Lonely Planet Writer

Get a sneak peak at the new Michael Jackson exhibition

If you’re a fan of the King of Pop, then this new exhibition dedicated to how Michael Jackson influenced and inspired contemporary art is definitely something you should check out.

“An Illuminated Path,” by David LaChapelle and shot in 1998. Photo courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson: On The Wall is opening this month at the National Portrait Gallery of London, in England, to celebrate what would have been Jackson’s 60th birthday. The exhibition will feature several pieces from over forty contemporary artists, all inspired by Michael Jackson, his music, and his personality. “It is rare that there is something new to say about someone so famous, but here that is the case,” said the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, who is also the director of the National Gallery.

“Michael Jackson,” painted by Andy Warhol in 1984. Photo courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery

The exhibition is born from the realisation that while the King of Pop’s significance in music, dance, and fashion are all widely acknowledged, “his considerable influence on contemporary art is an untold story,” as it reads on the National Gallery’s website. That’s the story that all the works collected, both from public and private collections around the world and across different media, with some even created exclusively for the exhibition itself, will try to tell. When they are all put together, the works will answer the question, “why does Michael Jackson continue to loom so large in our collective cultural imagination?”

The portrait painted in 2010 by Kehinde Wiley, ‘Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson).’

Michael Jackson: On The Wall, created in collaboration with the Michael Jackson Estate, will run in London until the end of October, and then it will tour Paris in France, Bonn in Germany and Espoo in Finland. If you plan on visiting, know that young fans are very welcome, under 12s  are admitted free of charge and 500 ‘Jackson 5 Young People’s’ tickets for those aged 25 and under are available for every day of the exhibition.

After the National Gallery, the exhibition will go to the Grand Palais, the Bundeskunsthalle and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Photo by Cedric Weber/Shutterstock

You can get more information about the exhibition and book your tickets on the official website of the National Portrait Gallery here.