Off the Wall

Jackson's Commissioned Art Revealed

A new book reveals some of the art the King of Pop commissioned over the course of his career, and it’s clear he agrees with that idealized status. The 450-page Michael Jackson Opus: The Ultimate Celebration of an Icon shows hundreds of works in which Jackson is portrayed as King Arthur, a superhero, Peter Pan, an angel, and Michelangelo’s statue of David. Artist David Nordahl painted the last work in 1999 when Jackson hired him to reinterpret himself as an iconic Renaissance male specimen—complete with chiseled abs, rock-hard pecs, pristine white skin—tended to by 10 male cherubs. “He thought it was great with a little ‘tongue-in-cheek’ flavor,” Nordahl said of the piece called Michael. He reportedly earned $150,000 for the larger canvases he did for Jackson, among hundreds of pieces.