This Thursday 6th August the British Music Experience
, the interactive exhibition of popular music situated within The O2, will display Andy Warhol's (Green) Michael Jackson portrait. The British Music Experience will be the only European venue to host the 1984 portrait before it returns to New York to go under the hammer. For just three days, the piece commissioned to celebrate the world record breaking sales of the King of Pop's Thriller album, will be added to the British Music Experience's collection.
The auction of the portrait will start with an opening bid of $800,000 - the average auction figure reached for a comparable Warhol portrait in recent years is $17 million. In the past the top price for a Warhol picture at auction is $71.7 million for 'Car Crash', and the top price for a Warhol portrait $28 million for 'Lemon Marilyn' - both sold at Christies in New York in 2007.
Paul Lilley, British Music Experience Curator, said: "Michael Jackson's influence on the world of pop is unparalleled. This is a perfect chance for us to give our visitors a once in a life time opportunity before the portrait disappears from the public eye into a private collection."
Janet Lehr, partner at the Vered Gallery, agents for the seller of the Jackson portrait, added: "This Andy Warhol portrait brings together the uncontested King of Pop Art with the uncontested King of Pop. The portrait was painted at the height of their careers and is a celebration of two of the great talents in global cultural history."
The British Music Experience is a combination of cutting edge audio-visual technology and the most coveted music memorabilia of all time, culminating in the creation of one of Britain's most compelling attractions. It enables visitors to trace musical trends through the decades, learn about music's influence on art, fashion and politics and allow visitors to download music from the British Music Experience archive. For the genuine musical experience members of the public can visit the Gibson Interactive Studio, a fully integrated space within the exhibition where they can play various Gibson guitars, Baldwin pianos and Slingerland drums.