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Michael Jackson: On the Wall

National Portrait Gallery, London


Though the extent of Michael Jackson’s cultural influence has long been clear in the fields of music, music videos, dance, choreography and fashion, his impact on contemporary art has not often been recognised. This exhibition sets out to show how Jackson inspired some of the leading names in contemporary art.

Since Andy Warhol first used Jackson’s image in 1982, the pop star has been depicted by artists from Catherine Opie to Hank Willis Thomas, and from Maggi Hambling to Grayson Perry, while emerging figures are also included in the roster of over 40 artists on show. The exhibition asks not only why so many contemporary artists have been drawn to Jackson as a subject over the decades, but also why he continues to loom so large in our collective cultural imagination.

The exhibition is curated by Nicholas Cullinan, the National Portrait Gallery’s director, and will tour to Paris, Bonn, and Finland. Find out more about the ‘Michael Jackson’ exhibition from the NPG’s website.

Preview the exhibition below | See Apollo’s Picks of the Week here

Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol

Michael Jackson (1984), Andy Warhol. Image © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc

An Audience, Rodney McMillian

An Audience (2001), Rodney McMillian. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

Interview Magazine, September 2009 (September 2009), Kaws. Courtesy of KAWS

Thriller (Black and White), Graham Dolphin

Thriller (Black and White) (2017), Graham Dolphin. Courtesy of the artist

Dangerous, Mark Ryden

Dangerous (1991), Mark Ryden.

Event website