Tag Archive | Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Mural By Kobra

Kobra MJ Mural
All Photos By Gail

Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra continues to make the rounds in NYC, but this mural of Michael Jackson’s Face as both a child and an adult actually went up some time ago, in late August of 2018. I have walked by it a bunch of times and that orange food truck is always there, so it’s hard to get a clear shot.

Kobra MJ Close Up

Dead for nearly a decade at this point (as hard to believe as that is) Jackson continues to be a highly polarizing figure, especially in light of the just-aired HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which most definitely lends considerable credence to the child abuse allegations of which Jackson was charged and then famously acquitted. It just makes me sad for everyone involved. I wonder how long it will be now before this mural is painted over.

Kobra MJ Mural Distance

The Michael Jackson Mural is painted on the side of an apartment building located at the Southeast corner First Avenue and East 11th Street in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Michael Jackson and Bubbles
Photos By Gail

In imagining Michael Jackson (19582009) as a contemporary god of pop culture, Jeff Koons draws on long histories of representing mythic figures in sculpture. In Michael Jackson and and Bubbles (1988), the singer cradles his pet chimpanzee, mimicking a Pieta as perhaps a poignant evolutionary take on the composition of a mother and her child. Koons uses the techniques and conventions of traditional Meissen porcelain — a medium often associated with kitsch — on a grand scale, to underscore the mass appeal of his subject. Similarly, the pronounced use of gold signals excess to the point of banality, even as it reflects the brilliance of the megastar in the manner of an Egyptian pharaoh.

Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body, at The Met Breuer, NYC.

Eye On Design: Michael Jackson’s Metal Cowboy Boots

Michael Jackson Metal Cowboy Boots
All Photos By Gail

Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, who were Michael Jackson’s longtime costume designers, were asked to create a pair of Metal Cowboy Boots (circa 1990) for Jackson. The designers found inspiration in sabatons, the part of a knight’s armor that protected the foot. The singer wore these boots to the White House in April of 1990 to received the Artist of the Decade award from President George H.W. Bush.

Photographed in the Autry National Center in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson Metal Cowboy Boots

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Video Clip of The Week: Tame Impala, “‘Cause I’m A Man”



Confession: While I’m not immediately crazy about the fact that Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has been made to sound like Michael Jackson on this ridiculously amazing tune, the fact that “‘Cause I’m A Man” aurally draws on the dizzily addictive vocal hooks from ’70s soul classics like The Delfonics’ “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” and The Stylistics’ “Betcha By Golly Wow, more than makes up for any perceived slight. Because, Michael Jackson. Geez.

On Tame Impala’s third album, Currents, Parker’s approach to making his version of modern psychedelia boosts the recording quality and accessibility of these tunes while preserving its intelligence and amazing melodic richness, which makes for a sonic transition as profound as when Guided By Voices let Rick Ocasek produce Isolation Drills. If you know what that means, great. If not, it doesn’t matter.

Visually, this highly abstract computer animated  video is simply mind blowing and makes me want to eat handfuls of acid, while also allowing a feeling of vulnerability that something resembling “Romantic Love” is perhaps truly possible. It’s a heavy turn on when men sing about how manly they are, but here Parker puts his heart on the line by confessing his shortcomings as being owed to the fact that he’s, well, just a man. Also, why has no one up to now thought of making an animated video where a Plasma Ball Sphere substitutes for man’s head? I ask yez…

On Currents (says the album’s press release), Kevin Parker “addresses a blindingly colorful panorama of transition in the most audacious, adventurous fashion he’s yet to capture on record. Dense with heady lyrical introspection, musically the most playful, bold and varied Tame Impala record to date, Currents is Parker putting down his weapons and embracing change as the only constant – sonically, thematically, and personally.” Currents is released on July 17th, 2015. Turn on, tune in, trip out. Enjoy!

TAME IMPALA CURRENTS Artwork

The Flag Art Foundation Presents Disturbing Innocence

Brittle House By Will Cotton
Brittle House By Will Cotton, 2000 (All Photos By Gail)

Like Paul McCarthey’s ill-fated Butt Plug Tree, I like art that pushes boundaries. That’s what I found in abundance when Geoffrey and I made the scene last Saturday at Flag Art Foundation in Chelsea for the opening reception of a group show they call Disturbing Innocence. It was definitely disturbing.

Mummified Barbies
Mummified Barbies by EV Day

Curated by Eric Fischl, Disturbing Innocence features over 50 historical and contemporary artists whose use of dolls, toys, mannequins, robots, and other surrogates forms a deep and powerfully expressive genre. The exhibition poses profound questions surrounding social constructs of youth, beauty, transformation, violence, sexuality, gender, identity, and loneliness.

