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 Idealised Jackson portrait sells for US$175,000

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mkanhnh-Jenna
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PostSubject: Re: Idealised Jackson portrait sells for US$175,000   December 7th 2009, 9:09 pm

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PostSubject: Idealised Jackson portrait sells for US$175,000   December 7th 2009, 9:09 pm

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/entertainment/view/1023274/1/.html

MIAMI : An idealised portrait depicting late music legend Michael Jackson on horseback, dressed in regal garb and attended by two cherubs, has been sold at auction for US$175,000, a US art gallery said Monday.

"Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II," commissioned by Jackson, who died on June 25, was sold to a German collector at the Art Basel show here, said Kathy Grayson from New York's Deitch Projects gallery.

The painting had been on display here until late Sunday.

The large portrait, which Jackson never saw in its finished form, measures 3.51 metres (11.5 feet) by 3.1 metres (10.1 feet), and is the work of New York-based artist Kehinde Wiley.

"I was receiving messages saying Michael Jackson wants to reach you," said Wiley of being commissioned for the work in 2008.

"I ignored them because quite honestly I thought it was a prank," she told the art show's daily publication.

"Unfortunately, I didn't have as much input as I would have hoped for, but I think it's something he would have been proud of."

After speaking with Jackson, Wiley sent him a number of historical paintings to base the painting on.

"I think that his idea of collaborating with me was something that he really wanted to see through," Wiley said.

"I felt a responsibility to him to get it done (after he died)," she added.

The global economic slowdown has put the screws on lavish art sales as collectors put off laying out large sums for works, although Grayson said sales this year "were better... than in 2008".

Two separate portraits of US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, billed to sell together for US$125,000, did not attract a buyer, the Deitch gallery said.

Despite the auction's better-than-expected performance, gallery owners admitted sale prices had not recovered to levels seen before the economic downturn.

"The numbers have all changed... 500,000 is the new million (dollars)," said Lisa Spellman, director of New York's Gallery 303.

An Andy Warhol painting - Mao, 1972-1974 - was one of the highest priced sales, earning US$2.25 million for New York's Van de Weghe Gallery.

The Art Basel expo in Miami Beach is an overseas version of the Basel, Switzerland exhibition, and is the largest contemporary art sale in the United States, presenting 2,000 works from courtesy of 265 galleries in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
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