EAST HAMPTON, NY.- Andy Warhol's portrait of Michael Jackson sold for more than $1 million at an East Hampton, New York, gallery last night, according to Janet Lehrm one of the gallery owners.
Pre-sale estimates ranged from one to 10 million US dollars. The painting shows Michael Jackson wearing a red jacket from his Thriller era.
The portrait, measuring 30 by 26 inches (76.2 by 66 centimeters), was purchased for US$278,500 in May at the Sotheby's auction house.
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."
Michael Jackson's career as a recording star began at the age of eleven, with the popularity of the first single released by the Jackson 5, a rhythm-and-blues act composed of him and four of his brothers. In 1979 Jackson released his first solo album, and by 1984 he was being touted as the biggest star since the Beatles or Elvis Presley and as "the most popular black singer ever." In that year, he won an unprecedented eight Grammy Awards for his internationally acclaimed album Thriller.
Andy Warhol's name is synonymous with the Pop Art movement in America. Like other Pop artists, he often chose to use objects appropriated from popular culture as imagery for fine art. These were often photographs, which were then reproduced onto a canvas through a silkscreen process by assistants. Warhol then retouched them. As he put it, "I sort of half paint them just to give it a style."