The portrait of a courageous Pakistani girl will be offered for sale at Christie’s New York next month. Malala Yousafzai, was an advocate for education for girls and women, and in October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban while boarding a school bus. In the following days she gained worldwide recognition, receiving praise from President Obama as “The Bravest Girl in the World,” and earned the International Children’s Peace Prize. In April 2013, while recovering from her head injury, she met artist Jonathan Yeo who was so inspired by her strength and courage that he asked to paint her portrait.
The painting, titled Girl Reading (Malala Yousafzai), which portrays the teenage girl, dressed in a white robe, sitting at a table with a book, while looking up at the viewer. Yeo first exhibited the piece at the London National Gallery, and Christie’s auction house in New York agreed to offer it for auction where it’s estimated to bring in $60,000-$80,000. It will be included in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art on May 14th, and money raised will benefit the Malala Fund, a charity set up by Malala to support the fight for the right for girls and women to an education, freeing them from child labor.
About his work, Yeo notes, “I hope the painting reflects the slight paradox of representing someone with enormous power and wisdom, yet vulnerability and youth at the same time.” The auction will be held May 14th at Christie's New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza. (212) 636-2000.