Blowtorch painting nets $36M at auction

(AP Photo/Christie's)
(AP Photo/Christie's)

NEW YORK (AP) - An iconic painting by French artist Yves Klein created with water, a blowtorch and two models has sold at a New York City auction for $36.4 million.

Christie's auction house says "FC 1" set an auction record for the artist Tuesday night. It says the painting was sold to a buyer who wishes to remain anonymous.

The painting shows blurry silhouettes of female models who had pressed their wet bodies against a fire-resistant board Klein then blowtorched. It was executed a few weeks before the artist's death at age 34 and is considered to be his masterpiece. It was offered for sale by an anonymous Swiss collector.

The previous Klein record was for his "MG 9," which sold for $23.5 million at Sotheby's in 2008.

Prices include the buyer's premium.