The Michael Jackson: On the Wall exhibition opened on 28 June at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The exhibition reveals the final commissioned portrait of Michael Jackson by the artist Kehinde Wiley, along with other works including those by contemporary artists Faith Ringgold and Graham Dolphin.
Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Michael Jackson, Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson)
The National Portrait Gallery in London
The exhibition explores how the King of Pop has inspired some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media. The highlight of the exhibition is Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Michael Jackson, Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson). The artist started to execute the painting a few months before Jackson’s death, and finished it posthumously.
Kehinde Wiley’s stands in front of the portrait of Michael Jackson
Wiley is known for his portraits of African-Americans, questioning stereotypes with references to Old Masters paintings. In 2017, he was commissioned to produce a portrait of the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, which was unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington in February this year.
Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of the former president of the United States, Barack Obama
The 7-by-5-ft painting of the former president Obama depicts him seated in an ornate brown chair, his arms folded neatly across his lap with bright green vines illuminating the background. The portrait is now at the National Portrait Gallery in the 20th Century Americans exhibition on the third floor.
Another work on display is Faith Ringgold’s story quilt Who’s Bad?, inspired by Michael Jackson’s famous song ‘Bad’ that was released in 1987. Being a civil rights and gender equality activist, Ringgold’s works surround the themes of racism and discrimination. Her artworks are extremely broad and diverse, including paintings, quilts, sculptures, performance art and even children's books.
Faith Ringgold’s story quilt Who’s Bad?
Thriller (Black and White) by Graham Dolphin is based on the CD cover of Jackson’s single, Thriller. With Michael Jackson in the picture is his pet tiger (also named Thriller) that belonged to him when the entertainer lived at his Neverland ranch.
Thriller (Black and White) by Graham Dolphin
The current exhibition takes place from 28 June to 21 October. Then it will tour to The Grand Palais, Paris (November 2018 to February 2019), The Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (March to July 2019) and Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland (August to January 2020).
Other highlights of the exhibition
KAWS's Michael Jackson portrait
Andy Warhol's Michael Jackson
David LaChapelle's An Illuminating Path
Michael Jackson: On the Wall exhibition
Date: June 28 2018 - 21 October 2018
Location: Wolfson and Lerner Galleries, The National Portrait Gallery, London
With donation｜£17.50 - £22
Without donation｜£15.50 - £20
25 and under, every Friday｜£5 (500 tickets available, first come, first served basis)
Members and Patrons｜Free
The National Portrait Gallery, London
Address: St. Martin's Pl, London WC2H 0HE, UK (Covent Garden)
Daily｜10am - 6pm
Friday｜10am - 21pm
Enquiries: +44 (0) 20 7306 0055