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Warhol ‘Marlon’ From ‘The Wild One’ May Fetch $20 Million

'Marlon'
"Marlon" (1966) by Andy Warhol. The famous Warhol portrait shows actor Marlon Brando resting on his Triumph Thunderbird motorbike. Source: Christie's Images LTD via Bloomberg

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Andy Warhol’s 1966 canvas of leather-clad Marlon Brando on a motorcycle is expected to bring about $20 million at Christie’s in New York in November.

Titled “Marlon,” the work comes from the collection of Donald L. Bryant, a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art who bought it for $5 million at Christie’s in 2003.

The current estimate is “very much in line with where the market has gone for Warhol,” said Brett Gorvy, chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s.

In May, Sotheby’s sold a Warhol Elvis Presley for $37 million. In 2008, Christie’s sold “Double Marlon,” a canvas larger than “Marlon” with two smaller Brando images, for $32.5 million.

For “Marlon,” Warhol used Brando’s publicity shot from the 1953 movie “The Wild One,” printing the image on unprimed, 41-by-46-inch canvas. Four images of the same size exist, one of which is loaned to the Tate in London, according to Gorvy.

“It’s the best of the four in terms of the image and condition,” he said. “Because of the way the ink seeps into the surface, the image registers extremely well.”

“Marlon” will be offered at Christie’s evening postwar and contemporary art sale on Nov. 14 in New York. It is guaranteed by a third party, who has pledged to buy it for an undisclosed minimum price.

To contact the reporter of this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at kkazakina@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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