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What is the most expensive painting ever sold?

no5-1948 by jackson pollockJackson Pollock's masterpiece, entitled "No. 5, 1948" is currently the most expensive painting ever sold. It was sold by David Geffen to an undisclosed buyer for $140 million. Rumor has it that Mexican businessman David Martinez bought the painting.

The painting was originally owned by Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr. and displayed at the Museum of Modern Art before being sold to  Geffen and then allegedly to Martinez in 2006 (though the supposed sale of this painting to Martinez has been denied by his attorneys).

Pollock is an American painter known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. This particular painting was done on an 8' × 4' sheet of fiberboard, with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top of it, forming a nest-like appearance.

Although the painting looked like it was made by a pre-schooler who had fun with tubes of paint, Pollock used a relatively new technique and medium when he created the piece. He called his new style as the "drip" technique and used synthetic resin-based paints called alkyd enamels. Hardened brushes, sticks, and even basting syringes were used as paint applicators. This technique of pouring and dripping paint is thought to be one of the origins of the term "action painting."

As for the piece's title, Pollock wanted an end to the viewer's search for representational elements in his paintings, and so he abandoned titles and started numbering the paintings instead.

 

 

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