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Rare 'Mao' Painting by Warhol Will Be Auctioned by Sotheby's

“Shouldn’t it be the most famous person, Bruno?”

Sotheby’s has unveiled via Instagram that a massive silkscreen rendering of Mao Zedong by Andy Warhol will be available at the auction house’s November Contemporary Art sale. Measuring at a staggering 82 x 57-inches, Mao (1972) is part of Warhol’s iconic Pop portraits series heavily influenced by popular culture. In the book Holy Terror, Warhol’s friend and Interview editor Bob Colacello recalls when Warhol conceived the idea for the Mao paintings, driven much by the desire to portray “the most iconic figure of the twentieth century.” Colacello remembers the artist musing: “But I was just reading in Life magazine that the most famous person in the world today is Chairman Mao. Shouldn’t it be the most famous person, Bruno?”

The highest price at auction for any Warhol Mao painting is currently $17.4 million USD, as reported by artnet.

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