John Currin is a painter. And a brave man. In 1991 he painted a topless Bea Aruthur and the painted sold yesterday at auction for almost 2 million dollars. What? How? Huh? Have you SEEN Bea Arthur? She was on The Golden Girls. She was Maude. She was 69 in 1991. Not exactly Playboy material.

Now of course Im being funny for the sake of funny. But she wanst really someone who id want to see naked. The painting, officially called "Bea Arthur Topless" is featured in this story "Bea Arthur nude painting sells for $1.9 million"

"The actress, famous for her Emmy-winning roles in the 1970s and '80s television series "Maude" and "The Golden Girls," is depicted nude from the waist up with a simple gaze on her face. According to lot notes on the Christie's website, the work was derived from a photograph of the actress with clothes on.

"Currin mixes nostalgia with provocation," Christie's noted, and indeed, critics have been provoked by the artist in the past. Kim Levin of The Village Voice urged readers to "boycott this show" before an exhibition of the Currin's work in 1992. Before a one-man show at the Whitney Museum in 2003, Peter Schjeldahl wrote in The New Yorker that the Arthur portrait was part of Currin's "acrid fantasy portraits of menopausal women -- images suspended, in his words, 'between the object of desire and the object of loathing.'"

Here's the unedited picture. Note: Bea Arthur never sat for John Currin, clothed or unclothed.

Shield your eyes.

msnbc