It’s nine years this week since Michael Jackson died but his status as a cultural icon shows no sign of fading with a new exhibition on the singer opening at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) today.
Michael Jackson: On the Wall is a collection of paintings and images created by more than 40 artists, including David LaChapelle, Grayson Perry, Catherine Opie and Candice Brietz. Drawn from public and private collections from around the world the exhibition explores MJ’s legacy through the prisms of race, religion and celebrity.
Fans can see the King of Pop as portrayed by the king of Pop Art, Andy Warhol, through to the last portrait commissioned by the singer himself; a kitsch work by Kehinde Wiley in which Jackson, depicted as a 17th Century Spanish monarch, flamboyantly straddles a sinewy steed.
The show is a reminder of Jackson’s huge cultural reach – his influence stretched far beyond the music biz, to the fashion and art worlds, an achievement overshadowed in the latter part of his career by controversy about his personal life and revelations about his childhood (ironically Jackson’s abusive father Joe died earlier this week).
Michael Jackson: On the Wall promises to be a blockbuster and advanced bookings are recommended.
The show runs until 21 October. Tickets are £15.50-20.
MAIN IMAGE: Hank Willis Thomas’s Time Can Be a Villain or a Friend at the exhibition, courtesy PA Images.