ENTERTAINMENT|by AFP – A 1984 Michael Jackson portrait by pop-art icon Andy Warhol surpassed estimates to fetch 812,500 dollars at auction on Tuesday, but two headline pieces at the Christie’s sale in New York flopped.
Warhol’s “Tunafish Disaster,” a 1963 silkscreen depicting two housewives who died from poisoned tuna, had to be withdrawn when bidding stumbled at around 4.7 million dollars. It had been expected to go for six million.
Even more disappointing was the failure to find a buyer for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Brother Sausage,” a giant six-panel painting by the late African-American graffiti artist expected to fetch up to 12 million dollars.
The rest of the bidding was lively and the sale made a total of 74.1 million dollars, well within the range of pre-auction estimates.
The 46-lot auction was boosted by the sale of a 1996 painting by the Scottish artist Peter Doig, “Reflection (What Does Your Soul Look Like),” for more than 10 million dollars.
Warhol’s silkscreen Jackson portrait, painted during the era of the singer’s wildly successful “Thriller” album, was owned by the Andy Warhol Foundation before being acquired by the seller, a Christie’s spokeswoman told AFP.
Believed to be one of four similar paintings, Christie’s had valued the portrait at between 500,000 and 700,000 dollars.