Warhol painting of Michael Jackson sold at auction

Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:16pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A portrait of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, painted pop art icon Andy Warhol has been sold at auction in New York for an undisclosed amount.

Janet Lehr, owner of the Vered Gallery on New York's Long Island, said the painting was sold Tuesday night, and while one report said the price was in excess of $1 million, Lehr declined to give a figure.

The average auction price for a Warhol in recent years has hovered around $17 million, and the top price paid for one of his works at auction was $71 million for a piece called "Car Crash." The high for one of the artist's portraits was $28 million for a Marilyn Monroe picture titled "Lemon Marilyn."

Warhol's Jackson portrait was painted in 1984 and commissioned to celebrate record-breaking sales of the singer's album "Thriller."

Jackson died on June 25 of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles at age 50, only days before he was to have begun a series of comeback concerts at London's O2 arena.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis)

<p>Andy Warhol's 1984 portrait of entertainer Michael Jackson is shown in this publicity photo released to Reuters August 20, 2009. REUTERS/Vered Gallery/Handout</p>