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Jan 2024

Christie’s – Gorky: Oil and Ash

In Autumn 2023 Christie’s announced that Arshile Gorky’s 'Charred Beloved I' (1946) would feature as the highlight in their 20th Century Evening sale.

Born a refugee, Arshile Gorky overcame a multitude of hardships throughout his life to become a prodigious painter. His masterpiece ‘Charred Beloved I’ is a direct translation of one of those hardships - a fire that consumed his life's work and studio.

Christie’s tasked Chrome with dramatizing the work’s backstory while avoiding a straight biographical approach. The result is an emotional and non-linear narrative that gives glimpses into the life of the artist, the fire that changed his life, and the Phoenix that rose from the ashes.

Lead creative on the project and director of the film, Stephen Tyler, says “we really wanted to balance the weight of the work with the hardships of Gorky’s life. Moments of painting intercut with archival photos really contextualize his headspace when he entered this new chapter in his career”.

After the release of the film, ‘Charred Beloved I’ went on to set a record for Gorky's work with an aggregate price of $23.4 million.

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business renowned for their expert live and online-only auctions, as well as bespoke private sales. You can read more about our partnership with them – including transforming the Christie’s auction into a global livestream event – here.

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