Michael Jackson as Muse
Published June 26, 2009
We’re waiting for the first mural-sized graffiti to hit the streets (send in photos!). Even during his life, Michael Jackson inspired other artists. We look at five artists fascinated by the music, and especially the cult of personality. Indeed, none of the artists featured here could distinguish the man from the celebrity—I mean, it seems certain Jackson couldn’t himself. But whether their interests are in the politics of media (Jonathan Horowitz, playing the notorious Neverland tapes backward) or repressed sexuality and fetishism in the media (Paul Pfeiffer), they also find an incredible, relatable warmth—or at least a call to empathy. Michael Jackson’s was an archetypal American story of fame and dissipation, a tragedy with a now overwhelming and quite telling resurrection. If only he’d seen it while he was alive!
Meredith Danluck’s Michael Jackson, Jesus Christ… Coca Cola. Courtesy Renwick Gallery
For more of INTERVIEW’s Michael Jackson coverage, read on.
- Tracee Ellis Ross and Tyler, the Creator on Falling and Getting Back Up
- Ask a Sane Person: Daniel Mendelsohn on “The New 1930s” and Schitt’s Creek
- Ask a Sane Person: Salman Rushdie Wants America to Take Out the Trash in November
- Mark Ruffalo and Philip Ettinger on Playing Four Versions of the Same Two Characters in I Know This Much Is True
- Chris Evans and Jaeden Martell on Dark Material and Crying in the Mirror Just for Fun