Page last updated at 07:20 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 08:20 UK

Warhol's Jackson goes on display

(Green) Michael Jackson 1984 - by Andy Warhol
The portrait was painted at the height of Jackson's career

A portrait by Andy Warhol of the late singer Michael Jackson has gone on display in London for three days, ahead of being auctioned in New York.

The artwork is at the O2 Arena as part of the British Music Experience exhibition, where the late singer had been due to hold his comeback concerts.

The 1984 portrait was commissioned to celebrate the world record breaking sales of Jackson's Thriller album.

The painting will go on sale with a starting price of $800,000 (£476,000).

The sale will take place on 18 August at the Vered Gallery.

'The moment'

Art dealer Janet Lehr, who is acting on behalf of the owner, said: "I can tell you that the owner is a true art collector, a lover of paintings.

"He bought the painting because he loved the painting.

"After Michael's death I went to the client and said this is the moment.

"There is no question that as with the death of some other very famous artists, performing artists, painters, their value catapulted in great excess of previous numbers."

Warhol's painting of actress Elizabeth Taylor, fetched $23.7m (£14m) in 2007.

In the same year, the 1963 painting Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) - depicting an overturned car on fire - sold for $71.7m (£42.8m), a record for a Warhol piece.

The US artist was a leading figure in the Pop Art movement, creating artworks from mass-produced images in American popular culture.

He died in 1987 following a gall bladder operation.

The British Music Experience will be the only European exhibition to host the 1984 portrait ahead of the auction.

Speculation continues about the possible role prescription drugs played in Michael Jackson's death.

The singer suffered a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home on 25 June at the age of 50.



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