As one of the most recognized people who has ever lived, Michael Jackson has had a lifetime of visuals dedicated to him. His image as a musician spanned the globe, but it also made him a prominent figure in choreography, fashion, and as a social advocate. His significance within the visual art world has become a lesser known exploration. However, a new worldwide showcase that began at the National Portrait Gallery in London focuses on this very idea. Unlike other pop-star exhibitions however, Michael Jackson: On The Wall not only presents the numerous examples of visual art dedicated to the star, but explores the entire nature of his fame, his worldwide influence, and the long lasting effects of his existence in culture today.
The exhibition features work of forty-eight prominent artists from all over the world, including Faith Ringgold, Kehinde Wiley, Keith Haring, Hank Willis Thomas, and specifically Andy Warhol. It explores themes such as portraiture of the iconic man, imitative fan artwork that resonate heavily with "hero worship", and universal acknowledgement and fame. In a world where even in death, content can be consumed, Jackson's figure, among multi levels of media, offers a complicated and versatile view of the man himself. Taken from the perspective as observer, in both fandom and not, the exhibition attempts to construct a comprehensive viewpoint of the man. Some work was made during his life, while others were created specifically for this show. However, no one artist is featured more than Andy Warhol. A self-obsessed fan of Michael Jackson, Warhol's images of the man are given an entire room
Although the subject remains the same, the artists' choice of perspective, material, and focus reveals just how complicated this man's image is within our greater society. He is recognized for so many things, that harnessing him from all angles becomes a requirement. In doing so, the artists celebrate Jackson, but also relatively discuss negative aspects of his career, the gossip that fuels any pop culture figure to their death, notably his sexual assault charges. This noteworthy aspect of his life obviously resonates heavily with the modern day #MeToo campaigns and subtly parallels the other questions that fuel this exhibition. Do accolades remembered in death overshadow actions in life? As such a complicated figure of popular culture, Michael Jackson will always be remembered for his influence and innovation of music internationally, but his veritable status was rife with trauma, scandal, and untold rumors.
This exhibition's aim in exploring the multifaceted man successfully engages his image from an international perspective, only further validating his worldwide fame and influence. This versatile showcase is now currently at the Grand Palais in France, but will be moving to Bundeskunsthalle in Germany and finally to Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland.
Title Image: Gary Hume, Michael, 2011. Courtesy of Spruth Magers and Matthew Marks.
Welcome to the New Year! 2018 was full of innovative, engaging, and thoughtful exhibitions and with so many new shows to see, we have rounded up a quick look at some of our favorites for the upcoming 2019.
Rococo appeared in Paris, during the reign of Louis VX in the18th century. The unique style was characterized by its ornate and decorative quality, curving and complex designs, and fixation on modeling natural elements. Seen in architecture, sculpture, painting, and interiors, rococo was meant to produce awe and impress at first sight. Mediums frequently used were various colored, rare woods, porcelain, and gilded bronze. With a distinct digression from previous styles, Rococo artisans created objects and spaces with the wild elements of nature in mind. Frequently, there were brighter colors, greater detailing, and boastful displays of wealth. Rococo was an expression of the flamboyancy and playfulness that was prominent during Louis XV's reign, and equally the grandeur that was so infamously associated with his decline and the rise of the Enlightenment.
The Morsbroich Castle was built during the height of the period's popularity and is currently home to the Morsbroich Castle Municipal Museum that features international modern and contemporary art including their newest exhibition, The Flexible Plan. This group show examines the survival of Rococo through contemporary art. The title refers to Rococo's break from the consistency of the Baroque, a previous, predominant art style. As the castle itself is a pinnacle example of the Rococo style, it provides a rich backdrop for the selection of works. Through painting and sculpture, these artists have explored the core fundamentals of the movement and have produced work that mirrors the vibrant and decorative elements of the original style.
Rococo remains a staple style for tourist visits throughout Europe, specifically in France at Versailles and the Louvre, however contemporary examples of the ornamental designs are more rarely seen. With a rich, historical context and an outstanding backdrop, The Flexible Plan offers a comprehensive experience that beautifully intertwines the old and the new.
#1: Art Oracles: Creative & Life Inspiration from Great Artists
Great for your family or friend who believes in an artistic intervention! Whether it be struggling with a life decision or a necessary daily mantra, pick a card and find out what Picasso, Pollock, Kahlo and other masterful artists would suggest.
#2: BlockHaus Blocks
For the kid who needs a new flair from their old blocks. These blocks based off the famous German style are the perfect update and addition for any little future architect.
#3: Mondri Vase
For a chic accent to any home decor, this vase based off of Piet Mondrian's famed primary color paintings, can be displayed in a variety of ways with three separate openings.
#4: 100 Secrets of the Art World: Everything You Always Wanted to Know from Artists, Collectors and Curators, but Were Afraid to Ask
What is regarded as the most confidential information professionals throughout the art world don't readily share? This paperback contains stories and advice from renowned artists, museum directors, gallerists, collectors, and more.
#5: Story of Impressionism 1000-Piece Puzzle
Got a puzzler in the family? Try this challenging and informative puzzle perfect for any art fanatic/puzzle aficionado.
#6: Manifesto!: The Art Movements Game
In this riveting game that tests your knowledge of art movements and its artists. Compete to gather all the artists within that movement to win the game!
#7: Paint By Sticker Masterpieces
A new flair in the adult coloring book craze! Use high quality stickers to create 12 iconic masterpieces.
#8: The LEGO Architect
For your aspiring architect, this hardcover book journeys through the history of architecture, all seen through LEGO design. It also includes 12 model directions to snap together your own iconic buildings!
#9: Modern Artists Notebook
The perfect blank notebook for any aspiring artist or writer to fill with ideas and sketches!
#10: Frida Kahlo Ceramic Mug
Give the gift of a warm beverage for your favorite Frida Kahlo fan and enjoy a little art inspiration with this reusable travel mug.