Michael Jackson's impact on art explored in London show

Late singer will be subject of exhibition at National Portrait Gallery next year looking at ‘untold story’ of his influence on art.

Michael Jackson is to be the subject of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery looking at the late singer’s influence on art - theguardian.com said.

Almost 10 years after his death, the London gallery said the way he inspired contemporary artists was “an untold story”.

Michael Jackson: On the Wall will open next summer to coincide with what would have been his 60th birthday. The show, featuring loaned items from around the world, will be curated by the gallery’s director, Nicholas Cullinan .

While Jackson’s legacy in music, video, dance and fashion has been celebrated, his influence on art has not, the gallery said. There will be more 40 artists featured, including Andy Warhol, the first to depict Jackson in 1982, Maggi Hambling, Gary Hume, David LaChapelle and Grayson Perry.

New works will also be made for the show.

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.

“All the artists included, despite coming from different generations and parts of the world, and employing a range of media, are fascinated by what Jackson represented and what he invented.

“It is rare that there is something new to say about someone so famous, but here that is the case. The exhibition breaks new ground for the National Portrait Gallery in its subject matter and the breadth and profile of the artists who have been invited to participate.

“It will open up new avenues for thinking about art and identity, encourage new dialogues between artists, and invite audiences interested in popular culture and music to engage with 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: On the Wall is being produced with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson estate.

Jackson died in 2009 aged 50 after an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol, as he prepared to make a live comeback with a string of shows at the O2 Arena in London.

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