Michael Jackson rocks on canvas in Delhi

Friday, October 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - King of Pop Michael Jackson has been brought to life in 12 mixed media paintings here which capture his journey from obscurity to stardom, diseases and tragic death that remains a mystery.

The over a month-long exhibition “Michael Jackson: the Legend” at the American Center deconstructs the mythical persona of MJ, or Jacko as the pop star was fondly called, into abstract drawings, etchings and 3-D mixed media portraits.

The exhibition, which started Wednesday and will close Oct 30, is a part of the American Center’s Commonwealth art show.

Artist Ruby Lal of Gurgaon-based Studio 128, a subsidiary of the lifestyle and arts promotion platform Shuringer India, said she was inspired by Picasso to “portray the pop star and his metamorphosis”.

A large 6 feet X 3 feet canvas, “MJ Dressed in UP Black” shows the standing pop star clad in three-dimensional abstract clothes. The expression on his face, a little distorted at the corners of his mouth, is one of laughter.

The multi-coloured composition uses velvet, leather, feathers, gold and silver silk thread, crystals, wood, chocolate wrapper, metal buckles, embroidery, oil paints and old textiles to blow MJ larger than life with solid textures.

“Jackson was known for his unique style of clothes at shows and a strange choice of colours,” Lal said.

A 3.5 feet X 3.5 feet composition, Lupus, in acrylic on canvas shows a mutilated MJ. In 1980, Jackson was diagnosed with the disease Lupus in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue resulting in inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs.

The painting shows a disjointed Jackson with bloated fingers, skeletal torso and a mangled face in shades and strokes of white, blue, hints of pink and green.

The strain of lupus DNA is shown as L-shaped strings on the pop icon’s figure.

“He used excess make-up to cover his botched skin and surgeons speculated that he had also undergone rhinoplasty, a forehead, cleft, cheekbone lift and had acquired alternative lips,” Lal said.

“Those close to the singer said he had been through nearly 10 procedures by 1990. He also suffered from body dysmorphic disorder,” she added.

Those suffering body dysmorphic disorder are too obsessed with minor flaws in their appearance and seek refuge in frequent plastic surgeries.

The detailed canvases freeze the pop star’s frames in several moods and poses - at concerts performing the moonwalk, bothering about his diseased skin, his transformation from a brown-skinned boy to a white man and his love for nature.

Michael Jackson was born in 1958 as the eighth of the 10 children to an African-American family in Indiana, US. He was known for hit dance singles like “Beat It”, “Billy Jean”, “Thriller”, “Scream” and “Dangerous”.

The showman died in 2009.

Filed under: Commonwealth Games

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