'Bea Arthur Naked' Painting Up for Auction (Photo)

This 1991 work by painter-provocateur John Currin could fetch millions at Christie's on Wednesday night.
John Currin's "Bea Arthur Naked."
John Currin

If Bea Arthur were alive today, the late, great actress -- who suffered no fools as Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls -- might roll her eyes at the news that a topless painting of herself has hit the auction block at Christie's.

The 1991 portrait by John Currin, called "Bea Arthur Naked," could go for somewhere in the ballpark of $1.8-$2.5 million at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale in New York City on Wednesday night, The Huffington Post reports.

Any bidders?

Currin, whose controversial artwork has drawn both admiration and outrage, "made a small stir with his commercial-gallery debut, in 1992, which featured acrid fantasy portraits of menopausal women -- images suspended, in his words, 'between the object of desire and the object of loathing,'" wrote Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker circa 2003.

Arthur died of cancer in 2009 after a long and acclaimed career in showbiz, winning Emmy Awards for both Golden Girls and her leading role in the 1970s sitcom Maude.

The New York Times has described Currin, who's represented by the Gagosian Gallery, as "arguably the most successful and provocative painter of his generation." The artist has previously sold a painting for $5.5 million at a Sotheby's auction.

See "Bea Arthur Naked" below.

 

 

 

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