Jackson portrait goes on sale

The art work by Andy Warhol of the late superstar is currently on display in London before it goes up for auction in New York later this month. It dates from 1984, and was intended to celebrate the record-breaking success of the Thriller album.

It is now at the O2, where Jackson's ill-fated This Is It concerts were scheduled.

 

The painting is striking rather than beautiful, composed mostly of bright colours: the shadows and hair are mostly blue with individual curls shown with a range of reds, oranges and yellows giving a vibrant, fire-like effect.

 

 

This, and the blood-red colour of the singer's collar, contrast sharply with the lurid green background.

It is 30 inches by 26, and painted using silkscreen inks and synthetic polymer paint.

The owner remains anonymous.

"I can tell you that the owner is a true art collector, a lover of paintings." art dealer Janet Lehr told the BBC. "He bought the painting because he loved the painting."

Andy Warhol was a huge figure in the Pop Art movement and known worldwide for his works such as Campell's Soup Cans.

Like Jackson he died prematurely of heart failure, aged of 58, although he had already been brought back from the brink in 1968 by surgeons massaging his heart, after he was shot by Valerie Solanas.

The 81st anniversary of his birth, on August 6, 1928, has just passed.

The painting will go under the hammer with a starting price of $800,000 but the average Warhol painting goes for around 20 times that amount and it seems unlikely that this will be the one nobody wants...

The owner is in for a remarkable return having only bought the painting for $278,500 in May of this year - before Jackson died.

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