Monday, June 29, 2009


I just can't resist doing a Michael Jackson post. As I mentioned earlier, this blog is meant to not only describe the happenings in the Cannon household, but also to reflect the times we live in. Pop superstar Michael Jackson died last week on Thursday, June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. He was just over a year older than I am, and I have memories of him as far back as 4th grade when he was part of the Jackson 5

I thought since I've done several posts on various forms of weird, wild, and wacky contemporary art lately, it would be appropriate to share a few artistic renderings of The Gloved One. It is in the art world that calling him a "Pop Icon" takes on a literal meaning. After all, an icon is defined by as "a representation of sacred personage, such as a saint or an angel, usually painted on a wood surface and venerated itself as sacred." Some of these "representations" may make you snicker--until you learn their selling prices. We live in a strange, strange world.

The first two images depict Jackson, quite literally, as "The King of Pop":
Borrowing from a Russian art form, here is Michael Jackson as a matryoshka doll, or a set of wooden nesting figures:

The promotional poster below depicts some OTHER historical icons posing in Jackson's signature shades and rhinestone-encrusted glove:
The two paintings below (by none other than the consummate pop artist Andy Warhol) were created in 1984, the year that "Thriller" topped the charts and won eight Grammy awards:
This second Warhol graced the cover of Time magazine on March 19, 1984. It now hangs NOT in some Hollywood art gallery, but in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian:
However, my favorite Michael Jackson "art" piece has to be this one by Jeff Koons entitled Michael Jackson and Bubbles. I've seen it with my own eyes at the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) at the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art (LACMA). This porcelain sculpture looks almost like some kitschy thing your grandma might have in her china cupboard, except for the fact that it's six-feet long and was purchased for $5.6 million:
I did love what Scott Tennent, a writer and editor for LACMA, had to say about this sculpture. He said that when he heard the news about Michael Jackson's death, he took the BCAM elevator up to the gallery that houses this work and stood before it. He writes on the LACMA blog: "Koons's sculpture has all of a sudden become a kind of monument. It's still a funny work of art, but as of today, a little less funny. Michael, outfitted in a suit of gold, reclines on a bed of golden flowers holding his golden monkey. It encapsulates everything I feel about the star--it's garish, ridiculous, frankly a little creepy and hilarious, and fun. If Michael were only an artist--if his music were his only legacy--then Koons's scultpure wouldn't resonate anew. But Michael was so much more: a global phenomenon, possibly the first modern tabloid trainwreck, and untouchable pop culture royalty. What king doesn't have his monument in gold? I stood in front of Koons's sculpture for five or ten minutes, considering Jackson's legacy in a way that simply playing an album can't really evoke."


  1. I overheard someone saying, "how sad, he never had a chance at a normal life". I agree, tragic to be that famous, that young, continue to be that famous, and that rich, and not to have a family that can do a proper job of loving you, not just using you.

  2. I am impressed by your range of artistic interest and knowledge. Your son is truly rubbing off on you.

  3. What a great quote from Scott Tennent. I agree with Dad, your artistic knowledge is astounding!