Michael Jackson Portrait by Andy Warhol Up For Auction

    Andy Warhol 1984 portrait of Michael Jackson up for auction

    by Debbie Tuma

    Saturday, July 4th 2009, 4:00 AM

    In a silent auction at Vered Gallery in East Hampton the star painting is an Andy Warhol orignal painting of Michael Jackson painted in 1984.

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    The King of Pop Art's portrait of the King of Pop is being auctioned off at a Hamptons gallery.

    Andy Warhol's "Michael Jackson" painting went on the block yesterday at the Vered Gallery of East Hampton. The auction ends July 12.

    The 30-by-26-inch, synthetic polymer painting on canvas is a portrait of a smiling Jackson in his red military uniform from his album "Thriller."

    "We estimate this painting, created in 1984, will sell for $1 million to $10 million," said Ruth Vered, who owns the gallery with her partner, Janet Lehr.

    Lehr said the painting, which originally came from the Warhol estate, was consigned to the gallery by a New York private collector.

    The portrait is stamped twice by the estate and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. It has been exhibited around the world, from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, to Las Vegas, she said.

    "This auction is an unparalleled moment," said Lehr. "Warhol in the Hamptons is so important because he's a monumental figure who had a spectacular oceanfront estate in Montauk. So we have the meetings of the world's greatest artists in the fields of art and music."

    Vered said three years ago, her gallery had an exhibit of 20 of Warhol's famous athlete paintings, including Muhammad Ali, Pele, O.J. Simpson, Chris Evert and Jack Nicklaus.

    "But now I wanted to have the legendary Michael Jackson," she said.

    She said her gallery holds auctions only twice a year, and a percentage of designated lots benefit diffrent charities.

    This year, Vered, of Tel-Aviv, said she is donating part of the proceeds to Shderot, a town in Israel that was bombed for about eight years by the Palestinians.

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