A topless painting of actress Bea Arthur titled "Bea Arthur Naked" by artist John Currin was just sold at Christie's sale of postwar and contemporary art. (Warning: image below may be NSFW, and if you are offended by nude paintings)
The 1991 oil painting depicts the late actress nude from the waist up. According to Christie's, the image was based on a photograph of the late television actress with her clothes on. The artist is known for satirical works of women in provocative positions.
The painting is "historically significant, Christie's spokesman Koji Inoue tells the New York Post. "It's radical to sexualize someone people think of as asexual." He added, "The painting has a visual toughness to it — but it's also fun."
Bea Arthur, who died in 2009, is perhaps best known for the two iconic television characters she created—Norman Lear’s Maude, an outspoken liberal feminist, and Dorothy, a retired substitute teacher living in Miami with three other women on The Golden Girls.
While we are not sure how Maude or Dorothy would feel about “Bea Arthur Naked,” we’re hoping that Bea herself is smiling down, and feeling proud at the high auction price.