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Exhibition Explores Michael Jackson as Artists’ Inspiration

A woman looks at artworks by Todd Gray on display at the Michael Jackson: On The Wall exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON (AP) — A new art exhibition in London depicts Michael Jackson as a savior, a saint, an entertainer, an icon, a monarch, a mask and a mystery.

The National Portrait Gallery show explores the way contemporary artists have been drawn to the late King of Pop, as an artistic inspiration, a tragic figure and a fascinating enigma.

Gathering work by 48 artists, the exhibit includes Jackson-inspired paintings, photographs, videos, textiles and ceramics. It ranges from 1980s pop-art portraits by Andy Warhol and Keith Haring to David LaChapelle’s depictions of a Christ-like Jackson and Kehinde Wiley’s vast portrait of the entertainer as a king on horseback.

Curator Nicholas Cullinan said Wednesday that the show, coming nine years after Jackson’s death, explores “how he could mean so many different things to so many people.”

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