Amy Bennett Property Line, 2007
Amy Bennett, Property Line, 2007

Inspired by Fischl’s own childhood in suburban Long Island, NY, and his early career as an artist working in New York City in the 1980s, Disturbing Innocence presents a subversive and escapist world at odds with the values and pretensions of polite society. Ninety percent of the art on display is not for the easily offended, but if you are open minded and appreciate stuff that is a bit — or a lot — twisted, then this will be your thing.

Let’s take a look at some highlights from the show!

Hanging Clown Snow Globe

This snow globe features the serene, wintery scene of one clown standing on the back of another clown in order to commit suicide by hanging himself. Because clowns are scary!

Nude Rapunzel

I call this one Nude Rapunzel, because none of the names of the art/ artists were posted adjacent to the works, which is just lazy if you ask me. Or, rather, it makes me feel lazy for not scouring the interwebs thoroughly enough to glean the name of the artist/piece.

Explosion in a Cage

Here is one of the less disturbing pieces in the show: it looks like an exploding plastic bag trapped inside a cage.

Explosion Close Up

Here is a closer look. I like it.

John Waters Playdate, 2006
Playdate by John Waters, 2006

Look! It’s baby Michael Jackson post-plastic surgery disaster. Let’s find out who his playmate is.

John Waters Playdate, 2006

Why, it’s baby Charles Manson! Oh, the cuteness.

Demon Giving Birth

This one is just insane.

Red Ho

Tower of Breasts

I did a Google image search of “Sculpture made of breasts” to try to find the name /artist of this piece and got about 100 hits, none which were this sculpture.

Video Head

This piece, which is a video of a talking head projected against a split sphere, really reminded me of the talking statues in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. It’s the same technique used to give the mannequins expressive faces at the Brooklyn Museum’s Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit last year.

Nut Cracker Doll
Jennifer Rubell, Nutcracker Doll

This functional Nutcracker Doll might be a bit big to keep on hand in your kitchen, but it sure would be a hit at your holiday party!

Siamese Twins

This sculpture of Siamese Twin Girls was the most disturbing piece in the show, for me. I wish I knew more about it.

One Armed Child

I think that all of these sculptures and tableaus, such as the one-armed child above, are perhaps meant to make us more comfortable with seeing and being around people that look different from ourselves. I don’t know that there are any definitive answers, but Disturbing Innocence at the very least aims to start a conversation.

Find out more about Eric Fischl and artists involved in Disturbing Innocence by visiting This Link.

Disturbing Innocence will be on Exhibit Through January 31st, 2015 at Flag Art Foundation, Located at 545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District. Gallery Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Peter Drake Siege of Syosset, 2007
There Goes The Neighborhood: Peter Drake, Siege of Syosset, 2007

Take the Celebrity Urban Legends Quiz!

Ashton Kutcher Urban Legend
Do you think Ashton Kutcher Has Webbed Feet? Take the Quiz and Find Out!

What do Walt Disney, The Queen of England and Pop Singer Lily Allen have in common? They’re all the subjects of the very fun Celebrity Urban Legends Quiz found at Two Little Fleas. Click on over to take it for yourself right now!

Iconic Rock & Roll Photographer Henry Diltz Exhibit & Book Signing 12/11/13 at Morrison Hotel Gallery

Crosby Stills & Nash
Crosby, Stills & Nash (All Photos By Henry Diltz, Courtesy of Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Morrison Hotel Gallery is excited to have legendary photographer and gallery co-owner Henry Diltz exhibit some of his most well known work, and sign copies of his latest book Unpainted Faces (Morrison Hotel Publishing), at the 124 Prince Street gallery, on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013.

Rolling Stones By Diltz
Keith Richards and Ron Wood

Morrison Hotel Gallery and Diltz will be introducing very large 40 x 60 prints of some of his most amazing and iconic photographs. The event will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, is free of charge and will be open to the public. Copies of Henry’s book will be on sale at the gallery and all images will be available for purchase.

Michael Jackson as a Child
Michael Jackson

In the world of Rock n’ Roll photographers, there are none as extraordinary as Henry Diltz. For over 40 years, his work has graced hundreds of album covers and has been featured in books, magazines and newspapers.

His unique artistic style has produced powerful photographic essays of Woodstock, The Monterey Pop Festival, The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jimi Hendrix and scores of other legendary artists.

A founding member of the Modern Folk Quartet (whose albums in the early 60s were produced by Phil Spector), Diltz is as much at home as a musician on tour as he is a visual historian of the last four decades of popular music. The rapport he’s developed with his musician friends, along with his down-to-earth-grin and frequent laugh, enables him to capture the candid shots that convey a rare feeling of trust and intimacy with his subjects.

Henry Diltz
Henry Diltz

HENRY DILTZ: An Exhibition and Book Signing is Open to the Public Wednesday, December 11th from 7 to 9 PM at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, 124 Prince Street, NYC.