Michael Jackson as Muse

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.