Just when Michael Jackson mania seemed to quiet down a bit, the King of Pop is back in the news this week; the sale of his portrait at Art Basel Miami Beach and the release of the ginormous Official Michael Jackson Opus are making headlines.
Over the weekend, artist Kehinde Wiley's 11.5 foot by 10.1 foot portrait of Michael Jackson, entitled Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II, sold to a German collector at ABMB for an impressive $175,000. Although Jackson never saw the final painting, depicting him on horseback, dressed in regal garb and attended by two cherubs, Wiley, who initially thought voicemails from the late pop star were a prank, said she felt a responsibility to complete the piece commissioned by Jackson in 2008.
If you're not willing to fork over the really big bucks, $249 will buy you a copy of the monumental 404-page The Official Michael Jackson Opus: The Ultimate Celebration of an Icon, featuring hundreds of rare, previously unpublished photos and images of exclusive drawings and paintings depicting the pop star. The Opus also includes personal essays by celebrities like Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Paula Abdul, Sugar Ray Leonard, Spike Lee, Jane Fonda and many others. Released this week, the mammoth tome weighs a whopping 26.5 pounds.
One of the book's images getting a lot of attention is artist David Nordahl's painting, simply entitled Michael. The painting shows a scantily-clad Jackson surrounded by a group of nude cherubs. Nordahl painted hundreds of works for Jackson, who spent millions building up his private art collection.
[Images: Top - Kehinde Wiley, "Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II." | Bottom - David Nordahl, "Michael."]