Pop legend Michael Jackson’s “huge impact” on contemporary art will be explored in a new exhibition in Paris and London next year.
The “groundbreaking” show claims it will tell the “untold story” of how the king of pop became “one of the most influential figures in art of the last half century”, inspiring artists from Andy Warhol to David LaChapelle and Grayson Perry.
Works featuring Jackson by some 40 artists including Gary Hume, Maggi Hambling, Catherine Opie and Yan Pei Ming will be brought together for the first time in “Michael Jackson: On the Wall” at the National Portrait Gallery in London in June, before the show travels to the Grand Palais in Paris in November.
Jackson is credited with helping turn the music video into an art form, and of popularising the robot and moonwalk dance moves.
Curator Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who runs the London gallery, said the show takes “an entirely new and quite radical approach by exploring the cultural impact of a unique figure through contemporary art.”
Jackson was trying to revive his waning controversy-dogged career when he died aged 50 in 2009 from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol on the eve of a comeback tour. By then he had sold more than 184 million records and CDs, with his 1982 album “Thriller” still the biggest seller of all time.
Cullinan said the exhibition “breaks new ground in its subject matter” and in the range and origin of the artists involved, all 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,” Cullinan added.