Author(s): Nicholas Cullinan; Margo Jefferson
Icon as muse: Michael Jackson in art, from Warhol to KAWS
Since Andy Warhol first used his image in 1982, Michael Jackson has become the most depicted cultural figure in contemporary art. But while his impact on music, music video, dance, choreography and fashion is widely acknowledged, Jackson's considerable influence on contemporary art has remained an untold story. For the first time, Michael Jackson: On the Wall brings together the works of more than 40 artists who have been drawn to Jackson as a subject.
The book is published to accompany a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and explores new avenues for thinking about art and identity, encourages new dialogues between artists and invites audiences interested in popular culture and music to engage with contemporary art. Selected from both public and private collections and including pieces specially commissioned for the exhibition, the works range from painting to sculpture and from photography to installation.
The international selection of artists spans several generations and includes Rita Ackerman, Dara Birnbaum, Mark Flood, Isa Genzken, Maggi Hambling, Gary Hume, David LaChapelle, Glenn Ligon, Dawn Mellor, Catherine Opie, Grayson Perry, Donald Urquhart, Kehinde Wiley, and Andy Warho, l among many others. With essays by Nicholas Cullinan, Margo Jefferson and Zadie Smith, the catalog not only asks why so many contemporary artists have been drawn to Jackson as a subject, but also why he continues to loom so large in our collective cultural imagination. Michael Jackson: On the Wall is produced with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson Estate.