CHICAGO (CBS) – A replica of Kerry James Marshall’s painting “Past Time” is on display in the South building at McCormick Place. The real painting was purchased in 1997 for $25,000 but will soon be up for auction, expecting to sell for millions.

Chicago Artist, Kerry James Marshall, is known for his beautiful depictions of African American life.

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Kerry James Marshall (CBS)

“There’s magic to be had there,” said Marshall in 2016, talking about his artistic inspiration. “It becomes clear to you, after a while, that there’s an absence of yourself or images that look like you in the museum.”

“Past Times” was purchased by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. For years it was publicly displayed in the South building of McCormick Place where a replica now hangs in its place.

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Kerry James Marshall Painting “Past Time” Expected To Sell For Millions

On May 16, the original painting will be auctioned by Sotheby’s and is expected to fetch between $8 million to $12 million, a record-breaking price for a Kerry James Marshall painting.

“It’s a funny thing to say, but I’ve made pictures to see if I can make a better picture. I don’t make pictures because I think somebody’s going to buy it,” Marshall said today.

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The South Side Community Art Center promotes Chicago’s African American artists and their works. They said they’re excited that the upcoming auction is being met with a great deal of pride and excitement.