Michael Jackson portrait to be sold
A Michael Jackson portrait is going up for sale in an online auction.
The eBay.com auction of the 50-by-40-inch painting by Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong will launch on Wednesday evening in the US, the portrait's owner said.
The colourful portrait, titled The Book, and reportedly the only painting for which the King of Pop ever posed, depicts the singer in a red velvet jacket, clutching a journal at his Neverland Ranch.
"I've had it an awful long time," said toy inventor Marty Abrams, who acquired the painting with partner John Gentilly in 1992 from Japanese businessman Hiromichi Saeki.
"With the positive response to his music and the movie about him after his death, we thought it was a good time to sell it and for the world to see it."
For over 17 years, Abrams kept the painting in storage in a New Jersey warehouse. It was briefly on display at the Dancy-Power Automotive showroom in Harlem after Michael's death last June. The fantastical painting, which also features the fairy character Tinkerbell hovering in the background, is hanging inside Abrams' home in Kings Point, New York.
The painting was originally sold to Saeki for 2.1 million dollars in 1990. Abrams said the painting was appraised by Belgo Fine Art Appraisal and Restoration at 5.3 million in 2000, but he believes it is worth more now. Abrams hopes it will fetch over 3 million dollars in the auction, which is scheduled to end on April 17. The minimum starting bid will be 2.75 million.