the highest such number ever recorded for an artwork at auction.

“That [the painting] will be auctioned and is poised to break record selling prices – this is a historic moment,” said Neda Whitney, Christie’s marketing director said.

Andy Warhol, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964). Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd.

Christie’s project follows other similarly flashy marketing stunts. Last year the company displayed Warhol’s portrait of Basquiat Brooklyn’s Barclays Centerand in 2018, it conducted a multi-stage campaign around the valuable Rockefeller collection.

Both auctions were great successes for the auction house. The Basquiat portrait doubled its pre-sale estimate of $20 million, while Rockefeller’s $646 million auction set a record for the highest-grossing single owner auction to date.

But how much success can be attributed to marketing campaigns at such big events, where the auction house really only has to tick the 1 percent?

“Am I conquering the buyer by projecting? [Warhol’s painting] of Rockefeller Center? Probably not,” said Alex Rotter, chairman of Christie’s for 20th and 21st Century Art. “But you know what, what we’re doing here is exhibiting publicly. You don’t have to show me your checkbook to walk through the door. I want to show you art.”

“We have the opportunity to share it with the public, so why not?” he added. “It’s art. It should make people happy.”

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, adorned with the Christie’s logo, will grace the facade of 30 Rock every evening from 7:30 p.m. to midnight until May 13, while archival footage of Warhol at work is projected onto the sides of the building that houses the Christie’s headquarters auction house in New York. in the same period.

The auction house has also partnered with clothing store Lingua Franca to produce a Warhol-themed sweatshirt. with Pebble Bar to offer a customized cocktail; with La Maison du Chocolat to create a special showcase; and with Rough Trade Records to offer a ’60s-inspired playlist.

All of this can be attributed to the auction house’s recently increased efforts “to resonate with all sorts of different audiences,” he said Whitney, noting that the goal is to inspire prospective and non-current consignors, collectors and collaborators.

“It’s not a purchase price today, but an investment in tomorrow.”

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