Michael Jackson by David LaChapelle

Michael Jackson: On the Wall at The National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson to this day remains a hugely influential figure on popular culture. Musically he was ahead of his time, much like his dance moves that defied the laws of physics. His footprint was truly global, mesmerising people worldwide, Jackson’s talent was shared in every corner of the planet, however one aspect of the late pop phenomenon less seen by the public eye was his influence on contemporary art, but all that’s about to change thanks to a new exhibition opening on Thursday at the National Portrait Gallery.

For the first time, Michael Jackson: On the Wall will bring together the works of over 40 of these artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, including new works made especially for the exhibition.

Andy Warhol was one of the first artists to use Jackson’s image in 1982 and since then an array of other artists have been drawn to the singer as a subject making him the most depicted cultural figure in visual art. Among the artists featured here are, Rita Ackerman, Dara Birnbaum, David LaChapelle, Grayson Perry and many others.

Michael Jackson by AndyWarhol

Michael Jackson 1984 by AndyWarhol. Copyright: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C.; Gift of Time magazine

Almost a decade after his passing, MJ is still as relevant as ever. His impact still resonates across culture, still hugely famous, still selling records, he’s a superstar with a solid legacy. No wonder there remains to this day such a deep fascination in the King of Pop.

National Portrait Gallery Director and curator of the exhibition Dr Nicholas Cullinan said,

“Michael Jackson: On the Wall takes an entirely new and quite radical approach by exploring the cultural impact of a unique figure through contemporary art. Like its subject, we hope this exhibition will be inclusive in appeal, uncompromising in artistic integrity and in the process break down barriers.”

Michael Jackson by Kehinde Wiley

Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson), 2010 by Kehinde Wiley. Copyright: Olbricht Collection, Berlin. Courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

Michael Jackson by Isa Genzken

Wind (Michael/David), 2009 by Isa Genzken. Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, New York. Copyright: Courtesy of neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Photo by Jens Ziehe, Berlin.

The exhibition will open to closely coincide with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on August 29, 2018).

Michael Jackson: On the Wall runs from June 28th to October 21st 2018. Book tickets HERE.

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